Type of Fellowship: Specialist
Year of Fellowship: 2013
Update Spring 2013
How have the first 3 months of the Fellowship been for you?
They’ve flown by. It seems that I have packed so much into such a short space of time. From being informed I was successful in my application to be a 2013 fellow to now has been a bit of a whirlwind.
What impact is your leadership having on your organisation?
A realisation that I don’t have to do it all and that not everything has to be 100% perfect or done my way has really helped my team (Judith works at Midland Heart Care and Support). I am now more open about what is happening with the project we are working on; what the highs and lows are and how we can all work together to achieve what we need to.
In what way you are a better leader now than at the start of the Fellowship?
I can see that my attitude and behaviour have changed over the last few months. I am letting things go that aren’t important. I am also more open and have been working on trying to get myself known better. Some of the comments in the 360 feedback was that people did not know my story or who I really was so I have been working on this. This has led to me feeling less stressed, more open, more productive and overall I feel, a better person and leader.
What are the biggest lessons you’ve learnt so far?
There are two. First, I can’t always have things my way. I did know that this was the case but tended to struggle when I feel what I wanted was reasonable and workable. I’ve learnt that not getting what you want can sometimes be the best thing!
Second, I do take on too much. I have been working on a Management and Leadership degree as well as working full time and completing the Fellowship part time and then trying to maintain a work/life balance. But after waking up one morning at 4:30am with stress-related chest paints I realised something had to change! I deferred the course and am more happy with my decision that I am disappointed.
Sounds very sensible! And what have you learnt from your fellow Fellows?
My most inspiring moment has got to be from the Action Learning Set. All of my fellow Fellows in the Set ask such probing, good, open questions. One recently asked me ‘what makes you angry?’ Answering that was a real lightbulb moment for me – it made me really think about what does make me angry, and why, and what I can do about it. It made me realise where my passion lies and what I can do with this.
So how would you sum up your Fellowship experience so far?
A bit of a rollercoaster ride, but not one I wish to get off.
Current principal role: Area Director
Current principal organisation: Thames Reach
Research: I Have a Name: Understanding the root causes of homelessness through storytelling
Research topics: Housing; Values;
Secondment host: Concern Universal