Stories + Views
Working independently to support leaders in schools develop leadership capacity and improve life chances for young people.
Biography, Values and Passion!
I began my professional career as a teacher way back in 1980, full of youthful anticipation and a desire to change the fortunes of young people. Surprisingly, some 30 years on from then, those still remain the focus of my work, although the youthful part has given way to maturity, in age though not in spirit.
It’s only at this stage in my life, and career that I can reflect and realise firstly how wonderfully innocent my approach was back then, and secondly, how much I’ve learned in the intervening years! I’m still driven by honesty and integrity, the need for social justice, the belief that people can be so much more than they believe for themselves. I think that’s a great way to live life really.
My career took twists and turns through roles involving Special Educational Needs, Emotional Behavioural Difficulties, middle-leadership in schools through to senior roles in 3 Local Authorities managing services for vulnerable young people; I believed that I could make a greater difference for young people by shaping those services.
In my work over the past 10 years or so, a key goal has been my own professional development and learning, which hasn’t always followed traditional routes. I’ve trained and gained expertise in a range of areas such as NLP and therapeutic work as well as the more traditional in service training and NPQH. I’ve also largely funded my own professional development because of my own determination to learn and develop in ways which work for me.
Throughout this time I’ve been struck by how fearful the professionals have become of approaching their own learning; as if the emotional risk attached to learning is too great. What opportunities we are missing. How will our young people ever develop into aspirational leaders?
This was the catalyst for me to set up 18 Consultancy. I now have the privilege of working with some of the most committed and enthusiastic professionals who share the desire to develop themselves and other people. My passion is working with people to explore the leader within them, which has often gone unrecognised, even by themselves. I collaborated with some exceptional and inspirational leaders who have the same aspirations for their own staff, and with some leaders who recognise that they have more to learn for their own leadership; that self-awareness in itself will take them so far in their learning.
I am constantly amazed by the capacity for leadership in our schools and in business, despite the gloom of the current educational and economic climate. I am privileged to work alongside people for whom leadership is only yet a glimmer of future potential. Encouraging that learning in others enthuses me and re-inspires me to keep learning. Whether I’m training individuals or groups, or speaking at conferences I have the chance to meet and learn from some exceptional people. When I’m coaching I am continually amazed by the potential for growth in the people I work with.
What a privilege, responsibility, and opportunity.