Coaching & Leadership Development
Heart and Soul: The Art of Narrative Leadership

Heart and Soul: The Art of Narrative Leadership

This blog comes from writer, storyteller, educator and “Education for the Soul” Conference 2018 keynote speaker, Geoff Mead. I think that now we need those fictional old bards and fearless storytellers, those seers. We need their magic, their courage, their love and their fire more than ever before. It is precisely in a fractured, broken age that we need mystery and a reawakened sense of wonder… We need to go down to the bottom, to the depths of the heart and start to live all over again as we have never lived before. Ben Okri It is easy to dismiss storytelling unthinkingly as something that belongs to a bygone age – the province of “fictional old bards.”  But I agree with Ben Okri that storytelling should serve a deeper purpose and that, floundering as we are in a sea of stories stained with cynicism and polluted by propaganda, we need courageous, inspired storytellers more than ever. We need to find our own magic, courage, love and fire to tell the stories called for by the time we live in.   That’s why the title of this blog is deliberately provocative: heart and soul are big words that do not usually appear in the lexicon of leadership, though we may use them in other aspects of our lives. But this is to make a false distinction between the public sphere of work and the private sphere of home and family. We are innately the same people at work as we are at home; to pretend that we are two different people, with different values, logics and motivations in different parts of...
My Hope for School Leaders

My Hope for School Leaders

    Recently, I received a letter from my son’s school. He is sixteen and in the midst of exam season. The school wrote to parents of every child in Year 11, asking them to write and return to the school a letter to their son or daughter, that would be read out to them on the day of their first exam.   Our letters were to simply tell our children, that no matter the outcome of their exams, we would always love and care for them. My son doesn’t know I have written this letter. His first exam is today! I hope that when it is read out to him, he will appreciate not only how much I care about him, but also how much his school does as well.   I hope it will reinforce for him the compassion, care and concern that are at the heart of the way in which his school works with young people. It is my hope too, that one day this same level of compassion, care and concern will be reflected in the way in which our school leaders are treated.   For those of us who work in education we have seen the way in which education has increasingly become a data driven enterprise. The ‘achievements’ of our children and school leaders only meaning something if they have a number or a score attached to them. We have seen the way in which a constant need to weigh and measure and to succeed at all costs has near enough affected the mental health and emotional wellbeing of every pupil, teacher...