In December 2021, the TSW Learner of the Month Award was awarded to ILM Level 5 apprentice, Jamie Cullen. Nominated by his Training Advisor, Sue Hampson, Jamie is one of the most committed learners she has ever encountered.
"Throughout his training, Jamie's confidence grew with every managerial experience," she said. "His giving spirit makes him a memorable, inspiring manager and it's been a pleasure and a privilege to be his assessor, witnessing first-hand how he translates what he's learnt to the benefit of his team and his employer."
This is Jamie's story, as told by Sue...
Taking on challenge after challenge
Jamie proactively challenges himself with ongoing continuous professional development.
The ILM Level 5 is one of many professional qualifications in his portfolio, and I can see him tackling the Level 7 in the not-so-distant future. He completed the Diploma six months ahead of schedule, passing the IQA process. He will shortly complete the NVQ, this time four months ahead of schedule. And all of this has coincided with the arrival of a new baby - no small feat!
The accomplishments aren't exclusively on paper. The compliments consistently roll in from his peers, at employer reviews and in his unit feedback.
How does he do it and why does he do so well? He's invested in theory, applies it meaningfully and loves analysing and evaluating the results. But I think he enjoys learning, and that makes him an infectious managerial personality to be around.
His enthusiasm and experience hasn't gone unnoticed at work. Jamie's work ethic and managerial capabilities have earned him additional roles and responsibilities.
Throughout the course, Jamie gained an understanding not only of management theories but how best to use them, to get the best out of them, and be the best for his team.
When hearing about his achievement, Jamie said: "I only think this qualification has benefited me so much because of the input and drive you (Sue Hampson) have given me. You have pushed back on many occasions to make me think longer and harder, which has of course helped me no end."
Jamie's manager, Phillip O'Brien said: "I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Jamie on winning the TSW Training Apprenticeship’s Learner of the Month Award in December 2021. A well-deserved recognition for the hard work and dedication he gives to his team, colleagues, senior managers and myself.
"Jamie has been pivotal in helping to shape the way we deliver services including the developing of online services whilst also dealing with and managing the additional ongoing demands since the start of the pandemic.
"Jamie is a conscientious, committed and effective Manager and always gives 110% into everything he does which is evident in the way he has dedicated his time to complete his ILM Level 5 whilst juggling a busy work and home life.
Well done Jamie.”
Sharing skills, asking for feedback, discussing results
Jamie is a unique manager. What sets him apart is not only his determination to be the best manager he can be, although that in itself is impressive, it's his interest in raising managerial standards for everyone.
Jamie believes in managerial development through peer support. He shares his experiences by using platforms like LinkedIn, throwing open his textbook to people from every industry and setting to discuss theories presented in his course.
He asks openly for feedback from his network, for their thoughts or experiences and offers his own. He's transparent, reflective and balanced, which makes his perspective incredibly influential and valuable.
An excellent example of his knowledge generosity in practice, that benefited a vast audience of learners (not exclusive to TSW), was his contribution to the TSW blog about John Adair's Action Centred Leadership. It took less than an afternoon for him to collect his experience and present the theory's benefits and drawbacks, plus the results that manifested in his workplace.
Not every manager would give you the time of day like that, or be so willing to compare notes, but Jamie always does.