Dear Jane...What I've learned in a year

Posted on January 7, 2015

A year has whizzed by and I’m halfway through my two years on the Clore Social Leadership Programme. I look in the mirror and know I’ve morphed into a different person so here’s a letter of advice to the old me of 12 months ago.


Dear Jane

You think you know a lot but the reality is different. You do know some useful things but in many areas you are completely and utterly clueless. You don’t realise it yet but your unknown unknowns are a list a mile long. Here are 10 things to get you started...

1. If society is like a piece of fabric, you only know one tiny thread. Start thinking about the whole piece and the potential for solutions that cut across sectors.

2. You will find it weird not having a job and a cause to fight for, it’ll feel like an itch you can’t scratch. But enjoy the space to think and enjoy the questions; the questions are good for you and will make you better.

3. By helping other organisations, you’ll better understand your strengths, skills and knowledge. In fact, all things considered, you rock. So when you meet potential partners, do so on an equal footing, you’ve earned it.

4.Hold what you’re doing more lightly. It’s great to be passionate but your projects are not you; hold your work at arm’s length and you’ll be able to take more risks and be more resilient.

5. You were right in your hunch that your vulnerability is your power, the more you are like yourself and the more you voice your thoughts, the more you connect with others and the better leader you become. Be braver: challenge people with as much grace as you can muster.

6. Being enterprising isn’t a nice idea, it’s a necessity. Your gut feeling is to operate more commercially and you can do this without selling out so get on with experimenting.

7. You’ve worked hard to create balance in your life; you’ve made difficult choices but they’ve been good ones. Work hard to give others the opportunity to have freedom and control over their lives.

8. Say sorry more publicly and more directly when you screw up. In fact, shout about your mistakes and give other people the permission to try things and either fail or succeed brilliantly.

9. Get the right people on the bus and the wrong people off, then you’ll be flying. You’ve got a steely edge, use it when you need to.

10. You’re actually quite funny, so use that too.

Ok that’s all for now.

Good luck, Lots of love, Me xxx

A big thank you to the Junction and The Melting Pot for hosting me this year. 

This is one of a series of blogs Jane has written for Third Force News on her Fellowship journey.

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Jane Bruce

Jane Bruce

Youth employment innovator

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