Week 2

Assessing Context



Last week we challenged you to understand your own leadership alongside the six capabilities of social leadership. This week we're going to help you take a step back by simply asking you "why?". 

It's easy to get enveloped in the day-day and lose sight of the bigger picture. Not only with regards to your own personal motivations and ambitions, but those of your team and your organisation.

Being able to see the bigger picture is even more important in the social sector where the 'systems' we operate in are rapidly changing. We live in a dynamic world that is transforming our workplaces, politics, ethics and communities.

To have as great of a social impact as possible, you need to understand the complexities of these changes and systems. In doing so, you'll be better equipped to identify the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead and be more agile as a result.

When working with leaders like yourself, we find it's easiest to reach a place where you're able to effectively assess context when you understand your own bigger picture - why you do what you do, and how you got to where you are.  That's why we're going to be starting with "why?". 

Effective leaders:

  • Set vision, purpose, focus
  • Read and seize the future
  • Understand the bigger picture (as well as the detail)
  • Have a readiness to learn, open minded
  • Are resourceful
  • Are politically astute
  • Drive for results

To start this week, watch Simon Sinek on how great leaders inspire action 

Simon Sinek presents a simple but powerful model for how leaders inspire action, starting with a golden circle and the question "Why?" 

Start your thinking

Start with why. Using Sinek's 'Golden Circle' approach, reflect on your own and your organisation's 'why'. Pick one of the two and prepare a 60-90 second "start with why", explaining your why, how and what.   We then want you to record and upload a clip of your "why" to the programme slack channel. 


Assessing context can feel intangible. You may like to use these resources to jump-start your thinking.


Liz Alexander

Take control of your business destiny


David Peter Stroh

Systems thinking for Personal Transformation and Social Change

Long read

Senge, Hamilton and Kania

The dawn of system leadership


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