Claire Lauber (General Manager, Woolworths*)

“Woolworths has a long-standing commitment to building internal capability and we consider this to be a key driver of our ability to perform, change and grow. Ongoing investment into learning and development initiatives is a priority as we recognise that management and executive development is essential to building leadership capability for the future.

Having the opportunity to work with someone so qualified in leadership training and who could bring a different and additional dimension to us was an exciting prospect. We absolutely made the right choice with Bernard Desmidt of Exceld. He is very engaging and genuinely interested in listening to me and my ideas about the content and how I thought the team would respond. Bernard wanted to ensure our team leadership needs were met, he respected my opinion and I knew that the team would be able to relate and learn from him. His content is forward thinking and I learned new things and have benefitted from observing his presentation style which I really liked. Bernard’s style was always very engaging and open - he knows his stuff and I really valued the emotionally intelligent delivery and content.

There has been a big shift in our development in 6 months and Bernard had a huge part to play in the improvements. Leadership awareness has increased significantly and we have the tools to shift the way we operate as leaders and the results are already evident in the 360degree feedback we did. The feedback process measures how leadership performs according to their teams, pre and post the program. There were 20 leaders in my group and a significant improvement was evident in the scores. The scores are out of 5 and the pre-course average score was 3.0 and post the course it had shifted to 3.8.

Recommending Bernard to others is easy because he is an expert in teaching leaders become better leaders. He works to really understand the business, the operations and the people and stays connected because he genuinely cares. It’s refreshing! He gave us a book that contains his work and we use it as a reference resource and tool and it is very much appreciated. The learning is embedded and I’d use him again in a heartbeat.”

Claire Lauber, General Manager, Woolworths, *Victoria and Tasmania