Greater Manchester Leaders Plus


GM Leaders Plus Round 3 is well underway – you can see candidates here and mentors here. If you’d like to join or nominate someone for Round 4 or just have questions, please get in touch

Leaders Plus is for people already in leadership roles and is designed to help participants navigate increased risk and responsibility, while providing tool to sustain personal resilience. The programme aims to:

  • Build skills and confidence in team leadership, stakeholder relations and change management at increasingly senior levels.
  • Translate theoretical leadership best practice into real-world use, especially for place strategy and delivery.
  • Provide a safe space to discuss the difficult questions arising during career progression.
  • Build candidates’ peer and senior networks across organisations and sectors, in a meaningful way.

These goals are delivered through a blend of mentoring, leadership skills workshops, expert insight seminars, senior mentoring, candidate-led field trips and networking. The nine-month course culminates in a personal “Proposal for GM” presented to an audience of mentors, senior course presenters and sector experts who can help candidates bring their ideas to life.

We successfully took Rounds 1 and 2 online, bringing in top trainers from other cities as well as enriched content and contact opportunities to offset the loss of face-to-face time. Round 3 is in person, with the exception of Zoom leadership sessions with best-in-sector executive coach and trainer Miffa Salter of Urbancanda.

Who is it for?

Cross-sector leaders on the journey toward top roles and already running extensive teams and/or complex initiatives or stakeholder relations. Candidates can be involved in any aspect of place from finance to family services and development to digital, and they should be seeking insight, knowledge and networks to play a meaningful role in our cities’ future.

What do candidates gain?

  • Enhanced leadership skills to inspire teams, build trust & navigate complexity.
  • The increased confidence and authority to influence others, to tackle unexpected challenges and to win over stakeholders at all levels.
  • Exposure to fresh perspectives and tools that foster innovative thinking.
  • A confidential and supportive environment to test or develop ideas.
  • The knowledge, insight and support of a diverse range of peers, professionals and a personal mentor, all of whom share their commitment to the future of Greater Manchester.
  • An extended –and friendly! – senior network across organisations and sectors – within the cohort, with mentors, in the thriving GM cross-sector scene & across the UK via Future of London’s 5,000-strong network.

How do candidates learn?

  • Facilitated skills-development workshops in small groups
  • Expert insights and a chance to question sector leaders in Chatham House seminars
  • Field trips led by the FoGM team and the cohort, to explore place, showcase projects or work through challenges
  • Peer-led discussion, visits and presentations, including the final Proposal for Greater Manchester
  • Confidential mentoring from senior leaders outside their organisations, for support and resources
  • Structured reflection and connection to a wider programme of events

NOMINATIONS FOR 2023 are now open for a February start. To find out more, contact Executive Director Lisa Taylor.

See current candidates here, and current mentors here.

Find visit and session highlights from all cohorts here.

“This programme is critical for developing GM’s senior talent pool. The [candidates’ year-end] Proposals for GM were top-class, and I hope we can go from strength to strength.”

– Eamonn Boylan, Chief Executive, Greater Manchester Combined Authority & Transport for GM (Programme champion, sponsor & mentor)

“I was looking for opportunities to meet with others at a similar level to me in local authorities and organisations beyond Stockport. I hoped there would be genuine opportunities to discuss how leadership theory applied in practice with experienced leaders and with those on the course. This was definitely provided!”

– Amy Beasley, Service Manager (Place), Stockport Council (2021 cohort)

“Prep and summary materials are excellent, very clear, very timely. I find the suggested reading really interesting and it sets up the course day. There is a combination of being friendly and being professional that I think keeps the group and topics moving along and sitting together comfortably.”

– Carl Moore, Head of Home Ownership & Supply (North West), Homes England (2020 cohort)

GM Leaders Plus is kindly supported by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, Trowers & Hamlins, Arup, which also hosts classroom sessions, and Hatch, which invited us to Manchester to start this journey in 2017.