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Posted 02 July 2021


Listen to our Special Podcast: Leadership as a Catalyst for Change

Good leadership can catalyse behaviour change and maximise impacts. But if you are a non-governmental organisation (NGO) working in the field of sustainability, where do you start and what can you do to develop your own leadership skills? In this Catalyst podcast, six NGO leaders from around the world sit together for an honest discussion on intricacies of good leadership.

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From creating sustainable urban housing to supporting individuals and organisations to do their best as they tackle sustainability challenges, the NGO leaders featured in this podcast have vast experience across different sectors and continents. In common, they are all working to support behaviours across organisations that enable sustainable development solutions.

The  featured speakers in this podcast are: Sue Riddlestone (CEO, Bioregional), Helen Clarkson (CEO, The Climate Group), Wolfgang Jamann (Executive Director, International Civil Society Centre), Jenn Weidman (Founder and CEO, Space Bangkok), Rainer Brockhaus (CEO, The Christian Blind Mission in Germany) and Wilhelm Kinn (Managing Director, Govinda).

Exploring their personal leadership journeys, the speakers share some of the game-changing moments or people that shaped their development as a leader. From the value of authenticity and the power of a vision, to that one conversation that could change the course of your life.

On the topic of leadership qualities, the group ponders the difference between effective leadership and good leadership. Authenticity, but not at the expense of skills, and how to balance the ability to make key decisions with assembling a really good team and creating an enabling space for them to thrive are some of the ideas debated. As guest speaker Wolfgang Jamann puts it, “Leadership is an attitude, it’s a way of working, it’s not a position”.

Discussing leadership changes over the time, the speakers reflect on emerging trends towards more transparency and participation. That is, a leadership style with fewer myths of ‘superpower’ leaders working long hours as well as more women in leading positions. The panel also reinforces the need to look at things from a holistic perspective or in Sue Riddlestone’s words, “It’s not just about your organisation, it’s about system change, and we’ve got to pull together now and show leadership for changing systems”.

Are you looking for some inspiration for your own leadership journey? Listen to our podcast for suggestions on how to motivate people to move forward with their passions, but also find the courage to drive change. “If it excites you and it scares you, you should probably do it!“, says Jenn Weidman.

The Catalyst brings together selected NGOs to build upon their experience as participants in the Academy of Change. As part of the Catalyst they integrate the knowledge gained in AoC into their organisations, supported with a bespoke programme of discussions, workshops and resources.

Do you have any thoughts, reflections or ideas on leadership that you would like to share with us? Connect with us on Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook.

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