Vicki’s areas of expertise include leadership and management development, design and facilitation, teams and executive coaching, coaching supervision, strengths-based organisation design and development, behaviour change and reflective practice.
Before joining GatenbySanderson in August 2023, Vicki led teams in the design and delivery of development programmes for clients in the UK and globally. Vicki has worked with clients in the UK and Middle East where she lived and worked for 9 years across sectors including aviation, banking and finance, education, engineering, healthcare, legal, local and central government, not for profit and social housing.
What brought you to GS?
I was aware of GS from their work in executive search and I’d always been impressed, seeing all the high profile roles being advertised. I was less aware of their work in leadership and talent but I was prompted to apply when I saw online content featuring people from GS talking about their experience of working here, which I found really appealing and piqued my interest.
The recruitment process itself was very open and totally professional. I was constantly kept in the loop through the whole process, and that really impressed me. I’m really passionate about strengths-based approaches and during that interview process, I felt that my strengths were being seen and valued which was really important to me.
The GS values of curiosity, collaboration and courage really spoke to me, particularly curiosity which is one of my own values. Those values came through in the conversations I had with people working here, and I saw they are not just values pinned on a wall.
What areas are new to you at GS?
I’ve spent the last 8 years working as a consultant for leadership and team development and coaching programmes. I’ve also worked to support public sector organisations, alongside commercial organisations, but the UK central government is a newer area for me and I am finding this new territory really interesting.
I started my career in the automotive industry, in marketing, and then moved out into social housing, before joining a large engineering consultancy to focus on business and organisational development.. It was while working in the Middle East that I developed a passion for developing leaders and teams which led to my transition into a Head of Learning role for a training consultancy, before I became a consultant.
What are your particular interests in leadership and development?
My heart lies in helping to grow leadership and talent in the public sector and the opportunity to contribute to a better society. That was a key motivation for me to join GS.
One of the most important qualities for any leader is learning to lead yourself; you can’t give others what you don’t have. For example, if you’re having trouble trusting yourself, you’re not going to be able to trust others. If you’re exhausted and feeling anxious, then you’re not going to be bring enthusiasm and energy to your team. I’m passionate about helping leaders to develop their strengths and be more energised and engaged in their work so they can have a positive impact on those they’re leading.
Having the ability to listen as a leader is also vital. The highest performing organisations make listening a priority. How do we help people to be good listeners, listen without judgement, without imposing their views or their advice, not being distracted, not interrupting and really being present?
Leadership and team development programmes are more effective if they’re tailored and done over a period of time, rather than a one off event. We design bespoke programmes to meet the needs of the organisation, individuals and teams.
What’s your experience of the first 4 months been like?
The induction programme has been really impressive, really thorough. I’ve had the opportunity to settle in, get to grips with the systems, the processes and the procedures in a really structured and balanced way.
The balance has come through having the opportunity to meet and connect with people, to have conversations, to get to know the business and absorb the culture. We have weekly collaboration meetings as a cross sector team to find out what’s going on and share learnings with each other.
I also appreciate the regular One GS calls, where the whole business comes together. The importance of communication can’t ever be overplayed.
What else are you passionate about?
I’m really passionate about uniqueness. I think we live in a world that’s quite fixated by weaknesses and getting better at what you’re not good at. I’m not suggesting that we ignore those things but too much focus on that tends to weaken us over time and cause burn out. When you focus on your strengths you perform better, you’re more energised and you’re more fulfilled. I love working with teams to really leverage their strengths, which also helps build awareness around diversity and diversity of thinking.
I am very curious and I love learning, particularly anything related to leadership and self-awareness. I’m currently really fascinated by neuro energetics, looking at the energy that we bring to situations.
I love CrossFit and I have two Havanese dogs that my husband and I adopted when we lived in the Middle East who came back to the UK with us in 2019
If you’d like to speak to Vicki about your leadership assessment and development needs in Central Government, get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Linkedin.