Seeing ourselves as leaders

November 19, 2010 at 1:02 pm 1 comment

Earlier this week, I attended the Clore Social Leadership Inquiry (you can find out more about the day on Twitter via #CloreSocial). The Clore Social Leadership programme provides support to leaders from the community and voluntary sector equipping them with insights, skills and experiences to become better leaders and build a stronger sector. I attended a session about the potential of  of distributive leadership – before you ask – we didn’t find the answers but we did have a rich discussion on why this works in some places and not in others.

The session made me think about how I see myself and whether I consider myself as a leader. The answer would be no. And that’s not because I don’t have those qualities. I hope I do. It’s more that I don’t see myself as a leader because I look to other people to see that potential in me and tell me that. I don’t think it’s a confidence thing – it’s just the way things have been growing up. But may be it’s time to change that – I need to start seeing the potential in me. And acting on it.

Yesterday, I was speaking to my colleagues about innovation in local authorities and we touched upon the topic of leadership and how important this has become. It made me think about leadership in public services. Relatively speaking, what kind of leaders do we expect from local government today? I’m not sure if the ‘mavericks’ fit into this picture – and I’m talking about the people who don’t work on ‘innovation’ projects in local government. And talking of distributive leadership, what kind of leadership can we expect from a ‘maverick’ database manager, or legal assistant, or environmental health officer? 

From my days in local government, I remember the environment to be nurturing but not challenging. I was thinking whether there is a Clore Social Leadership programme equivalent for local government – I haven’t come across anything. Surely, our leaders need support now more than ever – encouraging them to think outside the box. And imagine unleashing hidden creative talents of the ‘database manager’ or the ‘legal assistant’ in local government and the potential this holds to change the way we deliver public services. This probably sounds sad – but that’s something that actually excites me.


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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Servane Mouazan  |  November 20, 2010 at 7:54 am

    A programme where you can find Local authority staff, at senior or more junior levels, is Common Purpose, that has been running for many years, in the UK and internationally. Alternatively our Women’s Social Leadership programme has been running since 2006 in the UK, alongside the awards, and we have had the pleasure to celebrate, among others, the work and the leadership, of some L.A. Staff. One particularly brilliant was Rachel Martin from ADVA, in Devon… More on our website:,
    Wishing you all the best with your quest and hoping to meet you at some of our social leadership events!
    Servane Mouazan
    Founder Ogunte and Women’s Social Leadership Awards.


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