Career Advancement Programme (CAP): Leading the game: do you have what it takes?

Around fifty young professionals assembled at the National Liberal Club, London on the Thursday 25th June night for the second in the CAP series* event, this time round the one exploring the topic of leadership.

Fully booked, "Leading the game" pulled in many people who attended the previous CAP session (Scientia est potentia: empowering oneself) and were now back for more, with newcomers welcomed and joining in with lively discussions before the session commenced.

John kicked off by asking the audience to discuss the attributes of a leader and then challenged everyone to think how the attributes named related to them personally. He went on to discuss the transformation our way of living has undergone in the last decades and the profound changes it has had on our perception of selves. Building on the notions of "identity", "morale", "compassion", "courage", and "inspiration" John had gradually got to the concept of a leader as "someone who takes the responsibility of defining the future in the times of exponential change" or "the prophet of certainty". He further developed the theme by suggesting it was the function of a leader to "think of the unthinkable" and "make it happen", but above all, to lead was "to stand for something, and to give meaning". The concluding remark became the idea that the session was only a beginning, aimed at stirring up active thinking on the subject and developing a personal "leading the game" strategy.

The session ran well over time as there was a lively discussion going on all the way through. The networking block that followed after acknowledged the high interest the event had raised and the positive feedback it generated.

*The CAP series is due for restart in October this year, please stay tuned for the updates on the BCS YPG website and on Facebook.

Some reviews:

"...@bcsypg fantastic seminar yet again. I cannot recommend the BCS YPG Career Advancement Programme more strongly. Thanks John and Serge..." Mark Smitham

"... I thought the event was very interesting and it has given me plenty to think about! I will look forward to hearing more about the rest of the series, and thank you for a great event..." Justin Hogg

The Facilitator

John Peters MBA BSc MRAeS

John Peters "At the extreme you discover your own humanity. There is a tranquillity and honesty in this reflection. Calmly you accept where you are, accept your weaknesses, and it is in that moment you truly understand yourself. Then you begin to win. No should have, could have... you start to learn and adapt to whatever challenge. You will always make mistakes, you are human, but you realise that your power rests in the speed at which you learn..."
John came to the world's attention in January 1991, when as a POW his bruised and battered face flashed onto television screens around the world. He has written two best-selling books on his experiences and won Independent Documentary of the Year and a BAFTA Award Nominee.

He has extensive international media experience and enjoys an international speaking reputation. He was the sole reader representing the British Armed Forces at the National Gulf Memorial Service, in front of Her Majesty, The Queen and presented the Sir James Martin Lecture at the Royal Aeronautical Society in the presence of Prince Philip. Furthermore, he followed Mr Nelson Mandela on stage in South Africa and achieved a standing ovation!.

During his RAF career, he flew Tornado GR1 on various squadrons and subsequently, in the MoD, he delivered programmes on leadership, safety and human error. In 2000, he founded UPH, a leadership and team development consultancy. Clients include Barclays Bank, RBS, Unipart International, Channel 5, Centrica and TUI UK. In addition he is Chair of the International Management Board of the Association of MBAs, and Member of The Royal Aeronautical Society.


This is the second event in YPG Career Advancement Program (YPG CAP), a new series of seminars/ workshops aimed at developing soft skills needed for successful career progression. The series adopts holistic approach to addressing personal and functional aspects of the matter, helping the audience to answer questions like:

a. What sort of jobs are out there and which one is right for me?
b. Is my current occupation a stepping stone or a long-term choice? How do I plan for future progression?
c. What do I need to know to be realistic and confident about my career expectations?

YPG CAP is aimed at final year students and young professionals.