3 of our Forces in Mind Trust Fellows share their insights

Posted on May 16, 2018
Posted by Guest Blogger

Every leadership development journey is different... here's what 3 of our 2017 Fellows have to say about theirs.

The motivations, challenges, and rewards that occur when participating in a leadership development course can vary greatly. We caught up with some of our Forces in Mind Trust Fellows to find out what their journey revealed. Here are some of their thoughts on their Clore Social Fellowship learning experience. 

Vikki Muir is the Executive Officer in the Grants and Welfare Team at ABF The Soldiers’ Charity.

"Looking back to the initial application stage for the Clore Social Leadership Fellowship, if I could say anything to myself when I was wondering whether to apply, questioning if I would be the right fit after looking at previous Fellows and asking myself what I could bring to the table, it would be a resounding Do It. Without a doubt, my Clore Social year has been one of the most enlightening, rewarding and challenging that I have ever experienced, and I would not be the person that I now am without it.

It is rare that we can take time out from our everyday work lives with all the pressures and expectations that they bring, to be able to reflect on ourselves, our leadership journey and truly spend time to learn from others. This year, I have taken every opportunity to visit organisations outside of my sector, to learn from them, develop relationships and share knowledge. It has been truly inspirational. Clore Social has given me the opportunity to become involved in often unfamiliar ways of learning, develop a wide-reaching peer network and be part of an Action Learning Set, which was a new, and often challenging experience for me. I may have approached some aspects of the programme with initial hesitation or doubts, but I can honestly say that there has not been one element of the last year that I haven’t benefitted from, even if I may not have realised it at the time."

Louise Simpson is the Policy and Research Director for the Army Families Federation (AFF), a charity representing the interests of British Army families.

"What a journey it has been – so many lessons learnt, so many connections made and an unlocking of a thirst to know much, much more.

The combination of group training, personal training budgets, group challenges and secondments meant that every aspect of myself and why I do what I do was challenged this year. Everything I have learnt is already influencing how my team works and how we get the best out of each other.

What every one of the people working or volunteering in our sector does is change lives – whether that is by working hard to improve access to the right service, finding new medical interventions, building resilience or levelling playing fields. That very fact means the third sector shouldn't rely on passion and integrity alone and basic training - that to be truly effective we need to give our staff the very best training so they can be more effective at changing people's lives.

That realisation is the main outcome of this year for me and a resolution that somehow, I will find a way for our staff to have access to networks and training so they too can unlock their potential so that we all can be more effective in what we do – changing people's lives for the better!"

Liz George is Director of Development at The Royal College of Psychiatrists, and was formerly Head of Fundraising at The Poppy Factory, the employability charity for wounded, injured and sick veterans.

"I had expected to learn about the theory of leadership, of models and behaviours and of the particular skills and experiences which 'great' leaders have in common. I quickly learnt that I could re-examine the theory of 'great' or heroic leadership more thoroughly in the context of the social sector. Whilst I had previously been concerned with externally focused models of leadership, I had not been thinking about how such models might apply to my own circumstances, my style and how these could contribute to my own organisation.

The theme of the Clore Social year for me therefore, became much more personal and reflective than I had anticipated. As a group of Fellows, we were encouraged to look within ourselves to determine the types of leader we wanted to be and to find our voices within that context. The Clore Social framework is to 'Know yourself, Be yourself and Look after yourself'; knowing myself was a logical place to start. It was illuminating to explore my own 360° review after feedback from my team, peers, managers and key stakeholders. There is nothing quite like hearing how others see you, to give yourself a reality check.

Above all, the most valuable lesson I learnt was of the importance of authenticity in leadership. And that is why the Clore Social competency of 'Being Yourself' was so meaningful for me. Authenticity as a leader can inspire trust and as a result of this year, I now know that for me, trust is paramount. I want to inspire trust in those I lead, I aspire to trust my own ability as a leader and I need to trust those that lead me. The Clore Social Fellowship has enabled me to be clear about what drives me, to articulate the impact that I would like to have on those around me and to define my own values. So that feels like a good place to start a leadership journey."

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Tags: Charity; Clore Social Leadership; Leadership; Leadership development training; Military; Third sector.

“So who runs this show?” Shared leadership and good governance

Posted on December 12, 2017
Posted by Guest Blogger

Lynne Berry, OBE, is Chair of Breast Cancer Now and becomes Chair of Sustrans in January 2018. She is Vice Chair of Cumberland Lodge, a trustee of UnLtd and was until recently deputy chair of the Canal and River Trust (formerly British Waterways) and a trustee of Pro Bono Economics.  She is a visiting Professor at Cass Business School, City, University of London.  

Who would have thought a musical about charity governance would pack in the crowds at London’s Donmar theatre? The play about Committee Proceedings in Parliament concerning Kids Company did. I even spotted the board of the Association of Chairs there, on their summer outing. Governance is a hot topic.

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Tags: Board of Trustees; Chairs and CEOs; Charity; Chief Executives; Clore Social Associates; Leadership; Third sector.

How can leaders and managers prevent the collapse of charities?

Posted on October 23, 2017
Posted by Guest Blogger

Don Macdonald, a trainer, trustee and former charity CEO, is writing a series of New to Management blogs for us. His new book, Twenty First Century Skills for Nonprofit Managers, published by BEP, is available to buy now. 

As charity leaders and managers, we have all received rejection letters or emails from funding agencies or trusts, some of which in turn threatened the future of our organisations. The first duty of a charity is to survive, and according to management consultant Peter Drucker, management is obviously instrumental in leading the organisation through difficult times and ensuring survival.

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Tags: Chief Executives; Clore Social Associates; Clore Social Leadership; Leadership; Third sector.

Are leaders left to fend for themselves?

Posted on October 3, 2017
Posted by Guest Blogger

This guest blog was written by Robert Laycock who supports the organisational, leadership and management development of not-for-profit organisations across the North East.

By not joining up development opportunities for leaders of social change are we leaving the majority of them to fend for themselves in increasingly challenging times?

Earlier this week I was leading a seminar at the North East Fundraising Conference targeting delegates considering becoming a trustee for the first time.

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Tags: Charity; Clore Social Associates; Clore Social Leadership; Collaboration; Leadership; Leadership development training.

Good leadership requires more than a vision. It requires trust.

Posted on September 27, 2017
Posted by Guest Blogger

David Green is director at Green Pepper Consulting and associate consultant at Action Planning.

Many people don’t trust banks or estate agents but they still use them; most don’t trust politicians, yet they still vote for them. But what about a charity? It needs to be more than good at what it does. It needs to convince funders, partners and the public that it is fundamentally trustworthy. So while good leadership is visionary and inspiring, a social leader also requires an understanding of their organisation’s unique nature and status in civil society.

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Tags: Clore Social Associates; Clore Social Leadership; Leadership; Third sector; Values.

The sector's view: Who benefits from leadership development? Everyone.

Posted on September 5, 2017
Posted by Guest Blogger

Stephanie Papapavlou, Programme Delivery Manager from Leap Confronting Conflict, took part in Clore6: Youth. This blog is from her manager Jessie Ben-Ami, Director of Programme Innovation, where she talks about what was gained from the leadership programme. 

There are some people who have huge amounts of talent and ability, and Steph is definitely one of them. We chose her to take part in Clore6: Youth because she was already demonstrating strong leadership skills and we recognised her potential to have a long-lasting and successful impact on the sector. She was a great candidate to fast-track through this intense course.

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Tags: Charity; Clore Social Leadership; Clore Social Youth Sector Leaders Programme; Leadership; Leadership development training; Youth sector.

How do you manage evaluation properly?

Posted on August 30, 2017
Posted by Guest Blogger

Don Macdonald, a trainer, trustee and former charity CEO, is writing a series of New to Management blogs for us in anticipation of his new book, Twenty First Century Skills for Non Profit Managers, being published by BEP in November.

Impact evaluation is now essential in our sector, with increasing numbers of funders requiring evaluation results and systems as part of their bidding process. If you manage a small charity where you are responsible for organising evaluation yourself or commissioning a consultant, you must put effective systems into place. Even if you have not studied social policy, it is still possible to organise something worthwhile.

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Tags: Charity; Chief Executives; Clore Social Associates; Impact; Leadership; Third sector.

Why investing in our future leaders is vital

Posted on August 22, 2017
Posted by Guest Blogger

This guest blog was written by David Orr, the Chief Executive of the National Housing Federation.

Investing in the talent of our future leaders is vital for growing our organisations. Nobody quite knows what the future will look like but housing associations will no doubt need leaders that are adept in a range of skills.

In the future it will not be enough for organisations to simply provide a service and then step back. It is going to be a much more engaged world where people will be asking questions and expecting answers quickly - our young leaders will therefore need to be strategic thinkers and have a vision for a future that they in their organisations will be trying to craft.

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Tags: Chief Executives; Clore Social Associates; Clore Social Leadership; Housing; Leadership; Leadership development training.

A world without leadership development

Posted on August 17, 2017
Posted by Guest Blogger

Lisa Sofianos is an international leadership consultant and business author, she is the founder and Director of Robin Ryde Consulting.

Measuring the value or impact of leadership development is a tricky, and not altogether satisfactory, pursuit.  The more you dig into the subject the more slippery the idea becomes.  When looking at the impact of leadership development on the behaviour of individual participants, perhaps as they return to the workplace, we may be able to identify important observable changes; returning participants may ask more questions instead of providing answers, they may work more collaboratively, engage more with their colleagues, that kind of thing.  While these changes may be good and desirable, they are inevitably only part of the story.  

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Tags: Clore Social Associates; Clore Social Leadership; Leadership; Leadership development training.

New to Management: Designing a solution to support new managers

Posted on August 1, 2017
Posted by Guest Blogger

This blog was written by a group of 2016 Clore6: Youth Fellows who, as part of the programme, worked on a team challenge around ‘people development’.

Managing people is a huge responsibility, it can be a minefield of processes and overwhelming information, all of which is often shaped by your own experience of being managed.

In undertaking the first Clore6: Youth programme we were set a challenge to address a key leadership issue in the youth sector – people development. How do we get the best out of the most important resource in our sector, our people?

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Tags: Change management; Charity; Clore Social Fellows; Clore Social Youth Sector Leaders Programme; Leadership; Leadership development training; Third sector; Youth sector.

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