Type of Fellowship: Specialist
Year of Fellowship: 2013
How is your Fellowship journey going?
This quarter I am pleased to have all the components of my Fellowship in place. I have established good relationships with my coach and mentor which are proving fruitful spaces for discussion, reflection and challenge. I have started two part-time secondments in the field of social investment, which link to my interest in how social change can be financed most effectively, and innovations/current debates around this. I have am also doing my research project looking into the contribution of small international NGOs within the international development response.
What has been your greatest challenge?
I think my biggest challenge so far has been ensuring I leave sufficient time in my week for reflection. I have to remind and challenge myself to have an unplanned day which can feel uncomfortable and lacking productivity. I know that this space is in fact productive and very valuable in enabling me to process the many thoughts that conversations have generated, and in formulating my opinions more articulately.
Tell us an important lesson you’ve learned
The biggest one will be changing how I will recruit people in future. I've always tried to ensure that recruitment processes are very fair and follow best practice, but I think that actually finding out about the person's value systems, drivers and attitudes are just as important.
How has your leadership style evolved?
A coaching discussion around networking and relationship building has proven really helpful – I know I need to spend much more time rapport building when engaging with people and that this can really pay off longer term. I have a tendency to just get straight to the point and not spend enough time to find out about more important information such as peoples' drivers and values. As I'm spending so much of my time this year meeting and working with new people, remembering this point has proven helpful and I feel I've established some more positive relationships as a result.
What have you learned from a fellow Fellow?
I have really enjoyed getting to know Andy through attending the Do Lectures together and also being in the same action learning set. He has helped me to understand the realities for people with visual impairment and how this impacts on both day to day practical tasks/logistics as well as longer-term ambitions. Andy is an inspiring Fellow to be around and will challenge anyone who underestimates what vision impaired people are capable of.
Current principal role: Africa Operations Director
Current principal organisation: Gatsby Charitable Foundation
Other leadership role 2: Treasurer
Other organisation 2: Grace Eyre Foundation
Research: The Small Majority: Do small UK international development charities make a valuable and distinctive contribution to international development?
Research topics: Impact; International;
Secondment host: Association of Charitable Foundations