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

The Purposeful Leader

Understanding the hearts and minds of our colleagues is critical. Knowing and connecting with what matters to us as individuals and as a team, right now, will help build momentum and confidence in shaping the future, together.

When we connect with our purpose and understand our motivations – the ones we might know of but have never articulated – we can raise the bar to work with more heart, compassion and lead with values at the forefront of every choice we make. As we navigate a more challenging academic year, this is more important than ever before.

“It’s been a really valuable experience. I discovered more about myself and how I make the choices and decisions that I do. The group and dynamic online was great, and we built a lot of trust early on. Since taking part in The Purposeful Leader I’ve looked back at the work again a number of times and I’ve committed to taking actions and putting these into place.”

Ollie Shearer
Director of Sport and Derby Student Residences Ltd
University of Derby

Now is the time to make a purposeful change. Join us and colleagues from across higher education for the residential programme, taking place in March 2021.

A note on Coronavirus and the residential programme
We are constantly reviewing the guidelines given by the Government on how to meet and work together safely. We are cautiously planning the residential Purposeful Leader for next March, however as the situation evolves we may adapt the programme to bring it to you online. If you have any questions please contact Louise Clifton, Director of Marketing, Communications and Operations.

The Purposeful Leader

The Purposeful Leader is a dedicated space for you to explore and articulate your professional purpose and put this at the heart of your leadership. It’s designed for anyone who wants to lead, shape or contribute to a values-led culture.

Alongside colleagues from all walks of higher education life, we’ll work with you to:

  • Explore the congruence between your personal, professional and institutional values
  • Build a thriving culture of trust and collegiality by putting values and purpose at heart of everything you and your colleagues do.
  • Navigate uncertainty by leading from a position of purpose that endures, letting go of things that hold you back and building momentum to overcome environmental pressures.
  • Achieve impact through leading with compassion and clear values to achieve what matters.
  • Connect strategy to action. Re-orientate what you do every day to your personal and institutional strategic purpose, giving you confidence to move forward with intent.
  • Connect and exchange ideas with your colleagues on the in-house programme, or from across the sector on our residential programme.

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The programme in detail

Over the course of two days you’ll focus on these questions:

  • Who am I as a human being? What really matters to me? What do I stand for?
  • Who am I as a leader? What really matters to me? What do I stand for?
  • What is my specific purpose as a leader? What are the challenges I face?
  • How do people understand what matters to me as a leader?

Through inquiry, reflection and group work you’ll explore your personal and professional narrative and how to use this to create a culture of trust, root what you do in your purpose and vision, and hone an action plan to put your learning into place.

With two expert facilitators, you will work through a sequence of group tasks and individual activities that will help you navigate the complex challenges you face in your leadership.

The techniques we use will stretch you and may surprise you, and by the end of the programme you will leave with practical outcomes that you can apply directly to your work and in your leadership.

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Dates, venue and cost

The Purposeful Leader will begin at 10am on Wednesday 10 March and close at 4pm on Thursday 11 March 2021.

The venue will be near York, and accessible from York train station. We’ll be releasing the venue details in the autumn of 2020. The cost is £1,250 excluding VAT.

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Make it your own

Embed purpose at the heart of how you and your team work together. Using The Purposeful Leader design as the foundation, we’ll adapt the programme with your needs and context in mind, and deliver this online, blended on in person.

To find out what this could look like and to tell us more about your situation, please contact Paul Gentle, Academic Director.

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Enquire or book

To enquire or book for either the residential programme or to discuss an in-house Purposeful Leader, please contact Paul Gentle, Academic Director.

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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Why purpose and why now?

We believe it’s time to focus on purpose. The essence that underpins why we come to work each day. The thing that drives commitment, energy, and belief in ideas and strategies. That speaks to our hearts as well as our minds.

More than ever before, we need to reconnect to our professional purpose, and the wider purpose of our organisations.

Purposeful Leadership: Now or never?

The Purposeful Leader

Purpose is in our nature. So why do we often forget how important it can be to our professional lives?

When we’re motivated by what is right and when we can see how our work connects with a purpose greater than ourselves, this is when we can make the biggest difference to the people we work with and lead.

Read: Purposeful Leadership: Now or never?

What do you want to be when you grow up?

Growing up

The inside out approach – let’s stop looking around us for the answers but ask ourselves questions that will help us understand who we are and how we can find steadiness and courage in all that we do.

Read: What do you want to be when you grow up?

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