Celebration as Delegates complete our Leadership Programme!

Natalie Mallory

Created in partnership between Merlin and Richard Nugent from TWENTYONE LEADERSHIP, our Leadership Programme is an offering for our line managers who’ve been identified as having high potential or high talent to develop from managers to leaders – for their current teams, and for their teams of the future.

Throughout the programme, leaders will develop and grow to demonstrate tools, techniques, and frameworks to deliver business results and shape awesome teams. They’ll network with other leaders all across the business, and work towards an agreed, live business project that they’ll need to present and deliver in order to complete the programme.

The 2021 Merlin Leadership Programme spanned 6 months (May 2021 – November 2021), with delegates’ projects and presentations extending beyond the program. 

In 2021, we offered the programme virtually and to a global audience. Delegates from the USA, UK, and APAC came together on NovoEd, Merlin’s Learning Experience Platform, to learn together, virtually keep in touch through videos, comments, and submissions, and then came together over Teams for 3x 2-day sessions spread across the programme where we deep-dived into leadership theory, known and proven leadership frameworks and techniques, testing out their own skills in coaching, feedback, and communication, and lots more!

The challenges participants had to overcome?

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, turbulent business closures and re-openings, as well as the huge amount of guests who rushed back to visit our amazing attractions, meant it was a pretty crazy time! Our delegates had to balance their day-to-day with their projects, submissions, and programme events – which is no small feat! But despite it all, they showed up and delivered – with support from regional L&D leads, their own managers and teams, and Group Talent, Learning and Performance, of course!

What’s the benefit of a programme like this? 

The leadership programme enables us to identify, and grow, our leaders of the future. This programme is aimed at leaders, who’ve been identified as high potential or as successors in the business. They’ve got big teams, big remits, and a big chance to shape our business as their careers grow.

It’s our chance to help them navigate leadership in a way that fits them, their personality, ideals, and values, in the best way – so they can find, and become, the leader they want to be. Not only is this important for their own development, but it’s also important for Merlin as it enables us to engage and actively grow our leaders.

What’s next in Learning & Development?

The Merlin Leadership Programme is due to be re-vamped and re-launched now we’re moving to a post-COVID-19 world, taking learnings from the 2021 programme and what we’re striving to achieve as a business – so keep your eyes peeled for news!

Across the business, we’re exploring how we can develop and support our Senior Leaders, as well as how we can identify, grow, and elevate underrepresented and untapped talent who bring magic to our guests every single day. It’s an exciting time to be in Talent, Learning and Performance for sure!