Exploring life stories as leadership learning

THThis interactive session gave participants the opportunity to explore the importance of biographical accounts of leaders, in making sense of their own leadership development.

The session concentrated on uncovering aspects of how we learn to lead through experience. It was introduced by Dr Gareth Edwards of the Bristol Business School, who highlighted key aspects in this area to help participants identify their own triggers to leadership learning.

The second part of the session saw a prominent leader from Bristol - Peaches Golding OBE - discuss her own life story. Participants then had the chance to discuss key triggers in this story, as well as discovering the important aspects within their own experience. Finally, participants were able to take away strategies for further developing their own capacity to lead, plus practical tips for developing leadership capacity throughout and across organisations. This guidance was based on conclusions drawn from discussing life stories and highlighting successful learning opportunities, that could be passed on to those they are mentoring and coaching.

This free seminar was held on Thursday 14 November and is one of a series of events organised for the ESRC funded ABLE Project.

The Bristol Leadership Forum is a new initiative, jointly hosted by UWE and Moon Consulting, aimed at providing an interactive and confidential forum to learn new ways of thinking and challenge the status quo. This is the second of two events that ran this Autumn, with the possibility of further events in 2014.

Background of Speakers

Peaches Golding OBE is a highly experienced executive and non-executive director. She is Principal Consultant at Moon Consulting Ltd, a specialist senior management and board recruitment agency. She is also the Chairwoman of ITV West Country's Viewer Advisory Council, a Trustee of the SS Great Britain and a Non-Executive Director of the Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust. Peaches was England's first black High Sheriff, appointed by HM The Queen in 2010-2011 to serve in Bristol. For 17 years, she led one of the Prince's Charities, as Regional Director of Business in the Community and as founder member and Deputy Director of its Race for Opportunity campaign. Through her consultancy business, she has worked for clients in the public, private and voluntary sectors. 

Gareth Edwards is a Senior Lecturer in Organisation Studies at UWE. He has published on subjects such as distributed leadership, community perspectives on leadership, leadership development, culture and leadership, and the challenges of leadership across organisations. Gareth is a psychologist and started his career working for The Leadership Trust Foundation, an executive development company based in Herefordshire in the UK. Over the twelve years he spent there he was involved in teaching leadership, change and organisational analysis to a wide range of organisations from large multinationals in the private sector to public sector organisations and SMEs.


This event took place on Thursday 14 November, 2013 at Bristol City Hall.

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