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Karen Sheader

Karen Sheader

Shoot your mouth off

What makes a good leader?

Somebody who is not afraid to show vulnerability, but is not too easily swayed. People who demonstrate good qualities of leadership are Vici Wreford-Sinnott from arcadea, who can engage with people on many levels and never, despite being intellectually vigorous, seeks to baffle but rather to inspire, and Philip Patston.

Is leadership different for disabled people?

Personally, having an impairment and a long-term health condition has made me resilient and sometimes rather insensitive to the vulnerabilities of others. I can be a little impatient as a leader and would like to develop ways of bringing people with me rather than antagonizing them. Experiences of exclusion can make one more determined and tenacious, but also turn one into a bit of a show-off in order to prove one's worth.

Do you think there are barriers to leadership for disabled people that non disabled people don’t face?

I feel that there are barriers I face, as a visually impaired person, in not being able to read expressions and body language in meetings, for example. also, being unable to drive creates a certain inflexibility about travel arrangements.