Cornwall, Devon and Somerset

My last blog post sharing the story behind the Inclusive leadership for Plymouth Training Programme feels like it was written in a different time. This post explores how things are different now and why, even in different times the work towards more inclusive leadership across the City is just as important as ever.


Inclusive Leadership in changing times

A shift from that battling Brexit energy and the energy that brought people, groups, and organisations together in new ways to overcome the challenges of lockdown. A shift on from the energy that brought people out in protest around the world in response to #metoo and the murder of George Floyd. From the passions of the Trump vs. Biden election, the energy of rainbows in windows and Thursday night claps. A shift away from the energy of the Euros, the exit from Afghanistan, the energy of the summer, dreams of a radical new normal and many other things.

Now life – somewhat changed – continues. Some people still need support and help with the shopping. The vaccinated and unvaccinated are making their way, working to regain some momentum and get life going again. Some relationships that came about during lockdown continue to flourish even though the people in them still haven’t made the leap back to real world encounters. Furlough has ended. The nights are closing in and people are waiting to see what the winter brings.

For a moment there, when it came to collaboration, doing things differently, and being more inclusive, we were riding waves. Surfing energies full of promise and potential. Emotions were charged and the scenes were vivid – in our faces, on our TVs and in our streets. Big agendas were on the table and commitment was in people’s eyes. Uncelebrated, many commitments have turned into action.

And the world keeps turning. Those fires that flared up so powerfully have died down for the moment and we’re reminded again that moments that ignite passions are also moments that pass. People are weary of ‘old normals’, ‘new normals’, ‘future this’, ‘future that’ and endless talk of change. We’re tired of seeing the state we’re in; the whole world’s got Zoom fatigue.


Quietly the work goes on…

For those who have been through cycles of promise before, who are fully in the ongoing struggle for equality, recognition and inclusion for the long-term, the battle for hearts, minds and real change continues. And still… quietly across Plymouth, thousands of people carry on the daily work of making Plymouth a city for everyone; including those leaders among us who make its their business to unlock the potential in the people who live here.

We live in polarising times and there’s no point in denying it. Ensuring Plymouth and the people that call it home thrive in the decade after Covid and Brexit is going to be a challenge. But it’s one people are rising to as they look beyond themselves and the limitations of the mental, political, and organisational silos they can be tempted to occupy and find others wrong from. More people are waking-up to the fact that if we’re going to get on in the 21st century, the culture of ‘who we are’ and ‘how we live and work’ together will need to continue to evolve. People across the city are stepping up like the social, cultural and economic wellbeing of the City depends on it.


Becoming the Inclusive Leaders we deserve

The leadership that’s going to elevate us – not just keep us buoyant – is going to come from the top, bottom, middle and sides. It’s going to be collaborative leadership where leadership with an uppercase and lowercase ‘L’ is recognised. It’s going to be good at leveraging differences to create things and solve problems. It is going to lift people moment-by-moment, interaction-by-interaction as well as through getting big decisions right and making space for everyone to get involved. It’s going to be leadership that is committed to the hard human work at the heart of this.

It will be you, me and others we know not getting in our own way. It will be us bringing more of ourselves to life through relationships that allow that. It will be us working together in different combinations, to do different things at different times. It might be you one day, someone else the next. It will be unafraid without having to appear strong. It will take us down the right path without having to be ‘right’. It will prioritise progress and productivity over self-preservation and power.

It could be you. If it is, and you want to equip yourself with some new skills, perspectives and connect with others doing the same, sign-up for the Inclusive Leadership for Plymouth Training Programme today.


Team Development Coaching and Consultancy Devon Cornwall Somerset
Thoughts and reflections by Stephane Kolinsky, Team Development Specialist at Sky Space. Stephane is a certified Executive and systemic Organisational coach and is accredited by the International Coach Federation. He takes clients to a place where they can take full ownership of their feelings, relationships, triumphs, and challenges. He lives by the sea in Plymouth, Devon and over the last 10 years has worked in the voluntary, social enterprise, education, public, creative, and professional service sectors across Cornwall, Devon and Somerset. He is currently the International Coach Federation Devon Chapter Group Leader and hosts regular meet-ups for coaches, and coaching curious professionals in the area. If you enjoyed this article, let us know in the comments below and be sure to check out other articles from our team development blog.