Most of us can identify the qualities that make a good public sector leader, but what turns a good leader into a great one? In particular, what can we learn from other leaders around us to help take advantage of opportunities and deliver greater services to the public?
As part of our four-part podcast miniseries with the National Leadership Centre (NLC), Public Sector Executive is delving deeper into what helps make a great leader’.
Joining host Matt Roberts on the podcast, Parveen Yaqoob, Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University of Reading and Shantha Dickinson, Deputy Chief Fire Officer, discuss their leadership journeys and the experiences that helped propel them forward in their careers. For Parveen, there was one particular moment which represented a turning point in her career progression.
“About five or six years ago, I was asked to take part in a STEM event for Year 9 girls. I was one of six role models, women representing different areas in STEM, and at the start of the event the facilitator asked each of us to stand up and explain why we were there. I stood up and found myself saying that there weren’t enough women in senior positions in universities and I wanted to see change.
“As soon as the words were out of my mouth, it just hit me like a thunderbolt. I realised I couldn’t say something like that, and yet have no intention of doing anything about it.”
That drove Parveen to make the most of opportunities, and to help guide and support others to come through too. But equally, it also taught her to take pride in her achievements and recognise the success she had achieved in her career, and how she could then turn that into a shareable experience for others.
There are many different ways that a leader can go from having a good career to a great one, with guests Parveen and Shantha’s very different experiences demonstrating as much, but one thing comes across immediately clear: the growth of a great leader doesn’t just benefit themselves, but it benefits everyone across their organisation and in the case of the NLC Accelerate delegates, it benefits the recipients of the public service their organisations provide
Listen to the full discussions with Shantha and Parveen and discover what truly took them to that next stage of personal, professional, and collaborative success, and how the NLC Accelerate Programme has impacted their leadership journeys The NLC Accelerate Programme brings together 20 high-performing ethnic minority leaders from across public services, who are currently working at Deputy CEO level and aiming to become CEO-level leaders within their respective fields.
Applications for the new 2021/22 cohort of the NLC Accelerate are open until September 24, 2021. Those keen to take part in this year’s course can register their interest here.
Listen to the full NLC x PSE podcast episode with Parveen and Shantha below: