Alpine Leadership Challenge: REED Co-Members test their limits

Our Operations Manager, Kayleigh Hersey, recently took part in the REED Alpine Leadership Challenge. It is eight years since I took part in this fantastic opportunity, dragging myself around the Klettersteig in Austria, but everything I learnt has continued to shape my career.

– Claire Bacon, Employer Branding Manager

Alpine Leadership Challenge: Kayleigh’s Account

The Alpine Leadership Challenge (ALC) is a course designed to develop leadership skills and build on the importance of team cohesion in extreme environments. REED took 12 Co-Members to the snowy Australian Alps in the middle of January, to learn leadership techniques that test how you react in pressurised environments, whilst drawing on your teamwork skills.

The ALC involved a variety of activities and although I won’t reveal too much, as I don’t want to spoil the adventure for future attendees, here are some of my personal highlights:

  • The group exercises which involved all team members problem solving. The tasks meant the need to work together in fathoming the best solution. Obviously, being competitive, the best team won!
  • The Klettersteig challenge – we were split into groups and tasked with rock and ice climbing, rope bridges suspended over a 200m drop and abseiling – not for the faint hearted.
  • An individual exercise which involved the building of trust in your team members to support me through a mentally challenging task.

I found it beneficial to reflect on the experiences so that I could improve my leadership skills for the future. I developed skills in how to manage and encourage the team around me to be successful in difficult and daunting surroundings.

As a Manager, my style has always been to be lead from the front and by example. The ALC has taught me that this isn’t always necessary, as strategising and reflection is just as important as a leader. Leadership is not just being the person at the front, or the one to delegate; it’s about consulting your team and being the person to cultivate ideas and communicate effectively.

For me, the biggest challenge was the first day. We went from a nice warm airport, with all the luxuries in the world and within an hour, we were immersed into the extreme snowy environment, trail blazing through waist-high snow. Despite this, I feel proud and valued that REED provide such an opportunity for their Co-Members.

I truly believe that partaking in the ALC will make me a stronger Manager and Co-Member. This experience has allowed me and my fellow Co-Members to collaborate on driving REED forward as a business. Working within my ALC team and building strong working relationships and memories will stay with me forever and something I can share with my team mates.”

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