Friday, 12 June 2009

The problem with labels

I've just been reading a piece by Mike Chitty on how we need to create more enterprising citizens and schools shouldn't restrict enterprise education to creating more entrepreneurs. The same often happens to those of us working in leadership education. Many people assume it is only about creating a distinct group of leaders who will take up positions of authority e.g. chief of police, senior partner, chief executive etc, but for us it's almost the opposite. It's about creating people who can lead from wherever they are, regardless of position, or hierachical power.

We need more people who feel they can act to make a difference and aren't only a passive part of a wider organisation or community. May Blood is a great example of this. Prior to taking part in our leadership programme she said 'In Northern Ireland, but perhaps everywhere, community entrepreneurs are not taken seriously, especially if they are women. I knew I had a serious contribution to make but I knew I would be treated as a poor relation'. It turned out well for her and she is now a Baroness!

For me it's all about helping people create change and I don't worry about the labels. Can't we stop people trying to say it's not for me, and get them to look past the titles of entrepreneurs or leaders?

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