Guy Easterby is Team Manager of Leinster Rugby, one of Europe’s strongest rugby sides and home to many Irish International players. Prior to taking up this management role he played rubgy union for Ireland London Scottish and with Rotherham in the English Premiership. He spoke to us in December about his Diploma in Strategic Human Resource Management at IMI which he is doing as part of the Irish Rugby Union Players Association (IRUPA) scholarship programme with IMI. Here he reflects on what he has learned and advice he would give other professionals considering a similar programme.
If I'm honest I wasn't expecting to get so much out of the programme. Iread up on it beforehand but the topics have been more wide-ranging than I thought; there are definitely areas where I now want to go and find out more so it's opened up a lot to me.
The practicality of the lecturers stood out – there's theory there too but it has been the reality-based information from the real world that has sunk in most. You might forget the theory but you can always act on that practical learning.
50% of what you learn is from the others in the room. I've sat in the room and listened to the individual experiences and insights of people from big technology companies, airline companies… as well as an Assistant Prison Governor. We have all got to know each other in the class but a lot of the interaction has been over lunch and coffee breaks and even outside of the building with us helping each other along the way. I like the fact that I could call up someone from one of those organisations now and go in and discuss an issue… I feel like they’re part of my network now.
There’s definitely a personal development side to the programme You learn about yourself and your style.. We’ve done scenarios to simulate a meeting where someone comes in with a particular issue and you look at how you deal with it. It gives you an idea of the approach that you use and where you might need to develop this or that side more.
I have already applied some of the learning. I have a lot of practical experience in negotiation but it's been interesting to really understand the ideas behind formulating plans going into a negotiation which is something we looked at as a group. It reiterates and strengthens some of the things you know but it drags in other elements.
My advice to anyone doing the programme is to make time for it. Three days in one week out of the office is a lot and there is a lot to cover. So you have to manage your time carefully… And even if you think you won't…at the end, once you get to the dissertation.. You want to do as well as you possibly can… you get competitive!
Guy Easterby was in conversation with Eva Maguire