Type of Fellowship: General
Year of Fellowship: 2015
What have been the highlights of your first few months as a Fellow, Gary?
The residential was by far the best experience as it gave me an opportunity to connect with more of the Fellows and consider how much I will be able to get from the programme. I am still feeling like a kid in a sweet shop, but things are beginning to fall into place. The Leadership Development Plan encouraged me to reflect on some bigger picture stuff and I am looking forward to the initial meeting with my coach later today to crystallise my thinking of next steps.
What has been your greatest challenge?
Making time for myself as distinct from Young Advisors can sometimes feel like I am being selfish and diluting the energy that I can put into the organisation, which can feel very uncomfortable. I am hoping I can reconcile this throughout my time on the programme.
Related to this is making this transition from always putting the organisation first, to thinking about how I can make time for myself as an individual distinct from the organisation.
How is your leadership having an impact on those you work with?
I have re-asserted my leadership in recent weeks. I have been too referential in recent years, which has delayed the implementation of new ways to be sustainable. The increase in self belief has also led me to drive forward plans that I believe will work, as opposed to constantly feeling like I need to be in a cycle of strategy development.
In what way you are a better leader now than at the start of the Fellowship?
It's very early days, but having an increase in self-belief gives me a stronger mandate to affect positive change the organisation and with my own personal development. I feel like I am taking control and ownership of things again and as this is positively reinforced, my confidence grows.
Tell us about an important lesson you’ve learnt so far.
I liked the ‘S curve’ as presented by Jerry at the residential. The mantras "What would you do if you were 10 times braver?", "Be yourself with skill." and "You are a good person, with good intentions, doing the best with what you've got, and that is enough" have also been very resonant with me over the last few weeks.
How have you been supported by your fellow Fellows?
I was very inspired by Mary Duffy and have therefore reached out to Children in Need to explore research and secondment opportunities. Additionally, Mary Marsh sharing her news about moving on to find the next adventure felt like some poetic insight into my personal situation and has required me to reflect over the last few weeks.
So how would you sum up the Fellowship experience so far?
It starts with an explosion of possibilities which can knock you off your feet! Don't fret though... with calm reflection and collaboration with the other Fellows, opportunities present themselves and plans come together.
Current principal role: Director of Youth Services
Current principal organisation: Ingeus
Other leadership role 1: Governor
Other organisation 1: University of Manchester