The latest insights on narrative, storytelling and leadership in higher education.

The Purposeful Leader

Leadership should be such an exciting channel for expressing your purpose and reinforcing your personal and institutional reputations. Developing a narrative which shows how you and your colleagues live out their values in service of a greater good will be an overriding priority for leaders in the 2020s. Devoting time to equipping yourself and your team to think through and communicate that narrative is no longer a luxury.

Now is the time to unlock how you can connect your values and purpose to how you practise your leadership. It’s time to set the scene for significant change and action through your thought leadership.

The Purposeful Leader

The Purposeful Leader is a dedicated, confidential space to recalibrate how you define and project your professional identity by reconnecting your values and purpose to your leadership practice.

We’ll work with you to create a shift in your professional narrative that will help you create a shift back in your workplace. By embedding purpose as the foundation of your leadership, you will enhance how you engage the people you work with and lead, be authentic in what you do and create a culture of trust and collegiality.


The Purposeful Leader will enable you to:

  • Achieve successful outcomes through compassionate, values-based leadership
  • Enhance your reputation as a thought leader in your university and beyond
  • Connect what you do every day to your leadership purpose, giving you momentum and confidence in the impact of your leadership
  • Gain new ideas and inspiration on emerging trends from leaders in other sectors
  • Build thriving professional cultures with your colleagues based on trust and collegiality

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The Purposeful Leader programme

On day one you’ll focus on:

  • Your professional purpose and narrative
  • A narrative for your team, department or institution
  • Preparing for challenge

On day two you’ll focus on:

  • Responding as a team to challenge
  • Honing and road-testing your leadership manifesto

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Booking, dates and venue

Booking will open on Friday 18 October. To register your interest or reserve a place, please contact Louise Clifton, Director of Marketing, Communications and Operations.

The Purposeful Leader will take place at Hornington Manor near York, on Wednesday 20 – Thursday 21 May 2020. The programme will start at 10am on Wednesday, and close the following day at 4pm.

Hornington Manor

A hidden gem in the heart of the North Yorkshire countryside, Hornington Manor is Grade II listed house set amongst 300 acres of green pastures. En-suite bedrooms, flagstone kitchens and a sunlit converted barn which we’ll use during the course of the programme all combine to create a homely and away-from-it-all feel. Located near the small village of Bolton Percy, the Manor is only 10 miles from the centre of York and 20 miles from Leeds.

A: Hornington Manor Farm, Oxton Lane, Bolton Percy, York, YO23 7AS


Terms and Conditions

We will work with you to ensure that you and your colleagues enjoy every aspect of what makes Invisible Grail special – before, during and after the programmes themselves. Click here for our full terms and conditions.

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Who The Purposeful Leader is for

If you’re working on a project that needs a leadership narrative, heading up a departmental team or leading for your university on a strategy, investing your time in joining us on this programme will help you gain focus, energy and pleasure.

The programme is for anybody working in a leadership role in an institution of higher education, or a partner body.

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Your programme experience

With two expert facilitators, you’ll work through a sequence of group tasks and individual activities that will create a map for how to navigate the complex challenges you face. We use techniques that will stretch you and may surprise you. By the end of the programme you will leave with practical outcomes that you can use in your work.

While you’ll get to know your fellow participants and facilitators closely during the programme, you’ll also meet the guests who will join the group from other walks of professional life.

A cohort usually comprises a group of up to 12 leaders from both academic and professional services areas of universities, and the small group size means that when you take part, there are plentiful opportunities for feedback and conversation with the facilitators.

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