Show all
Michael Mitchell

Michael Mitchell

Dance Aware

What makes a good leader?

A leader is someone who demonstrates leadership qualities in their daily life. They must be able to express their ideas well and good listening is paramount.

A good leader must be prepared to be led too and must strive to be a well rounded human being, thinking through their ideas and expressing them clearly.

Is leadership different for disabled people?

I don't think that having an impairment essentially changes the experience of leadership. You might have a different belief system that develops from your direct experience of life and liaising with the mainstream

I may not get the same opportunities to lead. I am more expensive to hire and my access needs mean that I might be more difficult to get hold of. Because of these things, I have to try and convince people that I am very much worth it.

I do think that disabled people bring something to the work situation that people might not find elsewhere. We tend to feel things differently. In my own practice, by virtue of my disability, I work from the inside out, I feel the movement inside and then I have to define the impact that feeling might have when translated and shared with an audience. Being an outsider also allows us to sometimes see the detail of how things are unfolding or not in a group situation. For me this has become a natural skill.

Do disabled people experience barriers to leadership that non disabled people don’t experience?

It is difficult to get training by virtue of where something is happening and whether it is technically or emotionally accessible and appropriate.

Also, there is also an underlying tendency that comes from having things done for us and to us that we are done to rather than with and that can be a barrier to a rich and meaningful transfer of skills.