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Leading by Choice – becoming a deliberately disciplined leader

Across 2017 we are challenging you to think about how you ‘Lead by Choice’. When faced with our ever-increasing external pressures, we can feel out of control in our leadership. However, you always have a choice and we are here to support you in making the right leadership choices every day.

What does it mean to ‘Lead by Choice’?

‘Successful leaders lead by choice, they are deliberate in their decision making and disciplined in their attention’
Francesca Gino, Summer School 2016

Leading by choice is about thinking about how you lead everyday – and how every action is a demonstration of your leadership. So, we’re challenging you, as leaders of public services in Wales, to consider five key qualities of ‘deliberately disciplined leaders’:

  1. The quality of your attention determines the quality of other peoples thinking
  2. Great ideas and innovation lie just beneath a limiting assumption, remove assumptions that limit quality
  3. Fear constricts everything – use emotional expression to make you and others smarter
  4. Be eternally optimistic yet brutally realistic in all contexts
  5. Affirm people’s importance, create a physical environment that says ‘you matter’

What do these statements mean to you, your team and your organisation? What do they mean to the work you do and the people you provide services to? And, ultimately, what can you choose to do as a leader to embody these qualities every single day?

You can delve into this more, and find out about the background, by reading Jo Blogs: ‘Leading by Choice’ – How I want to show up this year.

We set this challenge to leaders at our Winter School event in February and were really excited by the discussions, the questions and the actions that came out of the week. Jo will be sharing these with you in her next blog (subscribe to our Opportunities Bulletin to get updates).

Our ‘Leading by Choice’ pledge

We are also asking you to take our ‘Leading by Choice’ pledge. We know that we’re more likely to act on our promises if we share them with others – so, if you’re inspired to be a deliberately disciplined leader this year, take our pledge and post to Twitter!

Here are some of the pledges leaders in Wales have already taken – or you can view them all on our Storify.

And, we like to lead by example, so Jo has also taken her pledge and more from the Academi Wales team will be appearing here soon!

How will we support you to ‘Lead by Choice’ this year?

We have lots of ways you can get involved and take your leadership to the next level. Here are some of the things we’ve got available now and we’ll be updating this page with future events, materials, links and blogs!

  • Winter School 2017 – we will be using our learning from the week to build on the theme and continue supporting senior leaders throughout the year
  • Summer School 2017 – the theme is ‘Leading by Choice’ and we have some exciting speakers lined up - applications are open now so make sure you’re part of this annual leadership highlight!
  • Wales Coaching Network – we’ve recently launch a database of public service coaches, so search on our website if you want to explore any of the themes or ideas through a coaching conversation
  • Further readingsome great articles for reading around the subject – we’ll keep adding to the list so tweet us if you come across something useful!

In addition, we also have our full range of courses, programmes and master classes and can offer bespoke learning support and facilitation for your organisation. We also have plenty of learning resources covering a broad range of topics, a selection of ‘quick tips’ to help you on a day-to-day basis and our ever-growing set of ‘Sowing Seeds’ publications – where we do the research so you can just find out the key facts about new leadership themes.

What’s next?

We will be launching more new initiatives, publications and events throughout the year, so keep up to date by subscribing to our Opportunities Bulletin and following us on Twitter @AcademiWales.