Deborah Appleby: My Journey to the Centre of Maynard Leigh

Like many people at Maynard Leigh Associates I began my career as an actor and was a local newsreader and BBC children’s presenter. After I had young children I started working for training companies that specialised in presentations.

Maynard Leigh was a company I kept hearing about and it was always the one that other competitors referred to. When I got in touch with them, I explained I wanted to join a company that fully supported people’s development, not just of clients but also of Leaders. Michael Maynard, a director of the company, said my CV sounded interesting but, as they weren’t considering taking on new people at that time, I was welcome to pay a minimal fee to attend some Maynard Leigh workshops. This was a way of me keeping in touch and helping my development as a leader.

I persisted at keeping in contact, for example writing in periodically. Then about a year later I was invited to attend an Inspirational Leadership workshop. I imagined then I was competing with two other people for a place in the company. In fact it turned out to my relief we were all invited to join!

There is definitely a tough process for how people evolve into leaders at Maynard Leigh Associates and I must admit it tends to be a long one. Understandably the company is determined to ensure anyone it sends out to lead a programme fully represents its values and can deliver the kind of insight for which its leaders are renowned.

But I pushed hard to have a mentor assigned to me. The aim was to help me start to lead within the year. I challenged the development time, mainly because of my age and experience. I started at Maynard Leigh early 2004 and ran my first Performing With Presence course in October 2004 and have run lots more since.

I love being at Maynard Leigh because there is great support and lots of development time together, working with a highly dedicated and sincere group of people. For the first time I am with a company that seems to value my input and wants to promote my development as a leader and a company member. Previously I had to do all this either alone or in threatening and ‘political’ environments. Now I feel liberated, and confess I am hungry to grow into the company and be part of building the future face of Maynard Leigh.