Type of Fellowship: General
Year of Fellowship: 2010
Update March 2010
Totally life altering and I have only just started …
I am a great believer in fate, everything happens for a reason, so when I was offered a place on the Clore Social Leadership Programme I felt it was a great opportunity, with a niggling doubt about how I would actually fit it in around the day job. It was flattering that another Fellow early on said they were aspiring to have my role, Director of Strategy for British Red Cross, but the clarity with which colleagues so easily mapped out their futures was slightly unsettling for me. I have been with the same organisation for 16 years, a glittering career with a charity I absolutely adore. I probably have one, if not the best, strategy jobs in the third sector covering both UK and international with the best known charity brand. As my new mentor, Martin Brookes, CEO of New Philanthropy Capital, said to me:“Why would anyone want to give that up?” But I have.
The Programme has already helped me explore what motivates me, what issues matter and what I am good at and should build on; the coaching has been particularly valuable for this. And whilst I worried about holding a relatively senior position and joining such a developmental course, being with a new peer group, of people who know neither me nor my reputation has reminded me of how good it feels to debate issues with people at all stages of their careers. I have been a Director of a £200m charity since I was 30; I only now realise how long it is since people have felt comfortable in challenging me in such a ‘no holds barred’ way.
So, after lots of ‘introspective’ thinking on our first residential – I decided that the Clore Social Leadership Programme couldn’t fit round the day job if I was really going to get the most out of this incredible opportunity. Mixed with a few other thoughts and reasons (and of course the added bonus of the bursary support), I have decided the day job has to go. I finish on 30 April, and feel both excited and terrified, but can’t wait to focus on my research, looking at transparency as an internal driver for change, and immersing myself in the opportunities the Programme has already created. The challenge now will be to not end up doing more hours on this than I was doing before.
Current principal role: CEO
Current principal organisation: Myton Hospice
Other leadership role 1: Trustee
Other organisation 1: CoppaFeel
Other leadership role 2: Governor
Other organisation 2: Secondary school
Research: Transparency - Open all hours
Research topics: Governance; Leadership;
Secondment host: Frontline sms