Up and Coming: Mat Ilic

Mat Ilic, 31, is the executive director of criminal justice charity, Only Connect, which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the social business Catch 22

Matt Ilic
Matt Ilic

Q. What you prompted to move into leadership?

A. I relish a challenge. For me it was the combination of the opportunity to take on responsibility for delivering this mission and to be fully accountable for decisions, and having the privilege to be working with colleagues who have so much experience and from whom I get so much support.

Q. How would you describe your style of leadership?

A. I think I'm really keen to be pace-setting, energetic, relentlessly committed to the mission and setting that vision for others in order to create the conditions in which they can flourish. I try to be motivational and supportive. I really try to be as optimistic as possible in the context of a sector that is affected by a lot of external challenges - more so than ever.

Q. What's the biggest thing you've learned from leadership?

A. I think you have this idea that you have to take everything on your own shoulders and that you're solitary as a leader, but actually that solitude is more of a perception than a reality. There are peers at other charities you can talk to and it's important to be able to have frank conversations with your own colleagues.

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