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Lived Experience Leadership Rebooting the DNA of Leadership


Clore Social Leadership Publisher and Authors Baljeet Sandhu. Edited by Emma Janaskie


Shaped by the insights, perspectives and views of 30 social leaders using their lived experiences to lead positive change in society, this report explores and develops the growing concept of Lived Experience Leadership. Leaders, change-makers and innovators working across the social sector in the United Kingdom (including, charity, voluntary and not-for-profit; philanthropy, government, social enterprise, and business), kindly shared their personal and professional leadership journeys, successes and challenges as Lived Experience Leaders (LEx Leaders) and explored the current landscape of leadership learning, development and support for LEx leaders currently operating across the social sector and communities in the UK.

This report is a call for action. There is a growing need for social purpose organisations to ‘nourish’, repair, reintegrate, and reboot the leadership DNA of the social sector. To invest in targeted, sophisticated and bespoke leadership and development support to help this community of leaders grow, ‘feel welcome’, and reconnect with wider social sector operations.
The report is based on two main sources: IN-DEPTH INTERVIEWS The bulk of the findings are based on lessons derived from in-depth interviews with fifteen social sector leaders who self-identify as LEx leaders. All but two of the interviews were conducted in person or by phone. Two interviewees submitted their responses by writing (email).
A full list of interviewees can be found in Appendix 1. SURVEY RESPONSES The second main source of data is derived from data collected from surveys completed by fifteen participants of the year-long ‘leaders with lived experience’ project led by UnLtd, a leading provider of support to social entrepreneurs in and around the UK, between 2017 and 20182. All fifteen participants completed the surveys following the conclusion of the project.

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