Dionne Charlotte

The power of learning how to observe yourself and others

Dionne Charlotte, 2018 Emerging Leader fellow relays her experience on the programme.

At the start of the programme, I was unsure how to take the next steps in my career. I wanted to explore where I could make a true impact in a sector that I am very passionate about. The content of the programme really helped me to discover my leadership strengths, preferences and identify where these would be best placed in the sector to create sustainable change.

Our Improvisation session was challenging, however it gave me permission to have those difficult conversations and take the risks that my “normal self” would probably hesitate to do. Having permission to be a different version of myself in moments of conflict and frustration has allowed me to reach positive decisions in the workplace with others. I now take a step back and ask myself “who do I need to be in this situation to get the outcome I am looking for?”

I now take a step back and ask myself 'who do I need to be in this situation to get the outcome I am looking for?'

Learning more about other people’s preferences and ways of working has enabled me to become more effective in influencing people to create change and impact where they are. Being able to reflect on where and when I am best placed to lead has been valuable in reaching collaborative goals. I thought the Action Learning Set feature of the programme was beneficial as it allowed me to step into the shoes of another leaders world, hear their most challenging issues, explore their perspective with them and contribute with my group to how they may navigate these challenges. These were valuable lessons that may have taken me years to learn on my own.

The skills required of social leaders are continuously evolving, the world we live in is becoming rapidly complex and interdependent. Therefore, the complexity of social issues we see requires a collaborative approach from a range of disciplines to deliver sustainable solutions. We need to be leaders that are able to navigate and thrive in these environments.

We need to be leaders that are able to navigate and thrive in these environments.

As a result of the Emerging Leader Programme, I have a greater awareness of self and more confidence to lead in my current context. I have learnt that leadership development is not just about having an idea or a fantasy about how you can change the world, but rather, our focus should be on having tangible evidence of our leadership strengths via the self-discovery process and truthfully asking yourself the question “why would I be the best person to serve in that role?”

For those just starting on their leadership journey, I would encourage them to be open, honest and at times vulnerable about where they are at. The most powerful tool you have is learning how to observe yourself and others. Understanding these insights will help your personal development and give you an ability to know what is required to succeed in your own context. Be confident about the direction you want to go, be inquisitive and keep the conversations going. There is always something to learn in every moment and the Clore Emerging Leaders Programme gives a brilliant template on how to develop yourself as a Social Leader.

Dionne Charlotte is a Project Manager at the Single Homeless Prevention Service. She is a 2018 Clore Social Emerging Leader fellow for the programme run in collaboration with the Centre for Homelessness Impact.

Recruitment is now open for the Emerging Leader Programme running from September 2019 to March 2020. The programme includes 24 places for leaders who are keen to become more effective in their roles. Find out more below.

Photo by Jen Holland Photography.

Emerging Leader Programme

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