End-of-year reviews and predictions abound. Expect lots of charity sector laments, hopes and fears to be aired in coming weeks. It’s good to reflect before we leap into 2019.
My reflections are close to home and are of personal stories and experiences relevant to communicating what charities do and achieve every day.
Almost all we do and every word and image we use is scrutinised and judged, and pressure, real or perceived, to know all of the answers dominates, as does the need to be as good as or better than others. Whether this need to be perfect makes for a competitive and challenging workspace or an aid to collaboration is debatable.
Above all this year, it’s the generosity of leadership that has most struck me.
Speaking at Acevo’s annual conference, Action for Children chief executive Julie Bentley (right) said she recognised the role of mentors in her career. Hat tips to all those who were willing to admit their strengths and weaknesses and who took every opportunity to share authority, to spot leadership potential and to nurture Julie with honesty and conviction.
These qualities are mirrored and amplified in the most effective charities, those tangibly living by their values, collaborating not competing and communicating clear visions and plans for a better world. Honesty about success and failure and using the best comms skills to connect and empower others helps – just ask your generous and supportive charity comms professionals.
Looking back, if we’re honest, the sector has far to go to be truly diverse and inclusive. Mentoring is a prime pathway towards helping us be our best selves and enabling others to flourish.
Adeela Warley is chief executive of CharityComms