Emerging Leaders Group

Emerging Leaders Group

The Emerging Leaders Group is a peer-to-peer program for senior leaders aspiring to advance in their careers, tailored to their unique development needs, distinct from CEO programs. The program includes:

Full Day Monthly Meetings

These are regular gatherings, where members of the Emerging Leaders Group come together for a full day. During these meetings, they might engage in various activities such as workshops, discussions, or presentations. The content and focus of these meetings are tailored to the needs and challenges faced by senior leaders. Half of the day is allocated to a professional speaker on relevant subjects ranging from Leadership styles to Strategy execution. Some of the ‘softer’ skills are also covered in workshops covering conflict resolution, emotional intelligence and Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP). Members can also influence the Speaker selection by requesting specific topics to be covered in the future and the Group Chairman will utilise the Academy’s extensive database of proven speakers to source the very best talent available on the chosen subject.

The remaining half of the day is referred to as a Board Session with ‘The Board you could never afford’! The Group Chairman acts as facilitator utilising multiple proven tools and methodologies to work with the group on problem solving real life issues that members face both personally and professionally.

This is where the real value of peer to peer learning comes through with members sharing personal experiences and valuable insights in a safe and confidential environment.

Annual Goal-Setting Retreat:

This is an event held once a year in place of one of the monthly meetings. During this retreat, participants engage in strategic planning and goal-setting exercises. This is an opportunity for senior leaders to reflect on their progress, set new goals, and develop strategies for achieving them. 


By sharing goals the group holds each other to account for achieving these goals as well as inspiring others to stretch themselves beyond what they believed to be possible. A Gala dinner will conclude the event with some special Achievement Awards.

Ad Hoc Telephone & Email Support:

Participants in the Emerging Leaders Group have access to support from the Group Chairman on an as-needed basis. This support could include advice, guidance, or assistance with specific leadership challenges. The ad hoc nature of this support means that participants can reach out whenever they require assistance.

Overall, the program provides a structured and supportive environment for senior leaders to enhance their leadership skills, set and achieve career goals, and receive guidance when necessary. It acknowledges that the needs and focus of senior leaders may differ from those of CEOs, and it tailors its offerings accordingly.

The Emerging Leaders Group offers flexibility, convenience of location and an experienced award winning Group Chairman.


Members have the flexibility to commit to the program on a minimum three-month basis. This means that individuals can join the group and participate for a relatively short period to assess whether it aligns with their needs and goals. However, despite the short initial commitment, members generally stay in the Academy for years, indicating that many find value in continuing their Continual Professional Development (CPD) well beyond the initial three months.

Meetings are held at:

The Comet Hotel
Hatfield, AL10 9RH

which is conveniently located just off the A1 close to the M25 J23. Overnight accommodation can be arranged at a preferential rate if required.

Group Chairman

Simon Lester

The Emerging Leaders Group offers a balanced approach, allowing individuals to explore the program with a short initial commitment while providing the option for long-term engagement if it aligns with their career and personal development goals.

Group Chairman, Simon Lester, joined the Academy as a member in 1995 and became Chairman of the north London group in 2005. During his time with the Academy, Simon has completed an MBO of his hotel company, started and sold a travel management company and built up an impressive list of property and hotel based businesses.  Once described as a "serial entrepreneur" Simon is married with 3 grown up children, lives in north London and has an active interest in aviation, motor sport and cycling.

He describes his experience in the Academy as life changing and makes sure that his members experience the same. Simon passionately believes in developing businesses through people and is an accredited Business Coach & Mentor. He was recognised by the Academy in 2016 winning Chairman of the Year and again in 2017 winning the VIP Chairman of the Year. Additionally, Simon’s Group is the only group in the Academy to be awarded ‘00’ status reflecting the dynamic experiences and challenges that his group undertake!