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Steven Whitelock: Belief and confidence

“I’ve been reflecting over the last few weeks since we completed our final masterclass of the Emerging Leaders Programme, particularly as I start a secondment on Monday into a new role – a role which my journey of self-discovery over the last 6 months gave me the belief and confidence to stretch myself to achieve, and I just wanted to say thank you to you, and all the coaches, for creating such a wonderful, safe space for us all to grow within. My personal and professional lives have taken an incredibly positive change of direction as a result.

Last week I published the latest quarterly e-zine for my business area and had asked fellow delegates Tracie Nemeth and Stephen Sweatman-Wright to join me in sharing some reflections within it for all of our colleagues at Aviva to read and gain a little insight into the journey the three of us had been on. It was so enriching to be able to share this with them and the response has been wonderful with a number of people approaching me directly to talk in more detail about my ELP experience which I have loved talking them through. And this latter point is one that really stands out. One of my colleagues who I spoke with said that they had never been on a Teams video call with someone whose energy and spirit had flowed through to them so strongly uplifting their day, as had happened when I was talking about my journey and experiences doing ELP, and even now just writing about that is making me beam and my chest swell up in utter joy.

My ELP experience has lit a fire within me and it burns in such a wonderful way, filling me with energy, purpose and positivity and I am indebted to all of you and my cohort colleagues for nurturing, challenging and encouraging me to be vulnerable, to be humble, to be curious and to be courageous.

The new job next week (Media Relations) will most definitely put me out into my stretch zone, but it is not something I fear. I am so excited about the challenge it offers me and also the learnings I can take away from it, and that is a noticeable change in my outlook. 12 months ago I wouldn’t have given this job a glance due to a lack of self-belief within and me viewing it as so far off my radar that the leap would be too great to take, and it is a story I am loving to share.”

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