A journey of self-discovery – OSS Foundation

Jo Bentely – Regional Loss Prevention Manager – Theo Paphitis Retail Group

We caught up with Jo following her return to work after attending spending 5 days at OSS Foundation. Here’s what she had to say:


At the beginning of July (2019) I started a journey. Slightly apprehensive, I arrived at OSS Foundation wondering whether or not I would succeed, would I learn anything, could I do this? I then spent five of the most exciting, inspirational, fun and motivating days discovering me.

I have always been one to jump in feet first and have always thought I was able to express my opinions share my ideas and understood the different people I work with.

How wrong was I?

I learnt that reflection, self-belief, confidence and understanding can always be improved.

With the support of my group, the other delegates and the fantastic team of OSS Group Leaders I came home as the best me.

OSS Foundation - Jo Bentely
Jo with her discussion group at OSS Foundation

Since I’ve returned to work I have mentored a colleague, someone who I never thought would grasp or understand the new ways of working that I was introducing. The Foundation gave me confidence in my coaching abilities and helped me to understand the ways in which I can adapt to help my colleagues. By identifying my mentees needs, he is able to make a more valuable contribution to our department. We’re already seeing results we’ve never achieved before.

I am also discovering better ways to communicate with my team and the business as a whole. Prior to the Foundation I may have rushed in or not reflected on the outcome of my actions. I’m now able to look at my end-goal and use my new skills to get to it in the best way possible.

I am also more empathic of the needs of my team and understand they are not all the same as me. I now know how to change my perception of others, and theirs of me. Just because we are not the same doesn’t mean we don’t both want the same result, we just now find different ways of getting there.

I’ve learnt that both reflection and time out are important. Where as before I may have butted heads with someone I’m now much more calm and centred.

I have a desire and passion to help and improve the knowledge of my team, the Foundation has enabled me to communicate better and I’ve already found they are far more responsive.

My goal has been to be a better version of myself, be more empathic and to coach rather than dictate.

OSS Foundation 2019

Since the Foundation my relationships with store managers has developed and by changing my tactics it has really improved my results. As a result, in what were previously tough meetings I’m finding colleagues listen more, are improving results and have a much more positive attitude.

The coaching and adapting to change focussed days were invaluable to making this happen.

Every working day I am using something that was shared with me on the Foundation programme.

My career goals are clear, defined and reaching for the sky!

There’s no limit to what I can achieve, confident, committed, communicative and coaching.

The best five days of my working life, ready to take on the world and succeed.

For more information about OSS Foundation

If you’d like to develop your leadership skills and discover the best you please contact Terry Lees on 07595 928721 or terry.lees@brc.org.uk.