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Sync: e-bulletin August 2011


Public hearings

People describe him as media’s demon king; power-seeking, a status-climbing cad and one of the most powerful men on earth. (Frederike Fürst, Anglia Ruskin University)

a  picture of Rupert Murdoch getting a pie in his face at his Government hearing

This summer has been awash with the usual changeable weather and some very public happenings and hearings.

In late July, Mr Murdoch, one of the world’s highest profile media magnates, was first called to account by Parliament and the world looked on to see a little bit of the tactical brilliance we've grown to know.

Murdoch’s decision to deflect all blame downward undercut an artfully (ghost) written prepared statement, in which he said, 'This is the most humble day of my career.'

People have often called into question his insular leadership style and it begs the question, how in touch he has been with the swathes of people in his fold beyond his key personnel and family members.

The foam pie incident at the hearing reflected the public's feeling on the matter.

One man, one vision

One heart, one soul, just one solution ... (Lyrics from One Vision, Queen)

a number of goldfish, all following one other fish, which is coloured green.

For all the wealth and power we might have, we cannot always control how we are seen and heard and, of course, how people will react to it.

Hearings are still underway for the 2000 + people who were involved in riots and looting this August. Within the damage and the terrible loss of face and fortune, the leadership of one man shone out from the crowd.

Tariq Jahan held court with local people just hours after the loss of his own son. No-one could have failed to be moved as he single handedly dissipated the disquiet in Birmingham with clarity and deep compassion.

His leadership in this moment was so heartfelt and powerful, it moved a nation to laud this extraordinary man and the public is still hanging on to his every word.

Leadership clout

A photo of the Norwegian flags in a sea of flowers

So is leadership clout something we can lose and gain in an instant? Can we move masses with our ideas and opinions? Tariq Jahan certainly did.

It’s interesting that in denying Anders Behring Breivik a public audience in court after his horrific actions in Norway in some way made him less the force he wanted us to reckon with.

Leadership and leading is not measured by how you put people down, passing the blame, sacking an entire team, but how you lift them up and connect with them.

Leadership has to be about looking into the faces of people and showing a genuine interest in them, reflecting their lives and concerns and instilling value and appreciation for their points of view, even if you don't necessarily agree with them.

Leadership moments

As happens sometimes, a moment settled and hovered and remained for much more than a moment. And sound stopped and movement stopped for much, much more than a moment. (John Steinbeck)

Have you ever had a leadership moment, a point in your life where everything came together and you were able to influence and change the way people felt?

Some people hone this into an artform and some people might experience a moment like this, just once in a lifetime, out of the blue.

Can we conjure moments to show our leadership? Perhaps so!


...the time really feels right for me now with lots of lovely career crossroads and challenges and creative opportunities afoot. (Liz Carr)

a picture of syncopation mayers gill

We’re hoping that our new Sync Intensive cohort will share some of their thinking and their moments in the weeks and months ahead exploring how they might create different opportunities to lead in their practice and profession.

As part of the programme, they’ll be compiling their own hearings in case studies and articles between now and the end of March as part of our monthly bulletins.We can’t wait to hear what they have to say and share with us

After a difficult selection process we were able to offer places to Sally Booth - Visual Artist, Lyn Cox - Visual Artist, Bobby Baker - Performance Artist, Director of Daily Life Ltd and Unlimited Commission winner, Liz Carr - comedian, writer and presenter for BBC Ouch Alison Short – actor and chair of Mind the Gap's Ideas company, Martin McClean - Project Manager, Deafinitely Theatre, Anna Wallbank - Creative Director of Zinc Arts, Rita Marcalo – dancer and Director of Instant Dissidence, Dolly Sen – artist and writer and Lynn Weddle - photographer.

The Sync Intensive process will be documented fully on our website and information passed on to our Sync membership and beyond.

So that's it for this month, enjoy the rest of your summer and someone tell the sun to stay out a little longer!

All the best

Sarah Pickthall and Jo Verrent


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