6 different perspectives on leadership

4 Nov

It’s been a couple of months since I last updated this blog, and that’s partly because this is always the busiest quarter of the year in the social sector, or at least at Social Enterprise UK. Added to this normal season of awards, events, tender deadlines, research reports and more has been added the fact that I’m changing jobs – in January I start at Social Investment Business, leaving SEUK after 6 years.

When I have a bit of time for thinking and reading, I have somewhat inevitably, therefore, been turning towards articles about leadership. So I thought I’d share six that I’ve found useful, challenging or enlightening in recent weeks.

1) 12 Lessons (Un)Learned from a year of philanthropy. The McConnell Foundation in Canada have long been one of the leaders in their field, and this is an interesting and insightful reminder of humility, being on-hand, thinking as a network and more.

2) 5 things digital leaders do differently – a nice, succinct post from Zoe Amar which, although something of a marketing piece for her (highly regarded) programme with the SSE, has some good content. Some of the points apply regardless of the word ‘digital’ in front of them (“Digital leaders embrace risk”; “Digital leaders have insatiable curiosity”) and there is some interesting stuff on how digital can aid customer relationships, business development and transparency.

3) Leadership in public service is too punitive and too unforgiving – this is an interesting response from a headteacher to Theresa May’s speech at the Conservative Party Conference. A reminder about the importance of empathy and not pretending that leadership is heroism.

4) 4 steps to driving social change through people – while I’m not wild about the title (the article is very much about achieving things with people!), this is a candid and insightful piece from Mark Norbury at UnLtd. I think the part about a constant, continuing clarification of what not to do (or a framework for making those decisions) resonated most with me.

5) How can we build on clicktivism to harness diversity – this piece by Becca Bunce details how she became an ‘accidental’ leader and campaigner (on the Istanbul Convention combating violence against women), and is part of ACEVO’s ‘30’ series to celebrate 30 years of existence. It’s excellent and challenges the lazy thinking of people (like me) who dismiss online campaigning as ‘slacktivism’. It’s also excellent on the ability of online tools to expand diversity but also to restrict it.

6) Good Leaders are Good Learners – HBR articles have a tendency to disappear up their own fundament, but there is some useful stuff here about being in learning mode and supporting the development of that mindset in others.

Enjoy!

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