I recently worked with a senior leadership team in a large global charity. My remit was to help a relatively new team unite behind a common purpose and goals. The day was a real success but I’m not sure who got more out of it – the team or me!
I was captivated and inspired to learn of their personal journeys – their commitment, dedication, passion, values, determination and sometimes hardship they had endured in serving their cause. It was a transformational day for me. I came away with a desire and determination to investigate how TPC can support organisations like this in their pursuit of worthy causes with often limited resources.
My investigations have so far involved meetings with CEOs and other senior leaders in charities such as Marie Stopes International, Hope and Homes for Children and Blind Veterans. Each meeting has further raised my desire to find a way to support them.
Things became clearer when I attended an event hosted by the Clore Leadership Programme in London. This programme offers fully-funded fellowships to meet the individual development needs of aspiring leaders in the social sector (see www.cloresocialleadership.org.uk).
I was fascinated by the collective determination to find ways of developing leaders in the social sector, but I was also struck by the relative under-development of an area that has received much attention and financial investment in the commercial sectors.
There was debate during the day about whether leading in the social sector is different to leading in other sectors. And my perception was that the belief that it is different is a major hindering factor.
My own belief is that whilst the contexts may differ, the fundamentals of leadership do not differ across sectors. Leadership is leadership, whether it be in retail, finance, construction, manufacturing, charities etc.
I came away from the event with a strong feeling that much more focus and investment needs to be devoted to this crucial area in that world. And we’ll be looking at how TPC can contribute going forward.