Leadership Conversations in 2021

Below we set out the dates and themes for our Conversations through to December 2021. Some Conversations are marked “Fellows only” because attendance is restricted to Leadership Fellows. Others are marked “Fellows+” because we are very happy to welcome Fellows’ nominees, such as a member of their top team or a key business partner.

Special Zoom Programme – Wisdom in duality.

In 2021 we are introducing a new series of zoom programmes, once a term, which we hope will become a standard part of our format for the Society going forwards. This builds on the value and insights that have been generated from our shorter ‘leader to leader’ zoom conversations and provides a space for people to connect in more depth around key questions that emerge. The report from the first series can be found here.

The broad theme we will be exploring this year is how we handle some of the dualities we face as leaders which have us pulled in different directions by different pressures, both internal and external. We often construe these as ‘either/or’ choices when the reality is ‘both/and’.

We have found the zoom environment, properly managed, to be just as conducive to in-depth conversations and have also found that the most value is obtained when we clear the space for a day to give it our full focus rather than trying to fit it in between other commitments. That is why we have allocated a day to these – either a single day or an afternoon and a morning of consecutive days.

This programme is provided as an optional addition to the residential programme and Fellows will still be expected to attend at least one face-to-face Conversation a year, as this is central to the ethos of the Society. Rather it is intended for those Fellows who want to sustain a more frequent contact than their annual attendance.

The three programmes on this thread for 2021 are: (please click on the title to see the agenda)

‘Hope & Doubt’ May 5th

‘Patience or Urgency’ July 7th

‘Hard &/or Soft’ – October 14th

Further details about all of these themes can be found below.

 

New Leadership Themes from January 2021:

Wisdom in Leadership

Wisdom in leadership is about cultivating our presence and awareness to see more broadly and deeply into what is really happening and access a quality of response that is not available when we are caught up in the immediacy of their concerns.

Leading in these times

This theme will focus on conversations that have a specific relevance to ‘the times we find ourselves in’. They give us a chance as leaders to sense into how the wider forces at work in ‘these times’ are making themselves felt in our own leadership and organisations.

Growth

This will be a more practical theme, looking at how we expand our resourcefulness, competence and confidence by enquiring into core leadership challenges and dilemmas that we all face – learning from our shared experience and best practice as we do so.

To read more about these new themes please click here.

 

Leadership Conversation
The 'Leader to Leader' Exchanges. February - July
12th Feb, 12th Mar, 23rd Apr, 21st May, 18th Jun, 16th Jul - From 12.00pm - 2pm
Following our first series we are offering a further 6 monthly leader to leader exchanges in which we can honestly examine our own responses as leaders as events unfold, in response to a simple prompt - ‘how am I doing?’ By answering this at different levels, and hearing ourselves do so, in the company of peers who have no other agenda than unlocking wisdom, we access profound insights and breakthroughs – the knowing we don’t know we know till we find ourselves expressing it.
Fee: £195 for the 6 session series
See the Agenda
Leadership Conversation
Deeper Learning - Facilitated small group sessions
Each session will be run on an ‘as needed’ basis. Simply register your interest and we will contact you to book in a time
One thing that many people have clearly valued on the conversations to date is Pete’s sensitive but probing facilitation and this is what we want to continue in these sessions. Facilitated by Chris or Karen, for groups of no more than five, these will provide a space to help you to go to a deeper level in addressing questions that are of real significance to you. This may be things that are stirring in you or concerning you, that you know you have not quite bottomed out – and which you sense may require some reappraisal of your own stance or perspective.
Each session will be run on an ‘as needed’ basis. Simply register your interest and we will contact you to book in a time
Fee: £75 per session
See the Agenda
Leadership Conversation
56
Hope & Doubt
(via Zoom)
From 10.15am until 4.30pm on Wednesday May 5th 2021
One of the most significant themes that emerged during our leader to leader conversations during all the ups and downs of the pandemic in 2020 was the theme of sustaining hope and the realisation that hope only has its true meaning when we are standing honestly in the midst of our doubt. Sustaining hope means communicating a deep seated belief that things will turn out of the good, and probably better, even though as we look rationally at what we find ourselves, we can only at this time see things getting worse. So how do we sustain the positive energy of hope when our own, and others, emotions have us tipping into despair? On the other hand how do we sustain a realistic perspective that enables people to engage purposefully with what is rather than basking in a false pretence that ‘all is well’? This tension can manifest itself in big strategic and cultural decisions or in short but significant interactions such as a meeting or coaching conversation. This conversation will help us sharpen our awareness of these dynamics and enable us to make wiser choices about how we show up as leaders. Fellows only
One-day remote Leadership Conversation fee: £290
See the Agenda
Leadership Conversation
58
Wisdom in Leadership
From 6.00pm on Sunday 23rd May 2021 until 11.15am on Wednesday 26th
One of the clearest messages from our conversations with Fellows was how much they valued the three day Conversations – the quality and depth that is possible when we really settle into the unique atmosphere of St Georges. This exclusive Fellows retreat will run once a year for people who want to take this quality time and space, together with a group of like-minded leadership peers, to reflect more deeply on your leadership calling and contribution. This Conversation is for those times in our leadership journey when we sense something different is being called for from us: a sense of stepping up or stepping into something beyond ‘business as usual’ - maybe a sense of something not being as it should in the world, or a sense of expansion and radical new possibility. Fellows +
Three-night Leadership Conversation fee: £1325
See the Agenda
Leadership Conversation
59
Connection and Community
From 10.15am until 4.30pm on Tuesday June 1st 2021
The capacity to collaborate is crucial to survival in a threatening environment, and almost everyone we speak to refers to new connections and relationships opening up once the illusion of our self-dependence was shattered by Covid. This Conversation will be of interest to those seeking to work across boundaries, whether hierarchical, functional, demographic or cultural – particularly trying to sustain some of the generative practices and possibilities opened up during the pandemic where so much goodwill, initiative and innovation became possible. What deeper changes are we trying to make, within and across our organisations, to sustain new forms of collaboration and connection? Fellows +
One-day Leadership Conversation fee: £450
See the Agenda
Leadership Conversation
60
Fostering Wisdom
From 6.00pm on Thursday 10th June 2021 until 3.30pm on Friday 11th June
This conversation will focus on our unique role as leaders in fostering in our own organisations the kind of quality of learning, insight, attention and reflection that we are able to access in this community here at St George’s. How do we create ‘safe space’ within our own systems for people to be able to pause and look more deeply at who they are and what is needed of them – not just in a developmental setting, but in the day to day running of a demanding organisational setting. Fellows +
One-night Leadership Conversation fee: £745
See the Agenda
Leadership Conversation
61
Patience or Urgency
(via Zoom)
From 10.15am until 4.30pm on Wednesday July 7th 2021
One thing we can all be certain of is that, emerging out of Covid, there will be no shortage of urgent priorities for action and one of the immediate risks we will all face therefore is the possibility of a crippling overload of expectations, most likely placed upon a diminished pool of people. This takes us into one of the great arts of leadership – knowing when to act and when to wait. There is a temptation as soon as we see something that needs doing we start making it happen. Fine maybe at lower levels in the system because the only person who suffers from this foolishness is ourselves. But so damaging at the top of the system where our overload of expectations is simply dumped on others, many of whom will not have the wisdom or temerity to challenge us on our impatience. Fellows only
One-day remote Leadership Conversation fee: £290
See the Agenda
Leadership Conversation
62
Leading in climates of Love and Fear
From 6.00pm on Thursday 8th July 2021 until 3.30pm on Friday 9th July
This 24 hour Conversation will explore what it means to lead not just with a focus on the usual leadership elements of task, process, people and culture etc, but with a subtle and profound awareness of the age old dynamics of love and fear as the deepest drivers of human activity. Fellows +
One-night Leadership Conversation fee: £745
See the Agenda
Leadership Conversation
63
Leading with Integrity - and walking the walk
From 6.00pm on Monday 6th September 2021 until 3.30pm on Tuesday 7th September
We might talk the talk, but do we REALLY walk the walk? This is the challenge that we intend to put to ourselves at this Conversation. We set out a series of challenging behaviours that Fellows have identified as necessary for us to be satisfied that we’re leading with integrity. What more should we each be doing to ramp up the standard of integrity that we expect of ourselves and really set an example that those around us WANT to follow? Should we - as we asked ourselves last time - set higher boundaries in those relationships where levels of integrity are okay but not as high as we judge them to be in some other relationships? Fellows +
One-night Leadership Conversation fee: £745
See the Agenda
Leadership Conversation
64
Addictions & Freedom
From 6.00pm on Monday 20th September 2021 until 3.30pm on Tuesday 21st September
Why would anyone want to come to a Conversation on addictions? The immediate answer is that they are the cause of much of the dysfunctionality that most inhibits our effectiveness, both our own and our organisation’s. It is the subtlety of compulsive and addictive behaviours that gradually lull us into a state of sleepwalking. The pandemic of course exposed many of these for what they were, but it is not long before we settle back into them – old and new patterns. One of the key skills of a leader is the ability to see this kind of sleepwalking and to wake people up – however unpopular this may make us. Jim Collins famously coined this as ‘facing the brutal facts’ in his book ‘Good To Great’. During this Conversation we will consider the cause and effect of addiction, the realities and repercussions in our workplaces, and our role as leaders in shifting these patterns. Fellows +
One-night Leadership Conversation fee: £745
See the Agenda
Leadership Conversation
65
Leadership and Legacy
From 6.00pm on Sunday 10th October 2021 until 11.15am on Wednesday 13th October
There is a time in our leadership journeys when we shift perspective. We start to emerge from roles, constraints and patterns that are to some extent defined for us – whether at work or at home – and to sense into how to be a freer and fuller expression of our true calling. As Parker Palmer puts it – ‘is the life we are living true to the life that’s living in us?’ Is there a sense of something else calling us into a bigger story than the one we are inhabiting at present? And this is not an exercise in vanity, around feeding our own sense of significance. Rather it is the opposite – a letting go and a deepening of service and humility: What are we seeing that is so needed in the world around us right now, however near or far we look… and if not us, then who? And what might really possible if we were willing to trust ourselves, and others, enough to step more clearly, fully and freely into it? Fellows +
Three-night Leadership Conversation fee: £1325
See the Agenda
Leadership Conversation
66
Hard & / or Soft
(via Zoom)
From 10.15am until 4.30pm on Thursday 14th October 2021
How we manage the conflicting emotions and energies within us when we have to show up strongly and firmly behind tough decisions whilst remaining compassionate and sensitive to those caught up in them. Fellows only.

One-day remote Leadership Conversation fee: £290
See the Agenda
Leadership Conversation
67
Organisations as Conversations
From 10.30am until 4.30pm Wednesday November 3rd 2021
“In language we build our own identities, our relationships with others, the countries that we live in, the companies that we have and the values that we hold dear. With language we generate life.” Fernando Flores
This conversation will look at the extraordinary power we possess as leaders to shape both our own and others’ experience of reality through language. It will aim to help us be more alert to the power of language and more attentive, purposeful, and often more subtle, in our interventions. Fellows only.
One-day Leadership Conversation fee: £450
See the Agenda
Leadership Conversation
68
Ethics in Leadership
From 6.00pm on Tuesday 2nd December 2021 until 3.30pm on Wednesday 3rd December
Further details to follow
One-night Leadership Conversation fee: £745
Leadership Conversation
69
Leader in the Mirror
From 6.00pm on Monday 6th December 2021 until 3.30pm on Tuesday 7th December
In his famous song Man in the Mirror, Michael Jackson sung "if you want to make the world a better place ... take a look at yourself and then make a change”. That will be our cue for this Conversation focusing on SELF-LEADERSHIP and our personal strategies for making better leaders of ourselves. What have been Fellows’ most effective strategies for self-leadership so far, and what are the key lessons that we each take from the stories that others share? Specifically, what changes should we each be making in our habits as leaders to make us more effective in persuading others to follow suit? By the end we hope to have sharpened up some general principles for getting tougher on the leader in the mirror, as well as supporting each other with sharpening up specific resolves in relation to our SELF-LEADERSHIP. Fellows +
One-night Leadership Conversation fee: £745
See the Agenda
Leadership Conversation
70
Rebalancing our lives as leaders and taking on our inner postponer!
From 10.30am until 4.30pm on Tuesday December 14th 2021
Every December we have a one-day Leadership Conversation in which we ask what your priorities are for the coming year. It has always been booked up 6 months beforehand, so please don’t delay too long if you want to join this one! This year we want to make things even more difficult for ourselves by asking which among our top priorities for 2022 we are most likely to postpone and - knowing ourselves as we do - keep on postponing. We will then explore what we might each do to ensure that in 2022 we TAKE ON OUR INNER POSTPONER! We hope that we will each end up with two or three resolves that we might ordinarily try to postpone and now intend to act on decisively in the early weeks of the New Year. Fellows only.
One-day Leadership Conversation fee: £450
See the Agenda