What inspires you?
Unusual contrasts and juxtapositions of words or events, people speaking their truths, Leonard Cohen and the need to speak the unsaid.
Which leadership development programme did you attend?
Artist Practitioner placement
Why did you choose the programme?
I’m passionate about engaging people in my artform and wanted to develop my own ability to do that.
How do you relax?
Looking at the sea, eating chocolate, reading crap magazines and excellent memoirs and watching Boston Legal on DVD.
What single thing would improve the quality of your work-life?
More time to write
What is your greatest fear?
What pearl of leadership wisdom would you offer an emerging leader?
Lead as yourself.
What is your guiltiest pleasure?
The aforementioned chocolate and crap magazines. Also liking ITV2’s “Paris Hilton’s New Best Friend” was a new low in guilty pleasures.
What words or phases do you most overuse?
“It’s the way forward”, “It be reet”.
What has been your most challenging situation as a leader?
Working with someone who didn’t value my usual techniques in leading a creative schools project.
What did you learn from that experience?
That showing by doing doesn’t always work; sometimes you have to show and express your workings especially if someone is resistant to what you’re doing for whatever reason.
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Lots of good food and kisses by the sea.
Which book(s) are you reading at the moment?
I’m in the middle of; Michael Chabon’s “Maps and Legends”, Glen David Gold’s “Sunnyside”, Tim Moore’s “French Revolutions”, and have just started but am pained by Sebastian Faulks’ “A Week in December”.
Which 'leader' from the past or present day do you most admire and why?
Am beginning to admire really Carol Ann Duffy for the way she’s broadening out the laureateship- I suspect quite selflessly too.
Where would you like to live?
By the sea. France one day.
Did you experience any eureka! moments during your leadership development programme? If yes, what?
That leading through practice is potentially powerful but not the default organisational model of leadership. That fulfilling my potential as an artist could be a good way of leading.
What is your favourite smell?
Jasmine and the Body Shop’s Ananya.
If you were a super hero, what would your power be?
I would be Thesaurus Woman
Have you found your leadership development beneficial?
It’s made me think bigger; in terms of what I can do as an artist and within and for my artform. It’s broadened my horizons and shown I don’t have to go down the organisational route to be an effective leader in some way. Also people keep saying “Make sure you’re getting something out of what you’re doing” and I’m listening.
For what cause would you die?
I’d live and speak instead.
What do you consider to be your greatest (professional or personal) achievement?
My greatest professional achievement was becoming Radio 4 Saturday Live’s Poet in Residence. My greatest personal achievement has been learning to trust love.
What has been your most embarrassing moment?
A horrible death on stage in Bridlington when they clearly thought the pink flying v ululele innovation in my act was rubbish.
What would your 'leadership' motto be?
Being beats doing.
If you were stranded on a desert island what 5 things would you want with you?
My fiancee, chocolate, the internet, an endless supply of books, a personal chef.
What is your favourite song?
Bruce Springsteen’s “Born to Run”
What keeps you awake at night?
Knowing I have to get up early.
What is the most important lesson life has taught you so far?
If you don’t have it you can learn it.
Do you plan to do more leadership development? If yes, what area do you plan to focus on?
I want to do some research and am very interested in action learning as a way of mentoring new creative facilitators and artists.
Name: Kate Fox
Title: Associate Writer
Organisation: New Writing North
Location: Newcastle upon Tyne
Literature development agency for the North East of England