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Rt Hon Alan Johnson MP joined Sewell SPARCs and guests to share his experiences and opinions of great leadership last week.

Like many other guest speakers who’ve taken the hot seat at Sewell 360, Alan emphasised the importance of engaging others to bring them along with you. He said:

“Leadership is the ability to inspire. My school teacher wasn’t a stereotypical leader but he had an ability to inspire. If you can inspire people I think you have the essential quality of leadership.”

“It’s not command and control, it’s the ability to take people with you and listen to others.”

When asked how he’s still developing as a leader, Mr Johnson said:

“The key is not to be complacent and continue to learn. The day you think everything is hunky dory is the day you’re heading for a fall. Thirst for knowledge and think continually about how to become better.”

Guests were also treated to a SPARCs update. The young future leaders from Sewell Group shared highlights of their journey so far and key leadership lessons learned. Jonny Baker, Trainee Construction Manager and SPARC said:

“The SPARCs Programme and the Let’s Talk Leadership sessions have taught us that there are lots of different ways to lead, it very much depends on the situation, who you need to influence and what you want them to do. As a leader you must tailor your approach to suit.”

On twitter, attendees we’re full of praise for the local MP and the young SPARCs following the event:

Adam Hamlett, Sewell on the Go said:

@Sewell_Group great event with Alan Johnson and Paul. Very impressed with the confidence and spirit of the Sparcs.  A credit to the company.

Kath Lavery, business and third sector advisor said:

@Sewell_Group great event with Alan Johnson and Paul. Very impressed with the confidence and spirit of the Sparcs.  A credit to the company.

Emma Latimer, NHS Hull CCG said:

@Sewell_Group a fantastic event. The Rt Hon Alan Johnson was fab. Development opportunities that Sewell offer in this city are outstanding.

Chris Howell, Hull City Council said:

@Sewell_Group Great event. Well done for championing the subject of leadership. So important yet often overlooked. See you on 26th November!

Neil Worner, Richshaws said:

@Sewell_Group @paulesewell. Thanks to Paul Sewell & Alan Johnson for a most interesting afternoon. Came away with a few good quotes.