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Danny Start

Danny Start


What makes a good leader?

Someone who listens, trusts who they are listening to, and uses listening to inform decisions, big and small - someone who avoids the paranoid, distrustful empire building paranoia of many leaders in this sector (they know who they are!).

My experience of leadership has been colourful to say the least – but personally and professionally I think writer/teacher Kaite O'Reilly has great qualities of reactive/proactive balance, patience, good humour and a willingness to talk straight when needed - and an abundance of ideas.

Is leadership different for disabled people?

Driven? Ambitious? Sometimes... But one's impairment changes the tone, moves one to the relaxed from the frenetic. It’s all quite calming and eye-opening...

And... I see good ideas starved of air by leaders lacking in enthusiasm because they don't 'own' them. A good idea's a good idea - and any leader worth his/her salt should run with it and give credit where its due.

Do disabled people experience barriers to leadership that non disabled people don’t experience?

The one-dimensional view of a leader as some Henry V figure rallying the troops - does get in the way. A demagogue's good entertainment value sometimes - but you wouldn't you rather have the calm voice, quietly winning the day (with the odd joke thrown in)?

The equation leadership equals energy begs the question: how do you measure energy? I know of leaders who huff and puff, don't listen and build castles on sinking sand. I'd rather get the surveyors in.