So, here I am on yet another leadership programme, I obviously need to build and hone my leadership skills as having been on several courses isn’t enough. My experience so far has been just pipped at the post, or someone else has slightly more experience, or not even being asked if I would like to do a particular position, it’s just given to someone else. Despite the fact that I have leadership experience from business, been second in science and lead different projects. In my business years I built some great skills. Several times I have won sales awards, a national award, team leader, team manager. However, in my school career, my experiences have not been positive, including being spoken to inappropriately on several occasions by middle leaders and senior leaders, being told by a middle leader that I would never make it to a senior leader position as I ask too many questions “You are not a yes person” they said.
Why it is acceptable to have such people in position of authority and power to run departments and schools and remain protected, yet those who put heart and soul into the role, have moral purpose, practise kindness and compassion where possible, is there no space for them to lead and inspire?
I’ve had support from Twitter, and colleagues who never cease to inspire and encourage me like @ottleyoconnor, @rondelle10_b. A senior leader had seen my Twitter profile and commented on the unique set of skills I have. Maybe the wind is changing for me…or maybe it has to do with the fact the leader is a BAMEed leader. Unconscious bias is hard to prove.
The Diverse Leaders programme funded by the DfE has really built my confidence. It was so surprising to hear nearly every BAME person in the room say “I don’t know how many more leadership courses I need to do” or “I don’t seem to have the opportunities” or “I lack the confidence, I’ve had knock backs…nobody seems to acknowledge all I’ve done or the skills I have…I don’t know why I just end up dealing with behaviour or get told I’m good at it so I get given it.”
Yet this room is full of people at the forefront of leading our young with discipline, dedication, passion and the resilience they have to come back and do “yet another course” however with a difference. I am inspired like I’ve never been inspired on any course with the openness, the vulnerabilities, the trust, the integrity and the absolute passion for everyone to help each other, sharing similar journeys. It’s an honour to network with these people and I am grateful that I am on this particular “yet another leadership course” #diverseleaders
What's your diverse leaders story?