As part of their development I arranged for 2 high quality speakers to share their thoughts about leadership and values. Having worked with both speakers I knew they would be good. But they were excellent.
So here are some of their thoughts;
Firstly, FaySelvan CEO of The Big Life Group, a Social Business. Some really valuable ideas of how to look after those everyone else rejects. Her approach and that of Big Life is based on 6 simple values.
Thoughtful, Honest, Creative, Courageous, Valuing Difference and Inspiring.
But these values transcend everything they do. From providing social enterprise to helping Big Issue vendors. As a Police Service we havesometimes struggled with some of this and so her simple yet dynamic and commited approach was a great example.
The emphasis on solving problems, creating self help initiatives is supported by a large dose of personal responsibility.
A summary of their approach is "Social mission but in a businesslike way". A true balence worthy of the Big Society. In fact if you wanted someone who lives and breaths the delivery of Big Society without using the term, Fay is that person.
Dealing honestly with people and issues is the hallmark of Big Life. Interesting reflection however that the move to commercialisation of the public sector could lead to benefit for private companies but no guarentees for the third sector or social enterprises.
She also gave us food for thought on dealing with the Roma community considered to be the group most discriminated against, within Europe.
Overall a delivery with passion, commitment and relevance to our future leaders.
Big Life is contactable through http://www.thebiglifegroup.com/the-big-life-group
The second speaker, Jill Stannard Chief Executive of Cumbria County Council, gave us a very personal account of her introduction to leadership form an early age.
Her tales of challenging poor practice and facing frustration and bias were very profound. Leadership is not about being asertive and ordering people about. Values run her leadership style and she governs by example of behaviour.
An important aspect of leadership is to hold people to account but not create a blame culture. Allow people to grow but "blame" is not a supportive approach.
Her motivation is about seeing people make a difference. Three short phrases were delivered to the group to respond to issues;
- Expect Nothing
- Blame No One
- Do Something
Both provided a clear link between an agreed set of values and successful leadership.
Great food for thought.