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Elaine Gordon

  • Programme: Essentials of Leadership
  • Nationality: British
  • Job Post-programme: Head of Institutional at Artemis Investment Management

Professional background

Elaine graduated from Birmingham University (UK) with a first class degree in commerce. After graduating she joined Prudential Portfolio Managers as a trainee fund manager. In 1989 she began managing UK pension funds for Gartmore and then moved into a senior investment management position within the equity portfolio construction team. In December 2001, Elaine was promoted to Head of Institutional Client Services.

My background was in investment management and over the years I have progressed my career within a very robust, speed driven culture, typical of the discipline. When I became Head of Client Services within the organisation, I took on responsibility for a team of forty people at all levels. Having no management experience, I realised that I needed to fill in some skills gaps. After a period of coaching within the company, I decided to undertake some formal study and chose Essentials of Leadership, which came recommended by colleagues.

Within the demanding field of investment management, I have always needed to be decisive in order to get things done quickly. My role required a softer approach, so I wanted to learn how to communicate my thinking more effectively, making other people feel comfortable with my decisions.

We covered a huge amount during the programme and the content certainly exceeded my expectations. I learned a lot, particularly about the difference between leading and managing, one of my key objectives in attending. The programme also brought home the importance of giving myself some ‘space’ to think and to delegate more effectively. The feedback from the 360 degree survey was encouraging in that it showed that my colleagues understood what I was trying to achieve.

It also confirmed what I thought were my strengths and highlighted some areas for improvement. I realised there are situations in which I could communicate more sensitively with my colleagues and I’m now actively orking on this.

This was an enjoyable and useful week delivered by an exceptional faculty team who successfully combined theory with practical ideas to explore at work. My fellow participants also contributed a great deal to the programme and their diverse experiences gave me new insight and perspective on my own business issues and culture.

I’m more aware of how others might see things and I now accept that I don’t have to get involved in everything. If I can use my new knowledge to help build a strong team and a first class business unit capable of delivering a better service to clients, I will have achieved my goal and the company will be more productive as a result. Would I recommend Essentials of Leadership to others? Certainly, and I already have.