Leading for the future

Hormoz and Jane in a classroom

Result CIC was delighted to run its very first leadership workshop for business students with disabilities with Birmingham University Business School on 2 November 2022. Here we reflect on what leadership is and the experience of offering this new event/product. 

What exactly is a leader?

How do we know or feel that someone is a leader?

What is that intangible quality which inspires people to follow a person and put their trust in them?

Is leadership a quality you either have or don’t have?

Can you develop leadership and if so, how?

These are age-old questions which are if anything, even more pertinent now as the world rapidly changes. We see often alarming challenges occurring on a global scale which require even greater levels of co-operation and trust. For people to thrive, our economies and countries need to be on a stable footing. That takes great leadership and we have seen what happens if the quality of leadership is missing, or the trust in leaders is misplaced.

At Result CIC we have been privileged to work with a wide range of leaders from young working class people to health service senior managers and civil service future leaders with disabilities and long-term health conditions. We ‘ask, don’t tell’. We don’t have all the answers to the questions above. But we do believe that there are certain key qualities which can help to bring out an individual’s leadership potential, namely:

  • Self-awareness
  • Openness – including about aspects of yourself which make you different
  • Appropriate vulnerability – showing your humanity and connecting
  • Clear calm communication – inviting others in.

Our new condensed workshop set up with Birmingham University Business school was a half-day event and invited participants to use a Reflective Journal for participants to before, during and after the session to encourage deeper thinking about the areas above.

This was a first for Result CIC from 3 angles:

  • It was our first workshop for Birmingham University (although Jane contributed to an excellent online conference about Disability Leadership in 2021)
  • It was the first time we had worked with disabled students in H.E, after many successful programmes with H.E disabled staff – offering a fresh opportunity.
  • It was the first time we had provided a condensed half-day ‘taster’ pilot session of this type.

The participants who took part in the workshop had volunteered to do so – on top of their already busy schedule of studies- surely a good sign in itself! We were delighted at the level of engagement with the ideas and experience in the group.

Thank you to Dr John Gibney – the inspiration behind this pilot and to his colleagues Dr Mattia Boscaino and Christopher Collinge for their support in setting this up.

We ended the day feeling something very important – hope. Working with these diverse international individuals highlighted to us that yes, authentic leadership can be nurtured and developed. And if this group was anything to go by, we are right to be optimistic about the future.

 
 

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