Invest in the Leader
“A wise person asked me: ‘If you want to make an organisation really fly then who is the most important person in that organisation to invest in?’ ‘Invest in the leader.’ I said, ‘Without a great leader, the organisation will never be great.”
Richard Beard, Leader of The Jericho Foundation
Clearer Sense of Identity and Purpose
“I love [these] days and my volunteer team often roll their eyes and ask ‘what’s [the group] saying now?’ Over time we have rewritten our mission/purpose statement and now have 5 very clear objectives. As the founder of a charity your identity is often very closely linked with what you do – many times I was challenged about this. The one to one sessions with my coach helped me identify ‘who I was’ and this has helped enormously.” Joanna Gordon, Leader, Daniel’s Den.
Protected time to accelerate understanding and energy
“The 1-2-1s included in the package have offered me protected time to accelerate understanding and the energy to do what I need. When I’ve been stuck with certain issues, my coach, Charles McLachlan, has opened up a surprising number of alternatives and insights. Working with someone who believes passionately that God’s people are called to bring about Kingdom transformation in the marketplace has meant that our sessions have been prayerful as well as profoundly productive.” Neil Perry, Leader of Romsey Mill
Shared empathy, insight and understanding
“Membership of the … group has already helped me to focus my leadership on what I need to do in order to move forward, at a very significant time both nationally and personally. Within the first couple of meetings, I found an impetus for new focus in what I am doing. There is a real sense of renewed purpose through activities that expose each participant to self-evaluation and reflection. In the sharing of real and current issues, the group coaching offers many insights but also confirms and affirms the ‘inner voice’ too. I could believe that ‘nobody else is experiencing what I am going through’, but the evidence is that this is not true. It becomes evident, by exposing myself to sharing issues in this non-threatening, confidential forum of colleagues, that the collective mind – an amazingly shared empathy, insight and understanding – provides inspiration for personal leadership action.”
Chris Jones, Leader, C.J. Learning
I Cannot Recommend [the group] Highly Enough.
“Founding a charity from a seed of an idea meant that I had a steep learning curve to navigate in order to bring my skills and leadership in line with what the charity needed. [The Group] gave me a safe place to explore who I wanted and needed to be as a leader, and give me regular sessions of varied speakers to learn from. The peer support sessions were a very important tool for me, it’s a safe space to discuss issues and challenges and to seek advice and guidance – the experience and wisdom that I was able to tap into … was invaluable. The group wants your organisation to be a success but more than that, the group enables you as a leader to flourish alongside your organisation. I cannot recommend [this group] highly enough.” Hannah Peck, Founder, Baby Basics
A Safe, Confidential Space
“Inspiring, informative, challenging and encouraging. The … group coaching is proving to be all of these and more. As a fairly new CEO, it’s great to have some safe, confidential space to discuss pertinent issues facing the charity, staff or myself and be challenged on my role in making things happen that will be for the benefit of all. I would really encourage those who would value some space and time out to think and learn more about the next steps to up your game in being a CEO to join in. It’s also a highly valuable experience and environment for new CEO’s learning the ropes. I always encourage more women to join in.”
Mandy Marshall, Leader, Restored
A Big Benefit is Not Feeling Alone
A big benefit for me, for being part of [the group], is the sense of not feeling alone, and that there is a lot of other CEOs going through exactly the same stuff, and the problems that I have are not unique to me. Because leadership can be quite a lonely place. Even if you’ve got the best team around you, when you’re the decision maker, it can be quite an isolating place. And so, working with a bunch of other CEOs who are in exactly at that same place, a regular meeting point to share those challenges and to feel like you’ve got a group of people around you who can really support you in that decision-making has been fantastic.” Max Manners, Formerly Leader, Resco Living
Able to Breathe in Challenging Situations
[The group gives me] the feeling that I’m able to breathe when I have challenging situations in my management team. [It’s good] to realise that I’m not the only one dealing with these challenges, and to be able to communicate with others going through similar experiences, and to have the speakers that come and tell us some solutions to the issues that we’re going through. I think that’s been awesome.” Fitzroy Dawson, Leader, Merton Community Transport
[The group] Has Filled In The Gaps
Personally, [the group] has helped me to progress in my role running Snowdrop; I set it up from nothing. We had no money, no office space and just ideas. It has grown in an incredible way and the stability of that is partly due to what I’ve learnt each month… My experience was in managing volunteers and working in the field but in terms of the skills needed to run the organisation, I was lacking. That’s where [the group] came in and gave me guidance, knowledge and challenges that increased my stability and confidence in my role and thus the healthy growth of the organisation. It is a great place to regularly go once a month for input in different areas. [The group] highlights skills and areas you need to be aware of, for example; team management, fundraising, measuring and report impact and looking after yourself. All of those things I was missing and [the group] has filled in the gaps.” Lara Bundock, Leader, Snowdrop Project
Outstanding and Relevant Teaching by Top-Level Professionals
[The groups are] excellent … we have outstanding, relevant teaching by top level professionals that helps me to build a bank of resources that I can refer to as and when needed. Also it is incredibly worthwhile to have supportive peers who are otherwise unrelated to my life for contemplating issues. That aspect … helps me anticipate and hopefully prevent mistakes. This part of the day, as well as proving beneficial because of the issues discussed, gives me a sense of value for my contribution and helps me to realise that we are all ‘in the same boat’. In that respect I feel less isolated. I really appreciated Brian’s opening comments yesterday, he showed great compassion towards us and made me feel genuinely cared about.'” Sharon Gower, CHEX Project Manager
A Group of Peers that I Haven’t Got Anywhere Else
What’s changed for me has been getting to know a group of people who I’ve been able to open up with, about what’s happening in the organisation. Some of the challenges, some of the dilemmas I face. It’s kind of a group of peers that I haven’t got anywhere else, and so it does provide a great opportunity to share and learn and grow together, really, in how to manage an organisation.” Jonathan Tame, Executive Director, Jubilee Centre, Cambridge
Really Value the ‘Stop and Think’ Time
I’ve appreciated the step aside from the day-to-day, and the space to think, and the permission to ask good questions about my own practice and the practice of the organisation. And I think just really valuing the “stop and think time”, and then trying to ensure I’m not the only person who gets some “stop and think time” in the organisation. That’s probably the main benefit.” Sam Richards, Director, Oxford Youth Works.
People Who Come to Ella Bring Such a Source of Wisdom to Me
[this group] has been a huge benefit to me, both personally as my role as a coach has developed, and as an advisor to people. I’ve picked up so many tools, resources and perspectives that I’ve been able to put straight to use with the people I work with and support. Also I’ve found the … other people who come … such a source of wisdom to me. When we bring an issue, we unpick it together, and they ask just the right questions to help me move to a place of productivity.” Hannah Miller, Director, Miller & Moore.
Benefit of Being Coached by a Fellow Christian
“People often say that life is lonely at the top and I’ve generally not agreed. I always thought that if you have a great team of like minded people you’ll always feel supported and this has been my experience in my 7 years as CEO of CAP. Then I spent my first 2 hours of coaching with Charles McLachlan. What a shock – this was about me, not about someone else, but about me! It made me realise I spend my whole life giving out and supporting others that to have someone focus on me, where it’s simply about the problems I’m facing and challenges I have to overcome – it was breath of fresh air. I hadn’t been lonely, but I’d not had anyone supporting me! Since that first meeting I’ve found that coaching creates the environment for me to think more deeply and have my assumptions challenged. I’ve had so many new ideas, or talked through the implications of ideas I’d already had.I also understand coaching now! Coaching isn’t about an expert giving me the answers, it’s about helping me find the answers from within me. The benefit of being coached by a fellow Christian, means we both know and acknowledge that any wisdom is really coming from God, by His spirit.” Matt Barlow, CEO of Christians Against Poverty