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Stephanie Papapavlpou (left) from Leap Confronting Conflict - Clore6

Clore6: The beginning of leadership

Posted on October 19, 2016

Stephanie Papapavlou is a 2016 Clore6 Associate and Sales Delivery Manager at Leap Confronting Conflict. This blog was originally published on Leap CC's website

If I were to summarise what I learnt about leadership on the first Clore6 residential in one sentence it would be this:

It's all about people.

I don't mean that leadership is all about the leader. It's easy when you think of a leader to be drawn to who that leader is, their attributes and personality. In contrast, at every point during our 3 days together, the concept of leadership returned not to who we are, but to the strength of the relationships we create.

It seems fitting then that one of the aims of this particular pilot programme is to bring together 22 emerging leaders in the youth sector to discuss the challenges and points of collaboration for the sector. Not just for our individual organisations, but with a vision to provide a benefit to the sector as a whole.

If I've learnt anything from our Leap training on conflict, it's that to improve relationships with others you need to start by increasing your understanding of yourself. Shaks Ghosh, Chief Executive of Clore Social Leadership, posed the brilliant question on our first morning - 'What's it like to be on the receiving end of you?'

I love this question. Not only in a leadership context, but in the context of conflict too! So often the way we intend to come across is not how others perceive us. So often the person we know of ourselves at home, or on the weekends, isn't the person we portray at work or school.

Which brings me to my second reflection, and a key theme that emerged through the three days:

Authenticity.

In two 'fireside' chats with the experienced leaders, David Gold, CEO of Prospectus, and Matt Hyde, CEO of The Scouts Association, we were reminded of the importance of authenticity in every interaction. Genuine relationships with people was reflected on as the key to not just leadership, but life. Part of this is knowing our strengths and 'areas for development'. Both men evidently genuinely appreciated both small encounters with others, as well as gaining significant value from more formal mentoring relationships.

I was reflecting during the programme on a former manager and mentor of mine, David Newton, one of the pioneers of mediation in Australia, who passed away two weeks ago. He exemplified both of these aspects of leadership, having a natural and genuine openness to anyone who crossed his path, and being his authentic self in his relationships with everyone. When I think about people whom I respect, like David, these are the traits I admire in them. These are the traits I would hope others could come to admire in me.

With these two factors as the beginning of leadership, it's clear that anyone can be a leader, as leadership starts with understanding yourself and valuing the people around you. I love that the young people who attend Leap's leadership courses understand that, and are able to develop their leadership in their everyday existence.

There is so much more that was learnt and so many ways we are putting it into practice, formally and informally! I'm looking forward to exploring leadership in more detail over the next 6 months of the Clore Social Leadership programme.

Find out about Leap Confronting Conflict's work by visiting their website

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Stephanie Papapavlou

Stephanie Papapavlou

Youth sector champion

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