Gemma Rocyn Jones
Type of Fellowship: Specialist
Year of Fellowship: 2014
Update Spring 2014
How have you found your first quarter as a Clore Social Fellow?
It has been an extraordinary three months of heightened self-awareness, facing uncomfortable truths, challenging and changing behaviours and beliefs, varied emotions and unexpected possibilities.
What has been your greatest challenge?
My biggest challange has been focus. This quarter has been quite overwhelming with the January residential and the Fellowship programme bombarding me with ideas, approaches, experiences, reading lists, and a huge list of people to speak to. It’s taken some time to process and put everything into the semblance of, what I hope is, a coherent Leadership Development Plan.
How has your leadership had an impact on those you work with?
I have been working on asking open ended questions. The Action Learning approach in particular has made me take a step back when discussing issues with the people I manage. Rather than jumping in to solve problems I’m making a conscious effort to ask open questions, push things back onto them and listen. So far it seems to be working!
In what way are you a better leader now than at the start of the Fellowship?
I listen more and consciously pay attention to try to understand my team’s behaviour and communication styles. The Four Seasons Profiling Questionnaire we all took at the January residential helped me to realise that my natural inclination as a ‘Summer’ is to mediate and please people. Instead I’m trying to take a step back and understand what my team – who range from Springs to Autumns – are looking for and how best to give it to them. It has certainly changed the teams dynamic and my ability to respond effectively.
Tell us an important lesson you have learnt so far during your Fellowship.
It’s up to me to ‘step out of the story’ – I don’t need to wait for other’s approval or for them to do it for me.
What support have you had from your Fellow fellows?
There have been several stand out moments. I’ve been touched by a Fellow offering me support as if they have been a close friend for years. At other times I’ve been wowed by their composure and astuteness in analysing and managing situations. They are a very smart and warm group of people.
How would you sum up your Clore Social Leadership experience so far?
It’s a bit like being taken to the edge of a cliff where you suddenly see the full 360 landscape and are then given a parachute. I am not sure yet sure where I’m going to land.
Current principal role: Development Director
Current principal organisation: Right to Succeed
Research: People like us: The unconscious bias we carry with us and the role it plays in UK social investment.
Research topics: Leadership; Social investment;
Secondment host: MaRS Centre for Impact Investing