CATALYST Issue 1 - Page 42

Talent Centric SPONSOR AN EX-SERVICEMAN TO CONQUER THE MATTERHORN Embodying physical strength and mental resilience, ex-Corporal Neil Heritage aims to summit Switzerland’s 44,478-metre Matterhorn in August, despite losing both legs above the knee in a suicide bomb attack in Iraq, in 2004. “Originally my goal was to get walking and living independently, which took me about five years,” he says. “The idea was that as I need to keep extremely fit just to stay mobile, let’s make that a bit more interesting.” Taking part in triathlons and rowing across the Atlantic are just two of the ways in which Heritage decided to keep his personal training programme interesting. And last year, motivated by a desire to push boundaries, he made an initial attempt to climb the Matterhorn, making it halfway to the summit. “Originally the goal was living and walking independently” Viewing this as a learning process, rather than a failure, Heritage will be taking a different route to the top in August, supported by a bigger budget, more equipment, and plenty of time. The design of his prosthetic legs has also been improved to aid climbing. “There’s seven of us this time, including an ex-colleague, discharged from the army with a brain injury,” he says. The team sets out on 7 August, giving themselves 4-10 days to reach the summit. Once they have raised the full funds to cover the cost of the expedition, they hope to raise money for a military charity. Alexander Mann Solutions is sponsoring Heritage £1,000; individual pledges can be made at: crowdfunding/Climb2Recovery from government departments to the Royal Household, and in 2005 went back for a further nine years on secondment, to be Master of the Household with a remit to “look after all the entertaining given by The Queen in the occupied royal palaces and entertaining given by other members of the Royal Family”. This ranged from small gatherings to the garden party for The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Concert, and included coordinating complex arrangements, often at short notice. “For example, at the time of the financial crash in 2008, the then prime minister wanted to put on a conference for the G20, and we had maybe two or three weeks’ notice to run a reception for 20 heads of state,” recalls Walker. Lessons he learned along the way including building – and demonstrating – confidence in his team, having “Where we can really help is supporting our clients to fulfil what they want to do around the Armed Forces Covenant” ascertained its unique dynamics. On joining, he and his team undertook (Myers Briggs) profiling to enhance self-awareness and an understanding of how each person fit into the team. He also took members to watch a Red Arrows aerobatics display, and witness the post-display debriefing, to underline the importance of continual learning and improvement. “The Red Arrows brief every display as if they’ve never done one before and the display is always filmed,” he explains. The debrief process is intriguing. Nobody criticises anybody else; you’re only allowed to criticise yourself. They go methodically through the film and look at where the display was less excellent that it should have been. They’re a learning organisation.” Through the diversity of his own RAF roles and secondments, and the 42