Everyone has leadership potential

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With the year we’ve just waved goodbye to, it’s more important than ever to cast our gaze forward and think about the future in 2022 and beyond. 

Catherine Eve is the Executive Director at The Centre for Leadership Performance, a not-for-profit organisation set up ten years ago to develop leadership capability in Cumbria. Its mission is to ‘Develop Cumbria’s Leaders of Today and Tomorrow’, which keeps the 12-strong team busy providing lifelong Leadership learning in Primary Schools through to the Board Room.

Veronica and Catherine initially met in 1999 when Catherine was studying for her CIM Marketing Certificate. With their mutual interest in marketing and Leadership and the CIM Marketing Leadership Programme, one of the qualifications available to study at nesma, the pair found they had a lot to discuss when they caught up again.

What was the most significant thing you took away from last year?

We believe that Leadership is a behaviour that we can all demonstrate – it isn’t reserved for a job title or a job role. When I looked around, I saw signs of everyday Leadership, people stepping up and being prepared to make a difference through a small gesture or a kind word, developing their team, or committing to a local cause or ambitious new business idea.

What unexpected joys did you feel? 

The work that we do every day is exciting, and ten years on, we are still amazed and delighted by the brilliant things being achieved here in Cumbria. Primary school children campaigning for their local community volunteers from businesses giving up their time to support career-related learning. Employees are keen to learn new skills and drive forward change and innovation.

What big ideas/plans have you got for this year? 

We always have big plans and high aspirations for the brilliant people of Cumbria, and this year is no different. We want to keep going and keep growing, finding new ways to encourage everyday leadership behaviours. Over the last two years, we have grown from a 4-person to a 12-person business, created surplus revenues which we have been able to reinvest in local young people, worked with more schools and businesses than ever before.

The next step is the evolution of this fantastic network of young people, educators, and employers into a learning community, where everyone shares their leadership knowledge, experience, skills, and resources to enhance leadership capability. Better Leadership means Better Lives.

Which group of people would you like to do more work with?

We know that the last couple of years has been particularly tough for young people. We are looking forward to working with local businesses to develop Early Career support for young people entering the workplace, helping them transition to the next stage of their career, whatever that might be.

What personal development task have you given yourself for this year?

You are putting me on the spot with that one. My go-to is coaching, so devoting some time to being coached is always helpful. I would also like to spend more time on mindfulness when I do it regularly. It helps me keep calm and gain clarity in difficult situations.

What is the one bad habit you’re going to try and fix this year?

Of course, I don’t have bad habits! Good job, my children aren’t likely to read this – they would disagree!

If you are super serious about accomplishing your leadership goals in 2022, The Centre for Leadership Performance loves nothing more than bringing people together. Whether you are a young person, school, or business, you will find opportunities to learn/develop at www.cforlp.org.uk plus if you are interested in the CIM accredited Marketing Leadership Programme contact nesma at www.nesma.co.uk.