Leadership: Tracy Beasley - On her new job

The manager of the Third Sector Leadership Centre tells Third Sector about the progress of this new organisation, set up last year by the UK Workforce Hub, the NCVO and Acevo to raise the profile of leadership and leadership development in the sector.

Q: Since establishing the centre, you have recruited more than 60 regional leadership ambassadors. What do they do?

A: Our ambassadors all come from different backgrounds, but they share the common purpose of wanting to promote effective leadership across the sector. They act as the voice of the Leadership Centre, raising awareness, identifying needs and facilitating sector-wide development. Our regional forums are a good starting point for them to do this because they give people the opportunity to tell both the ambassadors and us at the Leadership Centre what they want in the way of development and how they'd like it presented.

Q: What do you hope to achieve through your regional forums?

A: They're about raising awareness, but also about galvanising the passion that people have for the sector by asking them: "What can we do now? If you're a leader, what do you want, what do you need and how can we put that in place for you." Through them, we will create networks that will support leaders in their learning.

Q: The centre is building an online directory of leadership development services and a bank of case studies that demonstrate the benefits of leadership development. How will these facilities help leaders in the sector?

A: Stories are really important in building understanding and sharing learning. That's why we're putting together the bank of case studies. As for the directory of development services, the aim is for people to understand both what's available in terms of leadership development and what might be appropriate for them.

Q: You are also publishing a guide for leadership development. What issues will it address?

A: The guide will be published in June and will offer practical advice for people who want to improve their leadership capabilities. We want to be sure that everyone knows what leadership development looks like: that there are various methodologies. The guide will list resources and provide case studies. It will also give the opportunity for reflection and discussion.

Q: What else is the centre hoping to achieve in the coming year?

A: Our role will be to develop and deepen the knowledge and understanding of resources that are available to third sector leaders, highlighting best practice along the way. The sector is complex and our task is to simplify those challenges and make clear what opportunities they offer.

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