CEO Chat #32

CEO Chat

One of my favourite things about CDA is the positive spirit and enduring helpfulness that is demonstrated by all the team.

On Friday 1st September, it was an absolute pleasure to welcome two new members of staff, Shelley Harrison (Support Work Team Leader) and Debbie Wilkinson (Community Engagement Coordinator). Both ladies are well known within the deaf community and have worked alongside CDA for many years providing communication support. They are already brimming with ideas and raring to go out into the community to expand the services we offer, increase engagement and training opportunities.

It is a notable trait among the CDA team that they regularly come forth with new ideas, operational procedures, learning opportunities, workplace layouts, activities within the communities etc. There is not a day that goes by without me receiving an email or message that starts “I have an idea…..”.  Which usually prompts a ‘NO 😊’ response from me, but with a timeline for review or reasons why it’s a no. It brings to mind the following quote.

“The art of leadership is saying no, not saying yes. It is very easy to say yes.” – Tony Blair

Swiftly followed by:

“Leadership is working with goals and vision; management is working with objectives” – Russel Honore

This continues to remind me that in my role as CEO I am required to demonstrate leadership and management, in varying quantities and ways at different times. Flexibility is key, along with accepting that each requires different energy, approach, and discipline. There are times that I need to be alone to collate the ideas and conversations of the week, to ensure I keep enough mental energy to move goals and visions into objectives and strategies. My team are wonderful at recognising when I need a ‘brain break’ and ply me with a very large mug of Earl Grey. 

What matters most to me is that no matter how much CDA grows is that we deliver the needs and aspirations of the deaf community, and for the people of Cumbria who are eager to be more inclusive and understanding. So, to achieve this, it requires me to continue attending coffee mornings, social events, assisting with jigsaw puzzles (see last week) and new activities so that the CDA team know that I am behind them, and see things from their perspective.

“To lead people, walk behind them.” – Lao Tsu