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Sync: e-bulletin May 2010 - easy read


A funny mix in Number 10

If they really want to make it work then they must show that a coalition does not produce instability. (Philip Johnston, The Guardian)

A picture of Nick Clegg and David Cameron

It's the end of May and there's now a new set of politicians in Number 10.

Our new government is a funny mixture of ideas and personalities. We'll have to wait and see if the new coalition is a good thing for our country or if David Cameron and Nick Clegg will start working against each other because they just don't fit.

This month on Sync, we are talking about the funny mixture of disability and leadership, what we really feel about leading and those people who believe that we can't really do it.

Looking back at leadership

I keep going. I have got a job to do. I have got work to do. (Gordon Brown, 2009)

gordon_and_sarahbrownat _aushwitcz

We're going to talk about things not quite fitting - a bit like Clegg and Cameron - and about disability and leadership not really fitting either? Is this true? Do we believe that we can't lead because we are disabled or is this someone else's idea?

If we look back at Gordon Brown's leadership, it's clear that he, as a leader, made a decision not to talk about his disability. He hid it. What do you feel about this and why do you think he did this? Ask yourself the questions:-

  • Do you think leading is better with an impairment?
  • When leading, do you worry that people will see the disability and not you?

What difference would it have made to his leadership had he shared more of himself and his disability?

Might he have done better by being honest about his visual impairment or would it have made us and the nation see him differently? Did he think his eyesight was a 'total disaster'?

Sue Arnold writes a very interesting article about our ex Prime Minister's eyesight.

For him perhaps it was just too much of a risk that people would see him as weak? We shall never know.

read an article about Gordon Brown's Vision by Sue Arnold

Sue Williams

I felt that there was a relationship between the hidden lives of disabled people in London and the relationship with the city ....which explores .....being somewhere where you shouldn't be (Sue Williams).

Sue Williams is certainly someone who knows about being disabled and leading. Sue is Senior Officer, Diversity, at Arts Council England and she's on our Sync Intensives programme.

She is also a wonderful artist who draws rodents, marsupials and exotic creatures in unconventional spaces.

In her article this month for Sync, she talks about disabled leadership being full of risk and yet a very creative position to be in.

... Let's face it, being disabled is itself subversive; the very existence of disabled people challenges notions of normality. So putting yourself out there can create both political and personal risk. (Sue Williams)

Go straight to Tales of the Unexpected - Easy Read by Sue Williams

It just won't work!

The experience of exclusion has made some of our strongest leaders effective but it’s held back many others who doubt themselves so deeply that their leadership potential is swallowed up. (Liz Crow, Sync Intensives)

Sue's drawing

Moving into leadership is difficult when people around us still think we can't do it and it's hard sometimes not to believe this ourselves.

Leadership for so many of us is new and unusual, that's a fact.

What do we do when we get a chance to lead? Do we have to try and be a bit more normal or do we just take the risk and deal with whatever happens, good or bad? What do you do?

Sketch books and diary drawings

There is a fine line between dreams and reality; it's up to you to draw it. (Maree)

Bobby Baker's book cover

Bobby Baker launched her new book Diary Drawings, Mental Illness and Me last week at the Wellcome Collection.

Bobby has been drawing the twists and turns of her life for many years.

The importance of the sketch book, the diary and the journal is one that Sue Williams believes in too.

It allows her to relate to the world in a different way and means that when she's sitting in public places, drawing, people come up and talk to her as an artist and not because of her job.

Sue's case study sees her talking and drawing in a film.

Go straight to Sue William's Case Study

So what's coming up?

a tube of refreshers sweets

The Cultural Leadership Programme (CLP), of which we are part, has a number of workshops and courses.

Re:Freshers week

In July, CLP, who fund Sync, will be holding a Re:Freshers week - designed to bring together different people who are interested in leading.

Sync Intensives people will be meeting there.

It's happening in London. Want to find out more? Go to the CLP website now.

See you soon

Sarah Pickthall

Sync Coaching

To go straight to the Cultural Leadership Programme website…

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