We had the pleasure of interviewing Dennis Savage, Assistant Principal of Engineering, Construction, and Technical Skills at Fife College, to discuss his journey through our Leadership pathway.

Dennis attributes his remarkable career advancement—having been promoted twice within the last year—to the profound impact of our leadership courses. Read more below.

What motivated you to join our Executive Leadership Programme?

I had previously completed the Emerging Leadership and Strategic Leadership Programme through CDN and wanted to continue with my professional development. The motivation for me was predominantly to try and strive to be the best I can be and progress my career, but also to gain an understanding of the different styles of leadership which could enhance my personal career journey.

What were the most valuable skills or insights you gained?

Understanding my lack of confidence and self-belief was crucial, however being surrounded by like-minded colleagues helped me overcome the most significant challenge: the fear of failure coupled with imposter syndrome and not thinking I was good enough. I learned be yourself, give it a go, never give up and continue to try and empower others to be a solid team.

How has the programme impacted your leadership style and abilities?

The programme has significantly transformed my leadership approach. Before, I often enforced a single method approach and became easily frustrated. Now, I evaluate more and listen to other peoples opinions. I’ve come to value structure and processes in daily operations, understanding that the journey is not always easy and that success often requires persistence through challenges. Failure is not a bad thing either – reflection has a way of allowing you to think differently and allows you to build your self-esteem and lead your team effectively.

Can you provide examples of how you have applied these skills in your role?

I have applied these skills in almost everything I do within the college. I am more vocal at senior leadership team meetings where before I would just go with the flow and not say too much in case I said the wrong thing. I allow my team to have their say in how we move forward and ultimately become a better community college.

Has your participation in the programme brought any noticeable benefits to your career journey, and/or organisation?

The leadership pathway was the one that has helped me on my journey up the career path as not long after I had completed the programme I was promoted to Director of Faculty: a position I would not have dreamed about applying for before the Executive Leadership Programme. Subsequently eight  months later I was also successful in being promoted to Assistant Principal of Engineering, Construction, and Technical Skills at the college. I put this down to the increased self-confidence and understanding of all the different ethos that was delivered throughout the programme. Life changing is an understatement and I could not praise all the external presenters, guests and the course leader Valerie for everything that I learned.

How would you summarise your experience in a few words?

Amazing, thought-provoking, enjoyment, collaboration and comradery.

What advice would you give to future participants of the Executive Leadership Programme?

Advice for all would be: open mindedness, embrace the opportunity, get involved fully, relax and enjoy, listen and learn, look to build something for the future and lose the fear of failure. I cannot rate this programme highly enough.

Ready to transform your career like Dennis? Join our Executive Leadership Programme today to start your journey.

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