Is the monkey lifting?

Posted on December 15, 2014

I went into the Clore Social Fellowship with a definite monkey on my back. One year into the Fellowship, has it loosened its grip?

My monkey landed principally with my move from banking to the social sector and wondering about the skills I could add. My first meeting with the diverse 2014 cohort energised me and instantly made me appreciate what a difference the programme could make.

Now our 2014 cohort is at the end of the first year and are no longer the shiny newbies of the Clore Social Leadership Programme. Reflecting back, the sense of opportunity and energy I felt at the first meeting has certainly been delivered in so many ways. There are three very specific insights which have started to loosen that monkey.

During this year we have had set leadership training; I have had the opportunity to benefit from the knowledge, contacts and experiences of my wonderful mentor; and I have had the significant aid of some really focussed coaching. My coach has helped draw out of me a greater understanding of self. This has been some of my core learning during the year. I am a definite introvert with a large dose of imposter syndrome added in, meaning I can find it very difficult to speak up when with the wider group. This is frustrating as I really appreciate the added dialogue and enriched learning that ensues from training together. However with “situation testing” there are small signs that I am breaking free of the heart hammering that accompanies these moments. I still have work to do though.

That deeper understanding of self has impacted the way I create and lead teams and has given me a fantastic toolbox of practical approaches to be called on when needed. This has coincided with me leading on a new strategic strand in my day job. There is absolutely no doubt that the lessons learned from Clore Social are significantly adding to my ability to lead in an area that is totally new to me. This formal training has been enhanced considerably by the practical insights and support provided by a number of my cohort. The network of willing, experienced Fellows creates a wealth of knowledge for me to tap into and share as widely as I can.

The residential weeks were a rare opportunity for real time away and reflection. With three very active children, life can be a constant juggling act of running the household and supporting and organising family life, mixed in together with the various work roles I undertake. A key realisation for me was that I need to be more “in the moment” in every aspect of my life. I can only have the impact I would like across all aspects of family and work life by being completely present with each role I undertake otherwise I am not being true to myself or fair to any one of those roles. I am really looking forward to the second year of my Fellowship and all that it will bring - and I hope that my monkey continues to loosen its grip.


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Stephanie Rose

Stephanie Rose

Social impact pioneer

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