Type of Fellowship: General
Year of Fellowship: 2014
Update Spring 2014
How have you found the first quarter as a Clore Social Fellow?
This introductory quarter has thrown up many emotions. My courage and organisation skills have increased from the regular travel adventures to Clore Social events around the country as well as pushing myself into challenging situations within the training, workshops or presentations that I’ve attended (e.g. facilitating at Clore Cultural workshop, co-presenting with Dame Mary in Cardiff). Despite wild storms, broken rail lines, family needs and work commitments, I’ve made every event. It’s been a real adventure – I feel like an urban Bear Grylls.
The ‘know yourself, be yourself, look after yourself’ aspect of the Programme has been particularly revealing and re-affirming, especially as an individual with health and well being at the heart of my work. I also found the 360 degree process a really good platform from which to develop.
Clore Social has already made me realise that, in terms of my deep sense of social responsibility, my best is yet to come and my greatest contributions are ahead of me - regardless of age and geography.
What has been your greatest challenge?
My greatest challenge which is becoming my greatest success is permission to ‘be myself’. It has become the most revealing and liberating time. I have often felt a need to conform in many traditional ‘British’ working environments that I’m involved with which has left me missing opportunities and confidence to challenge and propose alternative direction.
I have a very creative approach to problems and societal needs, and I have found that giving myself permission to be myself in a working environment (transferred from Clore Social) gives me more breathing space, frees up me up to relationally challenge the norm and is improving my work and outlook.
How has your leadership had an impact on those you work with?
The 360 degree process and the subsequent follow ups with the Henley team highlighted that communication is one of my better strengths and that it is something that I should focus on for future growth. This gave me the confidence during a live interview on BBC Radio London to speak about the impact of London on Cornwall.
In terms of my daily work myorganisation has recently gone through a major rationalisation that has impacted my small team. I was able (through recent learning with Clore Social) to listen more effectively, provide personal support, offer a sense of perspective and ensure motivation levels continued. The whole process, which could have been very negative, has (interestingly) resulted in a stronger and more resilient team.
In what way are you a better leader now than at the start of the Fellowship?
I have learned a very simple skill recently and applied it - that is to not respond immediately in certain situations but to allow some thought and space for measured response.
Secondly I believe I am becoming more economical with the risks that I take. As an opportunist I often feel I have to jump at every door that opens, however this new found sense of ‘measure’ and sense of ‘balance’ is enabling me to be more considered.
What have you learnt from your fellow Fellows?
I feel a strong sense of community with the other Fellows and am humbled and inspired when I hear about their work. Njoki Yaxley has taught me humility, gentleness and joy. I had a meal with her one evening after an event where I was inspired by her engaging and uncomplicated approach to work and family. I have observed that her natural quiet communication style is incredibly joy-giving, hugely heart warming and highly effective.
Baljeet Sandhu also inspires me with her down to earth, hugely courageous approach and sense of purpose for such a demanding programme of work.
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