• Matt Edwards

BLIG #5 - Bold Leaders Illuminate Globe

Bold Transformational Leadership is Happening Right Now Everywhere!

I have been gobsmacked by the response from people all over the planet to this wretched virus that has truly taken over our lives... or has it?

On 18th March I published BLIG#4 Behaviour & Language Infecting Greatness - since then I chose to pause and re focus on what the effects of the outbreak would mean to me , my family and my 'start up business' - Performance Tree.

I spoke to my trusted confidents, gathered information from just a few reliable sources and started to take control on what I could control and influence. Me, my family and my business.

I CAN isolate and protect me my family & OTHERS, I CAN spend precious time teaching my kids, I CAN have reliable daily routines and disciplines, I CAN choose how I communicate & when, I CAN be even more creative, I CAN spend more quality time with my Mrs at home, I CAN connect with people whom I have lost contact with... and the list goes on. So it hasn't taken over our lives it is just strangely different, exciting and frustrating. I know there will be more sadness to come but I am simply not going to dwell on it - I will accept it sure, get emotional about it - almost definitely! But let it take over my life and use it as an excuse for stuff - NO WAY!

So what about this Transformational Leadership then all over the globe? Well I believe that Leaders are so easy to spot because they have followers. they start a movement and someone jumps on the band wagon and we are off. Get a few others to join in this shared purpose and you have a gathering, a community, a group, a culture and maybe a team!

Thats why I have always cited people like Lady Gaga, Banksy, or maybe the PHILANTHROPIST & INNOVATOR (not just a billionaire Businessman!) Bill Gates. Perhaps controversial choices I know, but they tick most of the Leadership boxes for me. Credible, Reliable & Low Self Interest, Courageous & Empathetic. And it is these traits / characteristics & behaviours that I am seeing everywhere. Sure there will always be those who will sit there and say... "I don't know what to do" (because) "There's no Information ...' & 'It's the governments fault...' & "I can't do this & I can't do that..." but most of them have crawled back under there stones after panicking the nation on social media and in supermarkets.

The leaders have stepped up everywhere however. There has been a truly shared leadership response to this crisis locally, nationally & globally. We have all had to pause as work, sport, hobbies, holidays and all the other 'usual stuff' has been put on hold or worse still cancelled. This has provided an opportunity for new movements to start, with new followers and the existing essential institutions to become stronger than ever.

Let's take the NHS for example - A bedrock of British society being worshipped like never before. Everyday heroes stepping up in the face of danger with blood sweat & tears. Worth remembering too that they are also under-funded, under-resourced and under pressure like never before. Yet members of our medical profession are literally laying down their lives for our loved ones.

Next up the thousands of support groups, food banks and volunteers who again have stepped up in adversity with selfless acts (and they don't bang on about it - just get on with it!). Still some people doubt some of their actions - but they carry on regardless... True courage & empathy

  • I also want to give a shout out to people like Sir Jim Radcliffe (Britain's richest man no less) for cracking on and converting a manufacturing plant in Middlesborough to make P.P.E. and another in Germany too in just 10 days

  • People like Gary Neville too & his partners for closing his boutique hotel in Manchester and opening it to NHS staff

  • And a big business too like Morrisons supermarkets who pledged £10m to the food bank cause.

I also want to revel in the joy of culture emerging and altruism springing from everywhere. Leaders from music, comedy, film, theatre, art, entertainment, technology, health & well being, are flooding the internet and airwaves with support, advice, ideas, activities, channels, webcasts, podcasts, gigs and performances for everyone to share and its all for free!

It's like Wikipedia has grown arms and legs!!

Here are just a few of the amazing things happening right now...

National Theatre Live to stream shows from archive for free every week on YouTube.

National Theatre At Home will see a different NT Live film streamed live on YouTube for free every Thursday from 2nd April for the next two months, with each stream available on demand for the next seven days. A host of accompanying content, including Q&As, interviews and post-stream talks will also be made available.  The current confirmed schedule is as follows, with further productions set to be announced in due course. 

  1. 2nd April: One Man, Two Guvnors

  2. 9th April: Jane Eyre

  3. 16th April: Treasure Island

  4. 23rd April: Twelfth Night (starring Tamsin Greig)

BBC Arts Culture In Quarantine features innovative ways to connect with the country, including:
  • In Quarantine Fund - As part of a wider collaboration between BBC Arts and Arts Council England, a new fund will be launched to commission and distribute around 25 new works by independent artists, in response to the Covid-19 outbreak. This will be reflected throughout the nations.

  • Access to Exhibitions - Audiences will get extraordinary access to shuttered exhibitions and closed museums in a four part series, Museum In Quarantine.

  • The Big Book Weekend - A three-day virtual books festival co-founded by the authors Kit de Waal and Molly Flatt, with support from BBC Arts and publishing start-up MyVLF, The Big Book Weekend is a virtual festival that brings together the best of the cancelled British literary festivals. Video interviews, panel discussions, and in conversation sessions will be broadcast as live across three days over the first bank holiday weekend in May.

  • Performance - A repertory theatre service across platforms, with productions from the best of the BBC and the UK dance and theatre scene’s recent output; including a brand new play by David Greig on Radio 3 and new work from the Balletboyz on BBC Four, alongside six classical Shakespeares with the RSC as part of an education initiative for BBC Four, featuring stars like Christopher Eccleston and Hugh Quarshie, and with educational tools online for children learning these plays on the school syllabus.

  • Online Culture Resource - BBC Arts digital will be repurposed as Culture In Quarantine to support and showcase the work of the wider culture sector.

Dangerous Thinking

I too have joined in with the community spirit joining groups on social media and connecting on platforms like Zoom - who's shares must be going through the roof right now! Facebook, Whats App, House Party and many others are keeping us connected in the right way if we choose to.

My 2 favourites in the last week were The Spring Break Mini Conference hosted by The Clear Thinking Partnership (In association with Performance Tree) - 9 professionals 'Zoomed In' to here our first guest speaker - Lyn from 'Somerset Escargot' - talking to us and answering questions on Snail Farming. Check them out on Facebook they are amazing! The next couple of weeks sees two more guests booked in to The Spring Break Mini Conferences. First up is Liz Wilson - Musician - Comedian - Adventurer - Mum & Grandma! Followed by Ricky Locke - Magician - Pick Pocket and all round uber-human!

My other personal favourite and final BLIG of the week was "Belly Laughter Infused Gin" - Zooming with my pals on Saturday night. Myself, Nas, John, Devvers, & Seb, all settled in to have a quick catch up followed by a 'brilliant' pub quiz. Which included (& unplanned) a Movie Quotes Insults Round - A Numbers Round - A General Knowledge Round - A Universally Challenged Round and a round that included "What 3 things were on my shopping list that i forgot today" and "Guess the weight of these 3 grapes" and 'How many tools can I put on the plumbers belt before his pants fall down" (Kids game honest!) - A brilliant evening sure to be repeated soon.

Thank you so much to everyone mentioned in this weeks BLIG.


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