At the winter gatherings we explored aspects of Leadership – we wanted to find out what we look for in leadership and how we experience it. Questions like what makes a leader? what corrodes leadership? and what is authenticity in leadership? We looked at this in the context of Julian Stodd’s work on Social Leadership and the reflected on our lived experience. We captured our thoughts and view using a ‘Leadership’ graffiti wall by ‘tagging’ with words and images of what leadership meant to us. We could write up anything we wanted and then the wall was open for others to add context in words or pictures – and even defacing just as in a genuine graffitied wall.
Some initial tags were very clear: compassion, direction, vision and team. In his research report Julian Stodd reflects the following:
“The sense that leadership is both functional, and engaged, is interesting, as the two are not necessarily always conflated. We were not short of negative, or ironic words: ‘bullshit’, ‘cruelty’ and ‘titanic’ meeting those criteria. But centrally, the words used represented aspiration, intention, and broadly constructive terms.”
What has come through from the events, and also wider communities engagement is a shared inspiration identifying with the project lift ethos of compassionate, collective and collaborative leadership. This ethos is recognised as an important way of working through the realities of leading and transforming care, in the full knowledge that this will present very real challenges. When asked what would be interesting to explore further from the gatherings 96% of respondents selected ‘lived experience of leadership, the expectations we have of leaders and social leadership.’ All of this is interesting to us and we are keen to progress how we can offer the best opportunities to build on this and really enable our communities to explore this further?
We know from experience that connecting the system to more of itself is an enabling way for leaders to exchange, inspire and support one another. This is supported in principles used to work with living systems from thought leaders such as Myron Rogers and Meg Wheatley. It’s been really inspiring to listen to the way which people are making the most of the gatherings and taking elements of these forward. As Meg Wheatley claims “humans can handle anything as long as we are together”, and that coupled with “meaningful work is a powerful motivator” means the world is full of possibilities and opportunities! We have also had the real privilege of either encouraging or noticing just how much of this is going on in the project lift space – and we are excited about this! We’ve heard stories of people connecting over coffee as a result of meeting at the gatherings, we’ve connected up mentors to go and do great things together and we have had others who are now feeling connected to project lift in a wider way and who have joined the conversation on twitter and in their own groups. There have been flurries of activity on twitter, particularly around compassion, collaboration and the importance of kindness.
We want to hear from you – you are the key to our communities transforming Health and Social Care in Scotland and doing this as leaders at all levels. Both Myron Rogers and Meg Wheatley are valued in organisational, change and communities thinking in Health and Social Care. You can see a suite of videos featuring Meg talking about her 10 principles here and a video of Myron talking about systems leadership (including Myron’s Maxims) here . If you’d like to explore social leadership further you can check out Julian’s blog .
Keep in touch – if you’re not on our mailing list then sign up here and have our news and opportunities to get involved sent straight to your inbox.
Speak soon when we look at our third communities theme – Stories of Dissent!