Leadership Lessons in the Mountains


5 nights in the Canadian mountains has been a life-affirming experience, personally & professionally, this Easter.

There is something magical about 1200 global educators, school leaders & international thought leaders being surrounded by majestic Mother Nature.

There was an article recently about the healing properties of spending time near trees. For me being in the mountains, being close to nature, nourishes the soul. The last few days have nurtured my heart & my mind. 

Clearing our heads of the white noise of "crazy busy" (Simon Breakspear) enabled us to connect back to our Why.

The universal truths of the education system have been explored through deep learning - the learning that has taken place has been profound.

The connectivity of listening to & bonding with educators from Canada, Scotland, Australia, Iceland & Finland has removed geographical barriers, enabling us to focus on the human spirit. The souls in the roles.

The focus on principled leadership, ethics, integrity & values has resonated with me - both for the journey I have been on as a leader in the last few years & the vision I have for my next chapter.

The relationships I have built have been poignant & the collaborations we are initiating & discussing are going to be game changers. 

The discussions we have started about social equity, gender equality, diversity & inclusion have been elevated to a macro level.

I didn't know what to expect when I agreed to come to Banff, but I said yes & seized the opportunity. The experience has exceeded expectations in every possible way. 

Thank you Jeff for the invitation & welcome.

Thank you Carol, Gillian & Shelley for being a brilliant team to co-plan the @womenedcanada launch with.

Thank you for the inspirational contributions to the #womened preconferencefrom Laurie, Ken, Charlie, Jennifer, Jane, Heather & Kathy.

Thank you to Simon for calling out the lack of diversity on stage.

Thank you to Pasi for joining us for our panel on women in leadership & leaning in as a #heforshe.

Thank you to Jane & Heather for extending friendship & a developing collaboration in Australia.

Thank you to everyone who came to my session on diversity & inclusion to contribute to the discussions. 

Banff & #ulead17 will be forever  in my heart. 

I will see you all at #ulead18

Looking forward to hearing how you are #10%braver in the next year. We all made a #pledgeforparity & committed to #beboldforchange

Let those butterfly wings beat. We are hopeful of how far the effect will be heard.

Author Profile

Hannah Wilson

Hannah Wilson

Executive Headteacher | DfE Coach | #WomenEd Co-Founder | SLE | NPQML/SL facilitator | NPQH | Governor | Leadership Matters Ambassador

238 stories


Lisa Hannay Lisa Hannay @lisahan 6 months ago
I read this earlier this morning and had to go away and think. What do you suppose is the responsibility of a diverse leader once he/she finds themselves in such a place? Ought they be champions for that quality of diversity they happen to be? With great power comes great responsibility and all that. I am thinking particularly of myself and being gay. I often say I am private not secret about it but is that being brave? Thanks for such provoking such reflection!
Hannah Wilson Hannah Wilson @misswilsey 6 months ago
Lisa I agree with awareness comes power & with power comes responsibility. We spoke on Sunday about finding our voice, using our voice & amplifying the voice of others. As our confidence & as our networks grow, our sphere of influence grows. Remember the quote from Maya Angelou that Shelley shared about never knowing who is watching & growing from our acts of courage. We need to be role models for ourselves, our colleagues & our students.
Victoria O'Farrell Victoria O'Farrell @vjofarrell 6 months ago
It looks amazing Hannah, a great trip and wonderful that #WomenEd is going full on international!
Kiran S Kiran S @kiran 6 months ago
Loved reading this. You are a rock star/ wonderwoman/inspiration @misswilsey

Womened is changing the world xx
Debbie Inglis Debbie Inglis @debinglis 6 months ago
Sounds and looks like you had a fabulous and highly productive time Hannah! Slightly envious of your surroundings - have always wanted to go to that part of the world :-) Wishing you many more successes as you move forward with this.
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