I’m a secondary school governor as well as a coach and trainer. One of my clients volunteers for another fabulous charity. Another leader is a Director in a social enterprise. A third mentors young people. Through experiences like these, senior leaders in our sector are enhancing their ability to shine in their roles.
What about you? Have you got another role in the community that allows you to learn and grow as a leader?
I think of my role as a governor as my ‘foreign travel’.
Like travelling to a new country with a different language and culture, community activity has a multitude of benefits. It builds skills and confidence, opens the mind, makes connections between communities and helps avoid the tunnel vision that comes from being totally absorbed in just one world. And you don’t even need a passport!
I like to think that my Leaders Who Brunch meet-up, which brought a brilliant group of sector leaders together recently was a little piece of this ‘foreign travel’ for those who attended. A day trip to Paris, perhaps.
A fresh perspective
One of my aims for the meet-up was to give sector leaders a chance to ward off the ‘group think’ that comes from lack of connection with others outside their immediate sphere. The variety of leaders that came together certainly ensured that. For a few hours they were part of a new, fresh community where challenges and difficulties looked a little different. I know they left uplifted and refreshed, committed to doing an even better job in their organisations.
I’d love to see you at the next Leaders Who Brunch (booked for 30 January). In the meantime, I invite you to consider how you can encourage more ‘foreign travel’ in yourself and in your senior team.
Here are some questions for you:
1) What am I doing outside my organisation that enhances my leadership role? How exactly does it help?
2) How can I bring these skills and knowledge more fully into my working life?
3) What else could I do?
4) What opportunities could I encourage in my team?
5) How creative can I be about what counts as ‘foreign travel’?
6) How flexible can I be about giving my team time out of the office?
Over to you
Do you agree that immersing yourself – however briefly – in a different environment, culture or community is beneficial to your role as a non-profit leader? How has that manifested for you? I’d love to hear how you incorporate ‘foreign travel’ into your life, so please do let me know in the comments below.
If you could do with more foreign travel in your leadership role, come along to my next Leaders Who Brunch event. Drop your details in the sign up form and I’ll make sure you’re the first to know when booking opens.