A couple of months ago, I said to someone that I work in leadership. She rolled her eyes and said ‘Oh, well, I turn off when I hear that word.’ I’m sure she is not the only one. Yes, lots of people are popping up everywhere saying they working in leadership. For this woman, that makes it meaningless; it is a bandwagon or a space to enter when you don’t know what else to do. Initially, I was tempted to agree with her and question myself and what I am doing. But then this did not last. I agree t is a rather frequently used word (like engagement) with lots of people saying they can help you with it. But I also know the journey that brought me into this space. I’ve been on a fifteen year journey (if we are starting it with my first professional social change job) which has kept leading me here. Where is here? When people talk about creating change, they invariably talk about leadership. They also usually do so with narrow concepts of it. Particularly, in the last few years, I’ve become impassioned about (a) broadening how we understand leadership and (b) supporting people to become to stronger leaders.
So, what do I mean by leadership? ‘Leadership’ refers