After more than a decade designing and delivering Common Purpose programmes, the opportunity to experience one as a participant was one I didn’t hesitate to grab. At the same time, being on the other side of programme delivery felt a little daunting. Would I be able to put my Common Purpose hat to one side and fully throw myself into being a participant?

Was it a good decision? Undoubtedly. The takeaways from the programme were enormous, and at a time when I was transitioning between roles in the organization, hugely valuable in helping me to think about how I wanted to embrace my new job and make it a success.

Having four days to think about myself, surrounded by a hugely inspirational and talented bunch of people, was a luxury and a privilege. I discovered that there were many aspects of my leadership and my professional brand that I was proud of, and others that needed to be worked on. The words that kept coming up again and again were ‘intent’ and ‘confidence’, and these are the biggest things that have stuck with me. To take the time to do things with intent, to think about why I’m doing things and to take full advantage of every opportunity that comes my way, believing that I can do all of these things.

As I embark on my new role at Common Purpose, the American Express Leadership Academy has made me more confident, more purposeful and even more aware of the power of the programmes that Common Purpose delivers.