La Toyah McAllister-Jones
Type of Fellowship: General
Year of Fellowship: 2013
How is the Fellowship going for you?
My secondment with Collaborate and my research project have dominated this quarter of the year. I feel that there has been considerable challenge and stretch during this period and this has been a learning curve for me.
I have strengthened many of the relationships I developed earlier in the fellowship, specifically with Movement for Change (I wrote an article about their work for the Labourlist) and Hackney Unites, who asked me to join their committee and most recently asked me to become Assistant Secretary.
It has been an interesting time; many times I have felt challenged and in some cases, the experience was uncomfortable. However, I have also had several opportunities to see myself through the eyes of others and this has had a profound impact on me.
As the quarter draws to a close, I am feeling very positive and feel that I’ve had some important insights into my own leadership journey which will pave the way to further development.
How has your leadership has had an impact on those you work with?
The organisation I became involved with through the Dalston People’s Festival expressed their interest in me joining their committee and have since asked to be run for the Secretary role. The feedback I’ve had from them has been very useful and they have expressed particular interest in my ‘drive and vision’.
My involvement with this group has impacted on how they want to take the group forward and their plans for the future.
The work I am doing through my secondment with Collaborate is helping to shape how they will position themselves in the debate around localism and collaboration. I am also contributing to the ideas and development of the organisation.
In what way you are a better leader now than at the start of the Fellowship?
At this point, I feel I have learnt some valuable lessons about working through others. This is really important for me as I now have a much better understanding of the networks I have and how important it is to work collaboratively with others. There is a wealth of knowledge and skills I can access through my networks.
To add to this, I am becoming much better at testing my ideas and thought processes out on others for feedback and debate before making decisions.
Tell us something you’ve learned on your Clore Social Leadership journey
I have learned many things, although right now what feels most relevant is learning to know when to ask for help. This is really about resilience and relates to one of the other major lessons of the Fellowship; working through others.
Something that Clare Tickell said at her talk on leadership was about this concept of robust leadership. Never ignoring your intuition but putting it to the test before acting on it. That really resonated with me.
What have you learnt from the other Clore Social Fellows?
Again, there has been a lot to learn. One thing that stands out came from a conversation I had with one particular Fellow, Ceinwen Giles. While in the process of trying to make a decision about an opportunity she asked me if the opportunity fit with my overall purpose and that was exactly the right question to ask me at that moment. It really helped me to connect what I am doing with what I want to achieve or at least the general direction I want to go in.
I have learnt a lot form Ceinwen’s journey recently that has resonated with my own. This is particularly useful and has helped to reinforce some of my own learning.
How would you sum up your Clore Social Fellowship journey so far?
The programme has helped me to identify and clarify my own strengths and values as a leader; this is important insight as I go forwards from this experience.
I have been struck by the timing of some of the core elements of the programme; particular the residential. They always seem to come at the right time, (for me, at least!) and adding something essential to the experience.
Personal website/ blog: lmcallisterjones.wordpress.com/
Current principal organisation: St Mungo's Broadway
Other leadership role 1: Associate
Other organisation 1: Collaborate
Other leadership role 2: Secretary
Other organisation 2: Hackney Unites
Research: Local Partnerships: In the delivery of services of the vulnerable and socially excluded, what changes do we need to make to existing practice in order to become more effective partners?
Research topics: Housing; Leadership; Values;
Secondment host: Movement For Change