Fraser Burdett

Head of Business, King's Lynn Audi

Audi LEAD is a bespoke leadership programme devised specifically for the leadership teams of all UK Audi Centres. The programme taught by Alliance Manchester Business School, it provides Centre leaders with strategies and tools to build future-facing, profitable businesses.

Commercially focussed, the programme is designed to tackle real issues Audi Centres are facing right now and assesses challenges faced at three levels: Business Leadership | Personal Leadership | Team Leadership.

In addition to the taught sessions delegates are aided by personal coaching and have the opportunity to put their learnings directly into action through their own Applied Business Challenge – yielding immediate results for the Centre and preparing it for the future.

Delegates also have the opportunity to gain a CMI Level 7 qualification that is integrated into Audi’s competency framework.

What interested you most when you first looked into the programme?

We all spend a significant amount of time in our businesses but rarely get the opportunity to share time with like minded individuals within our industry to hone our skills. When I read up on the programme and the Alliance Manchester Business School it certainly appealed to me. What better opportunity to learn more about myself than in the company of some highly talented coaching and leadership professionals whilst in cutting edge business school facilities.

How did you feel at the end of day one?

That I wanted more! The design of the first day of the programme meant I walked out with more questions than I came in with, and I’m sure they designed it that way!

How did you decide on your Applied Business Challenge?

I already had some sense of idea of what I wanted to develop and encourage within my business. This was based on previous year’s performance, however after talking this through with my LEAD coach Edith it soon be came clear there was something more challenging on the horizon. Much of last year’s performance within my business was either due to new car supply pressures, Brexit or staff churn. Once again the programme didn’t hold back in challenging the status quo and I distinctly recall Edith’s comment being “don’t you think that may be a bit simple? Had you thought about what may have caused these issues?”. The cogs turned and before I knew it I was deep in thought about the culture within my business.

What did you enjoy the most?

Putting into practise a small part of either what I learnt about myself or how to change the way I lead others. You have to practise what you preach, but the applied business challenge gave me the chance to invest more time with my team on more specific tasks. Understanding and establishing a culture was certainly challenging, but what was different was how I gathered what I needed and implemented change. A business isn’t built on the products it sells, rather why it sells them. My challenge was to ensure my team and myself had a brand identity.

Have you managed to put into practice what you learnt?

Absolutely, and I haven’t finished yet. I am only at the beginning building a culture within my management team which they share with their respective teams and new starters. It’s all about mindset and ensuring the team are always kept well informed, motivated and above all believe in why we are there. Hopefully this means we better understand ourselves but also our customers.

Would you recommend the programme to others, and if so, why?

I cannot think of a better setting or people in which to take this kind of learning journey. If you want to develop yourself and your teams then this programme is a must. You have to keep an open mind, and at times it will be challenging. But, every day is a learning day and we should never stop learning. Take this opportunity as a journey of self-discovery because not only will it challenge and change the way you lead and behave but it will also positively impact your life outside of work.

What is your top tip for others coming on the programme?

Just because it gets tough, don’t give up. If it were easy then everyone would be doing it. Believe in yourself and make sure your team are on this journey with you.

What would you say to others looking at taking the CMI accreditation route?

I decided to take the CMI route at the very last minute, not because I wanted the more widely recognised award but because I had put so much time and effort into getting this far. Too often we attend courses just to ‘tick a box’ but this most certainly felt different. The whole programme felt personal and that’s why I didn’t want the journey to end. I hope that by taking the CMI route then it opens more doors to learning and developing my skills as a business leader in the near future.

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