Commanding... democratic... visionary... what type of leader are you?
I signed up to the Future Leaders programme shortly after being promoted to Assistant Director of Fundraising at Livability, my first role leading a fundraising team of 20.
Feeling honoured and excited to lead the team on a journey of growth and transformation – our ambition is to grow voluntary income by 50% in the next four years – I also had twangs of ‘cold sweat’ moments.
This was going to be a real challenge, and now all eyes are on me and my team to deliver. How was I going to lead them to success? What sort of leader would I be?
Being a part of the Institute of Fundraising's Future Leaders programme at this time was a great confidence booster; having the time to step out of the ‘day job’ and have thinking time enabled me to grow in my leadership skills; learning from high quality guest speakers has resonated with me and today I continue to use the tips and skills from last summer.
I particularly enjoyed the session on Leadership Styles and a Blue Peter style exercise of colouring a paper plate with how much I think I work in the zones of ‘coaching’, ‘commanding’, ‘visionary’, ‘affiliative’, ‘democratic’ and ‘pace-setting.’ I even had my paper plate on my dining room wall for a while to keep my leadership goals in front of me! Such a clear and simple technique which I now use today with colleagues and in my performance reviews.
I also found the opportunity to network with peers to be significant as part of the experience. To have peers for support, sharing ideas, and even linking up my Livability team mates to my fellow Future Leaders when developing a new Livability programme was priceless. I now look forward to our Alumni gatherings!
Being a part of the Future Leaders programme and growing my confidence in leadership has had a direct result in the increased buy-in to fundraising from senior staff. We are going through a journey of change in Livability fundraising as we drive the ambition of voluntary income growth to deliver on connecting disabled people we support with their communities. The program has given me practical tips on how to lead the team effectively forward and inspired me to continually learn.
I whole-heartedly recommend the Future Leaders programme and hope the current cohort is having as much fun as I did!
Lisa Hemsley, Assistant Director of Fundraising, Livability
Interested in the Future Leaders programme? Contact the Academy team