Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Bangladesh, the women and leadership

Work on developing a leadership course is picking up a pace. I met with the University and as soon as the days deliver enough hours to write it, it looks like there will be a choice for those who choose to study. Half a Masters or an undergraduate qualification. So that's massively exciting.

I am busy working on the work coming in, working on moving and working on the future and I find myself buzzing about electrified with the thought that maybe questions like "what do future leaders in social care need to look like", "how do we develop them" and "how do we make the conversation global" are going to get an airing?

I was lost in thought about who we might invite to contribute, what modules there might be and had only half an eye to packing up the house (as we are moving).

In a bedside table I found a card. Tucked under the wing of the envelope was a bit of paper. It's been  lost to me for months. I wrote about it weeks ago in the blog about the women in Bangladesh. As the paper fluttered to the floor if felt like they were calling to me. A sharp reminder to exit my reverie and remember that this stuff is real, not organisational, and it holds people's lives, livelihood and well-being in it.

The 30 or maybe 50 women we met somewhere way up in the North of Bangladesh called across time to me today. They form groups to generate work to generate income to feed their families. They say the "top qualities" of "great leaders are":

Positive attitude
Good humour
Time management

They should know. Their lives depend on it. Maybe we should just build the modules around that? 


  1. Kev commented privately and we agreed I would post for him. His comment is as follows:

    "Support is support. My job is to support support staff to do their job. As with all support by ability to do that well is a two way conversation. Support staff need my help to do what they are brilliant at and I need their help to help me to do what I do to support them. From our time working together [Kev is referring to working with me] I've learned that the balance between "caring" and "management & administration" is a fine one and sometimes out of kilter in favour of the "calling". When its all one focus ("care and support") and not the other ("management and administration") the conversation isn't as effective as it could be. Most people are called into managing support services as a live purpose. How do we prevent the "calling" from becoming so predominant it erases all round effectiveness. Conversely how do we stop management and administration requirements from over riding the purpose that brought them there in the first place".

  2. I think Kev's is a brilliant question and one that any "future leaders" course must tackle. As a point of reference the women in Bangladesh look after and administer the "funds" with absolute precision. Not one but all know how much money is in the fund and who has a loan. The performance of the funds they save collectively is posted on the wall, visibly for everyone to see, "Accountability" - that's what they said - that means for all of it, not just for the bits we like best. I think that means self discipline? Personally I find / found that hard to find sometimes. Incredible how quickly, once your livelihood really and obviously depends on it, you find it. Welcome to my new world. I always had it and if I didn't do it avoidance or distaste of it was a passive choice. We can't pick "half the job", we either do it or find something else to do right?

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