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Learning leadership in Cambridge

Learning leadership in Cambridge

Cambridge hosts final cohort of Queen’s Young Leaders

Image above: Queen's Young Leaders punting in Cambridge

2018's Queen's Young Leaders gathered in Cambridge in June to consider aspects of leadership. Here Leading Change offers some of the key tools and techniques they learnt on self-care, networking, and the power of collaboration.

To start of the Residential programme Micci Gorrod and Lee Johnson of the Conscious Creative ran a mindfulness workshop to help Queen's Young Leaders:

  • reduce stress
  • maximise creativity
  • recognise what’s important
  • and address why they might not be experiencing this at all times.

Petronilla Molioo Mataeliga from Samoa said, “Little did I know that the way I think and where I prioritise my thinking strategies, are within my control.

I meditate more now after that session. My work flows when I take a minute of my time to thinking about ‘infinity’ and the importance of being present in every moment of my life.”

Learn mindfulness strategies with this Leading Change resource, Using psychology in everyday changemaking. (Opens in a new window).

Networks for change

The pace picked up when Oli Barrett and Fredrik Haren arrived with their expertise on networking, ideas and fulfilling potential. Ishita Aggarwal from Canada described their talks as “insightful, engaging and humbling all at the same time”.

Passionate about helping people find opportunities in a world filled with problems worth solving, Oli outlined his successful networking tools. He urged the Queen’s Young Leaders to aim high and approach influential people in positions of leadership, who could help their cause.

Queen's Young Leaders after Oli and Fredrik's session

Queen's Young Leaders after Oli and Fredrik's session

Oli Barrett's top networking tips

  1. Personalisation – when approaching your person of choice, is there a way to show the individual that you are on similar journeys to theirs, and that you share similar interests? 
  2. Timing – why are you contacting them today? Would another day be better? Tailor your contact to coincide with a pertinent event or talking point. 
  3. Have a realistic end in mind – keep your initial request brief and suggest a meeting or a short conversation or email exchange. 
  4. Make sure your passion for what they and you do comes across.

Chikondi Violet Mlozi from Malawi remarked “Oli’s session challenged me to rethink. I’m working on leaving the cocoon I’ve been hiding in for too long in the name of working in the background.”

Find out how 2015 Queen's Young Leader, Melissa Kargiannakis –  who recently secured a six-figure sum in US dollars for her project Skritswap – grew her project by following Oli's advice and asking "fancy people". (Opens in a new window).

The power of collaboration

Dr Karen Salt from the University of Nottingham is an expert on sovereignty, politics and how discussion about difference influences narratives, decision making and systems of governance.

She visited Cambridge with her colleague, Emma Craddock, to teach a module called Alternative Commons. This session looked at history, knowledge and community, to see how equality, diversity and power exist within a commons.

Karen encourages listeners to “live the change you want the world to be" and "to lead by example". She recommends subtle leadership, saying, "It doesn't have to be that you run around like, 'Look at me! I'm a leader!'”

Queen's Young Leaders gather for a photo in Cambridge

She asked Queen’s Young Leaders and those wanting to change the world, to remember the “touch stones where you are connecting with people. You're not necessarily looking for somebody to ally with. Allies are nice, but an accomplice? That's magical.”

Championing the power of a collective, Karen said, “We're all trying in our own way to figure this world out and to work in a way that is both just and equitable. Some people just let the privileged lead. I think, some of us, our job is to pull them back every so often.”

Find out how past issues affect negotiations, decision making and the way we interract by watching Karen Salt's on The ghosts in the room. A transcript is available for this video. (Opens in a new window).

Dr Karen Salt

“We're all trying in our own way to figure this world out and to work in a way that is both just and equitable. Some people just let the privileged lead. I think, some of us, our job is to pull them back every so often.”

Dr Karen Salt