Moving out of our comfort zones…

I’m beginning this blog with another great quote from Kung Fu Panda! As a family we have watched all three movies during the last lockdown!

‘If you only do what you can do, you will never be more than you are now’ Master Shifu

As I write this our pilot leadership programme is coming to an end. The excitement is building as we receive applications for our second cohort which will begin in September. One of the characteristics of those who took part in our pilot programme was the sense that for many they were gently (some may say it was a bit stronger than gently!) being challenged to ‘be more than they are now’; to push beyond their comfort zones. Sometimes it is gentle encouragement that helps us take the next step, and then we realise how much more we can do and become. The other realisation for many, was that they didn’t have to be a particular kind of leader, again the words of Master Shifu spring to mind:

‘I’m not trying to turn you into me, I’m trying to turn you into you’ Master Shifu

Our leadership programme has enabled some to pursue their curriculum design dreams whilst others have undertaken action research projects; others have written blogs and articles for the first time; some have got new roles and positions nationally; some have begun postgraduate courses and others have spoken at regional or national events; but all have found their own voice as a leader.

Being a leader means many things, and we all lead differently. I think leaders create opportunities for others around them to change and grow. I think leaders live by their values, understanding that sometimes we get things wrong. I think leaders know when to wait, when to act ‘now’ and when to say, ‘I don’t know’.  I think leaders are visionaries who also ask questions such as ‘is this working?’ or ‘can we find a solution together?’.

The leaders who took part in our programme show these qualities and it has been absolute pleasure working with them over the last 12 months.

Our Stage 1 Leadership Programme Graduates are:

Emma Fletcher

Laura Harris

Nicola McGee

Debbie Yeomans

Our Stage 2 Leadership Programme Graduates are:

Wayne Buisst

Catriona Card

Martin Cobbald

Katie Freeman

Katie Gooch

Liz Pope

Adam Robertson

Saima Saleh

Lucy Still

Huge thanks to Claire Clinton our Lead Consultant for this programme; for her passion and dedication, as well as to the amazing team of mentors she supports. I am really looking forward to working with our new cohort in 2021-22.



Kathryn Wright Chief Executive Officer, Culham St Gabriel’s Trust @kathrynfenlodge

See all posts by Dr Kathryn Wright