What do you know?
I know that after over 30 years of working in a mix local government, third and private sector contexts in senior roles that compassionate leadership is the key determinant of success. Given this, it always surprises me that it is so very rare.
I have worked primarily in social housing leading large-scale public facing services and have always been interested in how large organisations can work alongside the communities they serve. In some ways I would advocate the de-professionalisation of ‘engagement’ and advocate more ‘analogue’ methods based on compassion and conversation.
I am an experienced Non-Executive hold board positions in a variety of sectors included Housing, Art and Culture and Education. I am the Chair of Arcon Housing Association and Vice-Chair of Culture Warrington.
Why do you do what you do?
This is always the hardest question to answer and, in some ways, I’m still searching for my ‘why’. I have direct lived experience of trying to ‘survive’ in a toxic leadership environment and I am determined to play a part in ending the unappealing, largely discredited and unfortunately hugely prevalent command and control system. It damages people, reduces the ability of business to thrive and delivers poor outcomes for customers.
At Do-Well, perhaps for the first time in my career, I am surrounded by people who also believe that compassion and love are not in some way ‘un-professional’ and that caring for our people is the reason leaders should exist.
How can you be useful?
I’m a good listener! I listen to understand and I believe this is the key to impactful communication and as such I am able to establish rapport quickly and allow people the time a space to develop their own ideas and thinking, with gentle guidance and support from me. I believe this makes me a highly effective interim solution for businesses looking to fill specific gaps in their organisation on a time limited basis.
I have experience at managing many large-scale projects and can co-produce and deliver large scale consultation and engagement events for communities.
I have mentored and coached a variety of senior people and love the feeling I get through seeing them succeed on their own terms.
I have helped a number of charities develop business plans and successful funding applications for commercial subsidiaries and am able to distil unformed ideas and aspirations into action.
What album has most inspired you?
Another impossible to answer question. Unlike many others at Do-Well, I am unable to listen passively to music and work or read at the same time. Music is something I am compelled to give my whole attention to if it is playing. As an amateur guitarist I suppose I often am listening to understand how a song is constructed and why it moves me.
My favourite song is really a kaleidoscope of ever-changing tracks that are often helpfully curated for me by my long-term friend and music aficionado John Hannen.
At the moment my most played album is ‘The Best of Dinah Washington’ and on that album her duet with velvet voiced Brook Benton - ‘Baby You Got What it Takes’ is simply sublime. They even leave in Brook being chided by the delightful Ms Washington for accidentally singing over her part. The chemistry is electric and sense of fun and hope boundless. ‘Stay out of my spot honey!’