I’ve been avoiding training courses for the last few years. That’s not because I don’t want to learn, but because too often I don’t – a day of pursuing a new area of knowledge or practice with strangers and tutor(s) whose style doesn’t necessarily meet mine is often disheartening and largely frustrating. So when I was asked what I wanted to get out of the Clore Emerging Leaders course, I struggled to answer. Exposing myself to an intense week-long course suddenly felt like a precarious position to be in.
Then, Sonita Alleyne arrived to give our first evening address. She was engaging, honest, down to earth, and interested in us and journey we are on. She spoke about her career and successes and used the phrase ‘putting things in the mix’ to describe her approach to life and work.
The phrase resonated with me as a tendency (one that I’m sure my friends and family find wearing) – to open things up, challenge myself, create challenges (and madcap adventures) for others, and try new things. I sometimes see this as a desperate attempt to make things stick, but maybe that’s an ungenerous reading. Perhaps it’s much more about wanting to be part of the world, recognising that both the world and I are constantly evolving? Sonita suggested that leadership can only happen around change, a view that I certainly share.