Our new social challenges need New Social Leaders

13 August 2020 · Categories: Innovators Learn

At Community Catalysts we love good leadership and hold a special place in our hearts for authentic leaders who can inspire others with vision and make change happen.  With major challenges and change now upon us all, we reckon we need values-based leaders to step forward now more than ever.  Easier said than done though eh?

We routinely hear from people with titles like “manager” “senior” or “team leader” that the cards are often stacked against them with learning considered a luxury and an expectation upon them to do even more with even less resource.  Many of them say they feel disconnected, alone and even “imposters” in their roles leaving some of them questioning why they even got into leadership in the first place. All of this pressure can really grind a social leader’s spirit and motivation down, forcing their hand to work in a way that is transactional and managerial rather than transformational and visionary.  Hearing this makes us very sad…and a bit angry to be honest.

Recently we started to consider if we could do something about this problem.  We posed ourselves a question…well a few questions actually:  What if we could find a way to help values driven social leaders, particularly those people in middle managerial and team leader type roles to learn and connect in a way that was both structured and informal, accessible yet not dumbed down, diverse in sector but with core themes and relevant common challenges?  What if we designed something that recognised the obvious time, travel and budget constraints people face? AND, most importantly, what if we could do it in a way that built on the enormous assets, knowledge and gifts that those people already have in abundance? With these challenges in mind, we set about coproducing a very new approach to leadership development over the last few months.  The result, New Social Leaders a fresh new peer learning experience and growing community of people who want to lead change as well as managing really well.

New Social Leaders brings values driven social leaders together to learn through exploration of common leadership challenges and relevant concepts.  It takes a different approach to learning, reflecting the contemporary challenges of today’s social leaders.  It is delivered through a mix of 4 two-hour online workshops and personal study based on relevant literature and new audio we recorded with experienced social leaders exclusively for the course.

Feedback from our pilot participants has been glowing and with loads of good ideas around how it could be strengthened and improved that we have taken on board.  They told us they learnt loads, felt more confident, more equipped to meet their personal leadership challenges and more motivated to go away and make a change where they are.  What people were most pleased about was the bonds that formed between them.  These were people who were from different parts of the country and social sector who had never met in the “real world” and probably never would have.  They found a common passion for change and realised they weren’t alone in their doubts and challenges.  Their connections are continuing as the group are now gathering for intermittent sessions on Zoom to explore interesting and relevant topics.

It was comforting to learn that peers had experienced similar emotions and scenarios, and that you aren’t the only one to perhaps find something challenging

Participant

We think we’ve got something really special here and actually we reckon this could build into an exciting new movement for change led by people connected through this shared experience.  We are now seeking our next cohorts of 10 people to come forward and get involved.  If this resonates with you or perhaps someone you know then why not check it out further and get in touch.  We’d love to hear about your challenge!

by Nick Sinclair

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