About Tony Harvey
To tell you something about me, my name is Tony Harvey. I have been married to Diane for over twenty years. We have a wonderful daughter, Caroline, and we live in the East Midlands region of the UK.
This is my leadership story …About me - my first steps into leadership
My first steps into leadership were with the Scouts. I came from a Scouting family so I joined Cubs as soon as I could. I did well and loved it.
By the age of twelve I had my first real leadership opportunity. I led five other Scouts on an overnight hike. After a ten mile walk, we camped in tents (that we had carried on our backs) and walked back the following day. I learned about the leadership skills of goal setting, planning, team work, dealing with people and overcoming difficulties. In simple terms of course, but it was real. And I was hooked!
I continued in Scouts and learned more over the years - about leadership and about me. Today I am still active in Scouting - but more of that later.About me - my education & early career
Higher education beckoned so I studied psychology and education, gaining a degree and professional qualifications in teaching and youth leadership at the same time.
While I was at college I became involved in various leadership roles and had my first proper taste of committees and politics. I learned the importance of listening to followers, developing policies and the difference between majority decisions (in which some are left unhappy and not committed to the cause) and consensus decisions (in which all are happy to support the vision).
My first job after graduating was in residential child care with troubled teenagers, working in stressful situations alongside other adults. I worked at first for an outstanding leader who had vision and passion, built excellent relationships and who was loyally followed by motivated employees - and the children too. Thank you Linda! And what a way to learn about team work!
I next went into medical research. It was a very different environment, requiring a very different leadership style. While there I learned about the difference between management and leadership (yes, one boss was good at the first but not so good at the second!), conducting research, writing & publishing and about supervising others' work. I also had my first taste of managing employees.About me - senior leadership roles
From there I moved into the private sector (an airline actually) and the world of training & development and performance management. I learned about senior management, strategic thinking, delivering on tough objectives, the meaning of customer service & quality management, managing projects, taking large groups of people with you and that senior managers can not survive without a clear sense of personal direction, good self-organisation and delegation of detail to others. Thank you, Graham, for giving me the opportunity and for teaching me so much.
My next step was into consultancy and commercial management with a large international consultancy firm. I ended up running the HR management and training & development practices where I learned to run and grow a business, to sell to clients, to satisfy customers’ needs through bespoke services and to facilitate senior management decisions. That stuff about consensus soon came back to me!About me - my current work
In 1996 I started my own consultancy practice, THR consulting. THR is a very successful business with long-standing clients from across a wide spectrum of the private, public and not for profit sectors. We specialise in:
- leadership and management development
- facilitating senior management teams to make strategic decisions
- executive coaching
- organisational development & performance management
- designing and developing bespoke corporate training schemes
- training other trainers.
Along the way I have earned two degrees (the second one in management), been awarded five Fellowships of learned and professional societies, won two national training awards and published books and a number of articles in national journals and magazines. In 2006 I published my first article on the Success Cycle, my own model encompassing leadership, strategic planning and organisational development.
I also hold appointments as a Visiting Lecturer in Leadership at the University of Westminster, as a trustee / director of two registered charities, as the Director of Communications for a six-year ambitious fundraising project and as a UK judge for the National Training Awards.
About me - the volunteer
And I have continued with Scouting, vainly attempting to pay the Movement back (as if I ever could!) for all that it has done for me. I truly consider Scouting to be the best introduction to self-reliance, social responsibility and leadership (as well as fun and adventure) that a young person could ever have.
Over the years I have held many appointments at local, county and national levels in Scouting, most of which have involved the management of adult volunteers. As a result, I am passionate about the value of volunteering for all those who want to learn to lead.
At Scouting's national level I have been involved in pioneering work on the recruitment and management of adult volunteers, helped to devise the UK’s national adult leader training scheme and been involved in major fundraising work. I am currently helping to define the UK Scout Association’s future approach to management and leadership.
About me as a leader
What leadership attributes do I possess? Others have told me that I:
- Have passion and energy for all that I do.
- Am prepared to challenge the status-quo and come up with original ideas.
- Develop and communicate vision to others in a convincing way.
- Develop strategies, plans and policies – leaving others to develop the detail.
- Develop teams and work with individuals to engage and get the best from them.
- Facilitate consensus decisions.
- Am strong on review and evaluation.
- Am optimistic and confident.
To this list I would add that I believe that leaders have a moral duty to “do the right thing” - to act consistently with their vision and be loyal to their loyal followers.
If any single one of these descriptions is true, it is only because I have learned to be a leader. Not one of these characteristics could be said about me at birth!
See my LinkedIn profile for more information.
And please follow me on Twitter.
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