What is Conversational Leadership? #supperconversationatffresh Monday 19th September

Supper Conversation – Monday 19th September 2016 18:30 arrival for 19:00, ffresh bar and restaurant, Wales Millennium Centre

Please email back urgently to confirm that you would like to book your place

I hope you have had a lovely summer and enjoyed a break and time with your families?

After a 6 month gap to allow me to recover from very serious illnesses (sponsorship request coming soon about this!!), I am delighted to say that  #supperconversations@ffresh resume again on Monday 19th September.

For those who have not taken part in one of these before, they are relaxed and purposeful conversations over supper where you’ll sit down and chat with people from different walks of life who you wouldn’t otherwise get the chance to chat with. There is a clear topic, lead contributor and careful (but light touch) facilitation. I began them in 2014 as an exemplar of conversational leadership in action and you can read further about them on http://www.learningpathways.info/supper-conversations/

Monday 19th September:”Conversational Leadership – what is it?” The last months have confirmed for me my own belief in the essential value of conversational leadership. I plan to begin some organised research that will also be linked into creating a “conversational leadership” network (simply about bringing diverse people together to have conversations and learning about leadership). I will continue to actively link up those on our Leading Wales Awards network as well as reaching out collaboratively to others.

Monday 17th October: “Stress and well-being – sharing practical tips and insight to manage our own stress and health”

Monday 21st November: “Appreciating our NHS – what else can we do to help?”

The menu choice from ffresh is superb and includes wine / soft drinks on arrival as well as through the supper itself and there is a choice of starters, mains and desserts, concluding with tea, coffee & mints and has now been extended to include individual meat, fish and vegetarian courses. Please let me know your choices and any specific dietary requirements.

 To Start

Beetroot panna cotta with walnuts or

Chicken liver parfait with quince jelly or

Salt cod fritter with fennel and dill mayonnaise

……………………………………………………………………………

Main Course

Welsh lamb rump with butter beans and savoy cabbage or

Fillet of cod with leeks and cockles or

Potato gnocchi with roasted vegetables

…………………………………………………………………………..

Dessert

Chocolate mousse cake with orange compote or

Iced walnut and Brecon Honey parfait with poached pear or

Plum and almond tart

………………………………………………………………………….

Coffee and after dinner mints

 Practicalities:

  • The number of bookings is limited in order that we can facilitate really well a good conversation – this means that it is essential that if you are interested that you book and confirm your place by emailing me as soon as possible
  • The cost is £35.00, which includes wine / soft drinks on arrival and during the meal, a superb 3 course meal with menu choices and great attention to any individual dietary needs, coffee and mints to conclude.
  • On booking, I shall supply an invoice and it is essential that payment is made in advance please to confirm your booking
  • Timing: arrival is for 18:30 and we sit down at 19:00 and will conclude at approximately 20:45/21:00
  • Dress code: smart casual
  • Menu choices are given above and when you book, please let me know of your menu choices and any dietary or access requirements.
  • Outline details of #supperconversations@ffresh: http://www.learningpathways.info/supperconversations.html includes details of future dates
  • Terms and Conditions: http://www.learningpathways.info/supperconversationsatffresh%20terms%20and%20conditions.pdf

I look forward to hearing from you and resuming our conversations.

Best wishes

Barbara

 

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Celebrating outstanding and inspirational Young Leaders in Wales!

Leadership:  surely developing these essential skills must start young and in schools?

No, no – I am definitely not advocating more work for teachers and more additions to the curriculum (let alone assessment)! Schools have always helped develop leadership skills in their young people – it’s just that they may not have always called it that. This is simply a call to articulate more what leadership is and for us to recognise more leadership skills in our young people.

From nursery school to sixth form, there are so many chances to take the lead – on the sports field, in the arts, within classroom work, in enterprise activities, assemblies, charity fund raising projects, being a school prefect etc. All of these opportunities help our children and young people test and try out their own developing leadership skills, as well as to learn from the mistakes that they make along the way. But we don’t tend to talk about it much in this context.

What’s more the “adults” are often more than a bit hesitant about even acknowledging that leadership skills actually exist in the young!

Last year, Joy Ballard was our category winner of “Leadership in the Public Sector”. Many of you of course will know her and recognise her from watching Educating Cardiff, which was shown on Channel 4 in the autumn of last year.

Joy took up her role as Headteacher at Willows High in September 2011.   At that point and following the closure of another school Willows High was the lowest performing school in Wales.  As Headteacher, Joy was responsible for the wellbeing and achievement of every pupil and for ensuring that her team of staff offered a high quality learning experience for all pupils.   Under her leadership Willows became the county’s highest performing school compared to any other in challenging circumstances.

Last year, I asked Joy how her life experience had made her the leader she is today:  “My life experience taught me that without a decent education and good qualifications, very few people are able to achieve their full potential.    I gained my very first qualification when I was 26 and prior to that my life was very difficult.   I lived in poverty as a child and became a young parent to three children and my only means of supporting them was through various part time cleaning jobs.    I wanted a better life for my children so engaged in an adult education course and my life really started from there.   I learned that every child deserves a chance and needs a champion in their corner.” Hearing this it is easy to understand how someone like Joy was attracted to apply to be headteacher at Willows High.

Read more about what Joy explained in her Leadership Journey here.

Teach First is a now well-established charity which is on a mission to close the attainment gap in UK schools and to end educational inequality. Statistically, the stark reality is that 33% of pupils on free school meals achieved 5 A*- C at GCSE compared to 60.5% of all other pupils in the UK.

Each year Teach First trains and supports new teachers to work in primary and secondary schools serving low income communities across the UK.  They know it takes time and persistence to change the story of a child’s lifetime. However, they firmly believe that this can start with the dedication and leadership of a great teacher who inspires a child to work towards the future they want. Clearly Joy Ballard has much in common with Teach First!

Dr Jennifer Owen Adams is the Director of Teach First Cymru. I asked her to explain exactly why Teach First puts “leadership” at the heart of what it does.

“Leadership is at the heart of good teaching. When you teach, you lead; you lead the learning of your pupils, you lead on your own learning and development and you lead by putting in place actions, strategies and behaviours which deliver transformative change for pupils.  Leadership for us is about taking responsibility for your pupils’ learning and executing that responsibility within a values-based dimension: integrity, excellence, humility and partnership. Leadership is also about you taking responsibility for your own learning and having the self possession and self improving mind set to become an excellent practitioner and maintain that excellence. Finally, leadership for us is about leading change; being a progressive thinker and practitioner striving for improvements every day in your classroom, department, school and society.”

Last year, the Leading Wales Awards category winner for the Young Leader (14 -25 years) was Sam Lewis. Sam is the Operations Manager at Randomz and is responsible for all aspects of operations, systems and procedures cutting across all Randomz Enterprises. This includes ensuring provision of employability programmes, supervision of volunteers in specific areas of operation, waste management, budget monitoring and business development in association with the Facility Manager. You can read Sam’s Leadership Journey here.

Now we need you to help us find this year’s inspirational Young Leaders by telling us about the impact of their leadership. Nomination document can be downloaded from www.leadingwalesawards.co.uk/nominate and need to be submitted by Friday March 11th 2016.

Help us identify and celebrate outstanding and inspirational Young Leaders in Wales!

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Leading the way

My thanks to Richard Houdmont (@Rhoudmont) who has written today’s guest blog “Leading the way”:

What exactly is leadership? Everyone can see the effect of a lack of leadership. Integrity is the word that Siân Rees chooses to summarise leadership in one word. Which would you choose? ‘Good’ or ‘bad’? You have to acknowledge that leaders sometimes do ‘bad’ things in order to achieve a ‘good’ objective. Of course it’s a matter of opinion what’s good and bad. There’s no doubt that Nelson Mandela was an exceptional leader, but at one time people would describe him as a freedom fighter, others as a terrorist. Similarly, was David Lloyd George a good leader?

Thankfully Welsh business leaders do not have to take the sort of decisions which faced Nelson Mandela and David Lloyd George, but even so the quality of life for much of the population depends on the skill of our Welsh business leaders. That’s why it’s important to invest in leadership development. Indeed a 2012 McKinsey report suggested that over 90% of CEOs intended increasing their investment in leadership development, because they saw good leadership as fundamental to organisational health.

But what does that in fact mean? A role model; good communicator; a flexible person; decisive; firm? Does the uncertainty regarding what makes a good leader explain why only 43% of CEOs are confident that their investment in leadership development will bear fruit?

Additional research from McKinsey suggests that four traits stand out. On the whole, leaders in organisations with high quality leadership teams are associated with four sorts of behaviour. More than that, these four behaviours accounted for 89% of the difference between strong and weak organisations in terms of leadership.

Leaders must:

  • Be supportive
  • Operate with strong results orientation
  • Seek different perspectives
  • Solve problems effectively

The Leading Wales Awards enter their 12th year and once again the Consortium urges you to tell them about that special person whose leadership is making a substantial difference, by nominating them for an Award.

The judges seek nominees whose leadership is making a real difference in Wales, impacting positively on moving forward their community, business or organisation. The Leading Wales Awards believe that leadership is at all levels in an organisation and they are seeking nominations of people you know whose leadership has real impact, irrespective of their hierarchical role and responsibilities within their business, organisation or community project.

This is an opportunity to nominate (by 11 March 2016) and celebrate Welsh leaders. Go for it!”

www.leadingwalesawards.co.uk

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Confident Leaders transforming Wales #supperconversationatffresh Monday 15th February

Supper Conversation – Monday 15th February 2016 18:30 arrival for 19:00, ffresh bar and restaurant, Wales Millennium Centre

Please email back urgently to confirm that you would like to book your place

The 2016 Leading Wales Awards are “live” for nominations – once again we are looking for those special people you know (in all sectors and at all hierarchical levels) whose leadership is making a real difference in Wales. You may like to read my blog entry that I wrote at the conclusion of the 2015 Awards: https://reflectionsonleading.wordpress.com/2015/06/09/confident-welsh-leaders-truly-transforming-wales/

This year we are delighted that our charity partner is Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Wales and so I am delighted that Stephanie Price (Director, Duke of Edinburgh Wales) as our lead contributor. This year is the Diamond Celebration for DofE, complete with their Diamond Challenge, which presents an opportunity for us all to do something challenging (adventure, new skill or volunteering) and raise £60 for DofE to use for even more leadership skills training for young people in Wales.

Steph and myself will be leading a conversation about the impact of:

  • confident leadership
  • what confident leadership looks like and
  • considering how we really can create positive & impactful leadership in Wales.

We will also be encouraging you to spread the word and participate in both the 2016 Leading Wales Awards and the D of E’s Diamond Challenge!

The menu choice from ffresh is superb and includes wine / soft drinks on arrival as well as through the supper itself and there is a choice of starters, mains and desserts, concluding with tea, coffee & mints and has now been extended to include individual meat, fish and vegetarian courses. Please let me know your choices and any specific dietary requirements.

Starter:

Parsnip mousse with Gorwydd cheese and wild mushrooms or

Severn and wye salmon terrine

…………………………………………………………………………………….

Main:

Breast of guinea fowl with Pembrokeshire potatoes, peas and bacon or

Braised fillet of cod with a warm Welsh feta and chickpea salad or

Sweet potato and Pantysgawn goats cheese tart

……………………………………………………………………………………….

Dessert:

Orange polenta cake, Welshcake ice-cream or

Rhubarb fool, Brecon honey crumble

………………………………………………………………………………………….

Coffee and after dinner mints

Practicalities:

  • The number of bookings is limited in order that we can facilitate really well a good conversation – this means that it is essential that if you are interested that you book and confirm your place by emailing me as soon as possible
  • The cost is £35.00, which includes wine / soft drinks on arrival and during the meal, a superb 3 course meal with menu choices and great attention to any individual dietary needs, coffee and mints to conclude.
  • On booking, I shall supply an invoice and it is essential that payment is made in advance please to confirm your booking
  • Timing: arrival is for 18:30 and we sit down at 19:00 and will conclude at approximately 21.00/ 21.15
  • Dress code: smart casual
  • Menu choices are given above and when you book, please let me know of your menu choices and any dietary or access requirements.
  • Outline details of #supperconversations@ffresh: http://www.learningpathways.info/supperconversations.html includes details of future dates
  • Terms and Conditions: http://www.learningpathways.info/supperconversationsatffresh%20terms%20and%20conditions.pdf

I look forward to hearing from you.

Best wishes

Barbara

 

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Reflections on Leadership – Siân Rees, Associate Dean, Cardiff Metropolitan University

The Consortium is delighted that Cardiff Met is once again our headline sponsor for the Leading Wales Awards.

Siân Rees, Associate Dean/Director of Enterprise, at Cardiff School of Management, Cardiff Metropolitan University, is leading on our partnership and so I was determined to ask her about her reflections on leadership:

How has your life experience made you the leader you are today?

“Being brought up in Africa has given me a broad perspective on life and leadership. It has meant that I have always recognised the importance of diversity in creating a strong and effective team. My own career path has also been diverse, having previously taken on roles in the public and private sectors, in education and in industry and hence developing a wide variety of transferable skills and experiences. This means that I bring a wealth of experience from different roles and sectors to apply to all aspects of management and leadership in my current role.”

What have been the main highlights since taking up your leadership role with Cardiff Met?

“The main highlights for me have been about really engaging with industry and the third sector and building the working relationships between us as a university and those with whom we can work to help generate learning and create business impact.  I love having the clear focus on a role that is very much about influencing beyond authority and building bridges between us and industry.”

What have been the most helpful things you have learnt from these highlights in your role?

“Without doubt I have learnt that leadership is primarily about listening. It is essential to be open to learning from others, since none of us can possibly know everything; in order to learn from others then listening is a key skill to develop and utilise. Listening to individual team members, their view points, insight and perspective is also a critical element of building good relationships, engaging them in the team activities and hence developing the best and most effective kind of team.”

What do you think is the biggest issue facing Leaders in Wales in 2016?

“Thinking primarily of owner / managers of small businesses, I am convinced that the major issue is insufficient exposure to leadership development activities and opportunities. Often the owner / managers are the “technical expert” who developed their service, or product and business. But once they have employees the need for and the demands of leadership and management skills and activities are frequently underestimated. Assisting the skill development in these areas is something vitally important that HE can help owner / managers achieve in order that they can develop their businesses most effectively.”

Which other Leaders in Wales do you admire and why?

“Barbara Wilding (who is now Chancellor of Cardiff Metropolitan University) – who was not only a highly successful Chief Constable of South Wales Police, chaired UK-wide police force task groups but also had the vision and courage to lead Cardiff Met to remain independent.”

What is one word that sums up leadership for you?

“Integrity – being true to your own and your organisation’s values is essential in order to build warm and trusted connections and working relationships, the essence of delivering on the agreed vision and targets by any team or organisation.”

You can meet Siân and hear more from her at the Leadership Cafe CPD event on Wednesday 24th February (18:00 arrival for an 18:30 start) at Cardiff Met: “Better Leadership; Better Business Results”. Details and tickets are available from https://www.eventbrite.com/e/better-leadership-better-business-results-tickets-20054171567

Nominations are open until 11th March 2016 and you can access nomination documents from http://leadingwalesawards.co.uk/nominate/

Posted in Awards, Conversational Leadership, Leadership, Leading Wales Awards, Management, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Once again the search is on for inspirational Leaders in Wales

For the 12th year running the nominations have opened in the Leading Wales Awards, Wales’ only designated leadership awards. (http://leadingwalesawards.co.uk/nominate/)

Long-established, prestigious, pan Wales and with an excellent reputation, each year the Awards attract nominations on behalf of individuals (in all sectors and at all levels of responsibility) whose leadership is making a real difference in Wales.

We are delighted to announce that the 2016 Awards are once again in association with Cardiff Metropolitan University. The Associate Dean and Director of Enterprise, at Cardiff School of Management, Cardiff Metropolitan University, Siân Rees said “Wales faces unprecedented leadership and management challenges over the next few years and now, more than ever, there is a real need for strong and inspirational business leaders to drive our economic recovery and growth. We are committed to helping Wales’ leaders engage with the serious challenges that impact upon them, so we are delighted to be partners with the Leading Wales awards which celebrate the very best of leadership in Wales.”

2015 winners of the Leading Wales Awards included Joy Ballard, the then head teacher of Willows High School Cardiff and who has since become known to many via #educatingcardiff, pictured here with her Award which was presented by Christine Jones of Academi Wales.

For the 2016 Awards, the Leading Wales Awards Consortium has also announced their charity partnership with Duke of Edinburgh’s Award in Wales. In Wales, on average over 11,500 young people sign up to complete a DofE Award each year and over 200 young people have completed its Young Leader Programme in the last two years. 2016 is the Diamond Jubilee of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award and they have a “diamond challenge” to encourage lots of us from all sectors, walks of life and ages to learn a new skill, try out a new adventure or embark on new volunteering while at the same time raising £60 for Dof E Wales. Funds raised will be invested in developing even more leadership skills in young people in Wales.

“This charity partnership has real synergy for us” said Barbara Chidgey, Executive Chair, Leading Wales Awards “since we are not only identifying, recognising and celebrating our current “diamond” leaders in Wales but are also encouraging the development of our future leaders, via encouraging all those who support us to engage in their own Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme “diamond challenge” and help to develop future leaders in Wales.”

To download a nomination document to tell us about that special, “diamond” person you know whose leadership is making a real difference in Wales – please go to www.leadingwalesawards.co.uk. From our website you can also find out about taking part in the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award “Diamond Challenge”, a great opportunity to challenge yourself and contribute to developing ever better leadership skills in young people in Wales. Two great opportunities to do something inspirational!

We welcome and thank sponsors to our 2016 Award Categories are:

  • Leadership in the Public Sector – supported by Academi Wales
  • Leadership in the Private Sector – sponsored by Hello Starling
  • Leadership in Social Enterprise – sponsored by Social Firms Wales partnership
  • Leadership in the Voluntary and Not for Profit Sector – sponsorship to be confirmed
  • Young Leader (14 – 25 years) – sponsored by NatWest Cymru
  • Next Generation Leader – sponsored by GE Aviation Wales
  • Women in Leadership – sponsored by ILM
  • Leadership for the Future – sponsored by CIPD

About the Leading Wales Awards

  • The Leading Wales Awards is driven forward by a consortium of organisations that passionately believe that good leadership is the key driver to economic success in Wales. The members are: ACCA Wales Cymru, CBI Wales, FSB Wales, Harding Evans Solicitors, Hilton Cardiff, Learning Pathways Cymru and Wales Council for Voluntary Action (WCVA).
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#supperconversation@ffresh January 18th – what can we do to combat extremism?

Supper Conversation – Monday 18th January 2016 18:30 arrival for 19:00, ffresh bar and restaurant, Wales Millennium Centre

Please email back as soon as possible to confirm that you would like to book your place

This #supperconversation@ffresh has a focus on extremism and radicalisation – understanding better how that happens and also considering the question “What can I/ we do to combat extremism?”

I am delighted to advise you that Abdul-Azim Ahmed is our lead contributor. Abdul-Azim is a PhD candidate researching British Mosques at Cardiff University’s Centre for the Study of Islam in the UK. He is also Editor of On Religion, a current affairs magazine with a focus on religion and theology. He is assistant secretary general of the Muslim Council of Wales.

Our supper conversation will cover:

  • Start by considering the question ““When in your life did you first come across Muslims (or if you are Muslim, when did you first come across another religion) and what information were you given about Islam and about Muslims (or the other religion) at that time? From where have you gained your knowledge of Muslim religion since then? e.g. from particular newspapers, TV or other media, from family, colleagues and neighbours?”
  • Continue with an introduction by Abdul-Azim providing us with a clear context about what being a Muslim is and means. Then, by drawing on local stories, underpinned with references to academic research, he will outline what “radicalisation” means.
  • We’ll consider the questions “What did you learn from Abdul-Azim’s introduction? What thoughts or questions did it clarify for you? Did it highlight for you any previously unconsidered prejudices that it has now occurred to you that you may have?” and discuss points raised together
  • We will conclude by defining possible actions in response to the question “What can I / we do to engage more and build awareness for myself and others and make friendships with those of other faiths and cultures, including those of Muslim faith, and by so doing help to build a more local cohesive community where I/we live?”

The menu choice from ffresh is superb and includes wine / soft drinks on arrival as well as through the supper itself and there is a choice of starters, mains and desserts, concluding with tea, coffee & mints and has now been extended to include individual meat, fish and vegetarian courses. Please let me know your choices and any specific dietary requirements.

Starters:

Chicken and prune terrine or

Poached pear and Perl Las salad or

Brecon Gin cured salmon with chard pancake

……………………………………………………………………………

 Main course:

Welsh lamb rump with braised faggot or

Fillet of bream with shrimp and dill sauce or

Leek and Perl Las pudding

……………………………………………………………………………..

 Dessert:

Chocolate truffle torte with Merlyn cream or

Hazelnut tart with honeycomb ice cream or

Passion fruit parfait

…………………………………………………………………………….

 Coffee and after dinner mints

 Practicalities:

  • The number of bookings is limited in order that we can facilitate really well a good conversation – this means that it is essential that if you are interested that you book and confirm your place by emailing me as soon as possible
  • The cost is £35.00, which includes wine / soft drinks on arrival and during the meal, a superb 3 course meal with menu choices and great attention to any individual dietary needs, coffee and mints to conclude.
  • On booking, I shall supply an invoice and it is essential that payment is made in advance please to confirm your booking
  • Timing: arrival is for 18:30 and we sit down at 19:00 and will conclude at approximately 21.00/ 21.15
  • Dress code: smart casual
  • Menu choices are given above and when you book, please let me know of your menu choices and any dietary or access requirements.
  • Outline details of #supperconversations@ffresh: http://www.learningpathways.info/supperconversations.html includes details of future dates
  • Terms and Conditions: http://www.learningpathways.info/supperconversationsatffresh%20terms%20and%20conditions.pdf

Hoping you will want to join the conversation! I look forward to hearing from you.

 

Posted in Conversational Leadership, Leadership | Tagged | Leave a comment