It’s just over a year since Vicky Hesson joined the Academy for Chief Executives. As the Managing Director of Gladman Developments, which specialises in the promotion of land for development across the UK, she was looking to find some like-minded business leaders, “You do your day job and you don’t actually know if it’s always the right thing. With that in mind I really wanted to broaden my management understanding and meet people in similar positions”.

Vicky is a member of the North West, Academy for Chief Executives region, led by Mark Fuller. As soon as Vicky joined, she said she had a light-bulb moment, as speakers shared their own experiences, “The most important thing I get from the Academy, is really useful advice from the speakers and other members, that I can apply in my own business. It’s really useful”.

Vicky says listening to Cesar Gamio Brou was inspiring. She describes him as “providing useful and practical, daily tips for performance which she immediately applied to her work, “I’ve actually booked Cesar to come into the business himself, so everyone can hear from him first hand and hopefully adopt his practices for themselves.”

Phil Jesson is another speaker Vicky was impressed by during an Academy session, “He spoke about managing your Top 10 clients and how to encourage relationships with customers, so they feel really valued. I’ve employed many of his tips and slightly tweaked others, to great success in the business”.

Looking ahead, Vicky says she wants to ensure Gladman Developments remains in its spot as the market leader and maintains its competitive advantage. The company has grown rapidly to just shy of 200 employees in the last three years, “I’m always looking to take the business to the next level and from my Academy group, I get real food for thought if I raise an issue, or if others are talking about a particular area of growth. It’s so useful to have like-minded people I can use as a sounding board”.

Vicky appreciates the range of industries her Academy peers come from, as they offer fresh perspectives and ideas to her own, “Where else can you find honest feedback and support, that’s totally confidential? It’s what I value most about my Academy membership”.