Type of Fellowship: General
Year of Fellowship: 2014
How have the last few months been, Gareth?
August saw a personal challenge of hosting the main stage at the Creation Festival with an audience of 2,000. September found me starting my qualification in Executive Coaching and mentoring in Dartington, as well as delivering a workshop on ‘Healthy leaders’ at the residential organised by the 2014 Clore Social Fellows. I’ve made significant progress on my research project, plus I have taken on the challenge of leading a new team of 10 people from Tempus Leisure following an internal department merge and re-structure.
What his the biggest challenge you’re currently facing?
The greatest challenge is around the next steps after Clore Social. I'm ready for a new chapter in my career path but find myself geographically limited, living in Cornwall. However, on the flip side I'm also interested in what can be achieved from a rural base, which I’m thoroughly exploring. This may mean starting again in a new organisation or starting a new organisation up, possibly self employed, whilst maintaining my portfolio approach with the charities I work with at board level. It may also mean continuing the great relationship I have with my current employer but with some new challenges and possibly in a part time capacity.
How is your leadership having an impact on those you work with or for?
The feedback from Fellows on my workshop '5 ways to well-being (through music)' was really positive with some excellent comments. I received some great emails explaining how Fellows hoped to put some of the advised actions in place around looking after themselves. In the context of my day job I am now working with a new team of ten in very vulnerable and difficult financial times. During my first meeting I was able to share some difficult messages with honesty, integrity and compassion, which definitely helped in developing trust.
In what way you are a better leader now than at the start of the Fellowship?
I've started to use less words to introduce myself or describe who I am and what I do. It became clear to me that how I introduce myself in large meetings or group environments was tinged with the desire to 'qualify' or 'posture', often because this is the culture of many of my working environments. I have changed my behaviour completely in this instance. It's oddly liberating.
Tell us about an important lesson you’ve learnt so far during the Fellowship.
I am beginning to understand the importance of humility and how much strength it gives you. I've learned that often we can be stuck in the past, understanding our influence based on our achievements and qualifications in a drive for credibility. But true respect and credibility comes from being in the moment - and when it stops becoming 'about you,’ you can really lead.
Current principal role: Lead Health and Well Being
Current principal organisation: Tempus Leisure
Other leadership role 1: Founder and trustee
Other organisation 1: Exhale (CIO and CiC) and social enterprise band The Claze
Other leadership role 2: Director
Other organisation 2: Healthwatch Cornwall
Other leadership role 3: Coach, author, blogger, presenter
Other organisation 3: HealthyLeadersUK (developing)
Research: “Playing in the same team for a healthy active society?” A qualitative localised investigation into the relationship between councils, their public health departments and providers of public leisure, sport and physical activity in financially challenging times.
Research topics: Health and well-being; Leadership; Public sector;
Secondment host: Jamie Oliver's Fifteen Cornwall