Now step forward …

My colleagues Graham and Chris have posted blog posts on the UCISA Directors Forum event that took place last Week in Manchester. I’ve been a bit busy recently so my posting is just a tad delayed. I thought I’d just throw a few thoughts, ideas and some quotes from Adrian Gilpin‘s presentation, in addition to those already presented by Chris and Graham – it’s interesting how we all have different quotes. Make of them what you will. To those of us who were present, I think we all learnt something and will be that much more strengthened in our leadership than we were before.

Step forward rather than step back when challenged. Here the message is one that instead of being accepting and stepping back when confronted (or even rebutted) – take the step forward and challenge. This may be the opportunity that you’ve been waiting for. Resources will only follow those that step forward and challenge, not those who step back and accept.

Language is a barrier to communication. Here the message is one that we should all heed carefully. We all know about jargon and acronyms and how they can cause switch-off in the listener, but actually the message is more than that – we’re charged with being responsible for ensuring the listener receives the message in language they can understand.

The leader needs to change hugely will and belief, otherwise all you’ll get is compliance. The message here is one that will and belief relating to emotional intelligence are forces for change, if others believe they will follow. Compliance will not lead to transformational change.

“I have been stringing and re-stringing my instrument but the song I came to sing remains unsung” (Rabindranath Tagore). This quote is about restlessness and I find it quite emotive and troubling. So many possible interpretations.

Be the change you want to see. Heard this before, but it’s worth repeating – lesson for all who aspire to leadership.

The leader as a pathfinder – inviting others to leave their comfort zone. Speaks for itself – you don’t become a leader by just doing the daily drudge.

“I want … ” makes an audience lose the power to live. Never thought of it that way, but it’s so true – links back to the compliance thread. Yet so many “inspirational speakers” are actually ranting and are full of their own self-importance. That’s not the message here.

The leader captures the head – story-telling, the heart – energy (emotional intelligence) and the gut – drive. It’s a whole body experience, it’s been said that an academic believes their body is the vehicle to carry their brain around – ’nuff said. Story-telling is soemthing we all should engage in, as that leads to vision, purpose and direction. Our energy comes from feelings (belief) rather than anything else. However it’s drive that gets things done and that often only comes from instinct.

Then a few one-liners

We’re all leaders … the blockers are all around us.

This is my truth, what is yours?

I’m not interested in your truth, I’m interested in the consequences of your truth

The leader doesn’t change the “truth” but changes the way they “feel” about their truth.

Work through these and you get to the “Star Wars moment” – do you believe in the force, or the force of belief.

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