Take a walk with wolves

Dec 18, 2006

This notable business landmark follows co-director Pauline Stewart being named Bedfordshire Businesswoman of the Year and the company receiving Institute of Leadership & Management accreditation for its Walking With Wolves programme.

The two-day course is a progression from IDH’s ‘Women In Leadership – The Confident Leader’ and covers topics, including the challenges faced by women in leadership, emotional intelligence, self-confidence and assertiveness and changing behaviour and perceptions.

However, the highlight for many delegates is when they get the chance to walk with wolves in rural north Bedfordshire.

The idea for the course was born after Pauline read an article about the Anglia Wolf Society. “I had a flash of inspiration,” she says. “I thought that we could match the alpha female behaviour within a wolf pack to the behavioural characteristics of today’s successful business women.”

She contacted Phil Watson at the Society, who agreed to help. He explains that the alpha female plays a pivotal role in every pack of wolves. Along with the alpha male, they control access to resources, exploit other pack members’ strengths and weaknesses and manipulate situations and individuals. As leaders, they are confident, socially independent and good at turning a situation to their advantage.

“The wolves buff and rebuff each other all the time – there is constant social testing,” says Phil. “These are highly intelligent creatures, and they remember what they got away with… and what they didn’t.”

Walking With Wolves is not just for women. “Men are welcome because the course looks at the different ways in which men and women think and act,” says Pauline. “If you’re a male senior manager who wants to support and develop the women in your team, this course could be extremely enlightening.”

Pauline and IDH co-founders George Clarke and Mike Smith plan to promote Walking With Wolves nationally this year and to launch The Six Thinking Hats, a new programme in conjunction with the Edward De Bono UK Foundation.

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