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Rachel Healey

Rachel Healey

National Foundation for Giving Voice

What makes a good leader?

Someone who is skilled, with self-belief, inner resources, good support networks and structures, flexible awareness, who enables and doesn't judge, who knows their strengths and limitations, can ask for help and admit not knowing, and can keep in touch with what matters even in the face of resistance and discouragement.

Is leadership different for disabled people?

I don't have to be high energy to be a leader. The more responsibility I can facilitate others to take for themselves, the less demanding, physically, it is for me to lead the group and the process.

Do you think there are barriers to leadership for disabled people that non-disabled people don't face?

Work culture is so exhausting and most people lack skills in self-care and self-valuing, like skipping lunch or working extra hours. If I skip lunch or miss my break I can't work, it's simple. My health depends on good planning, and on me managing my time and energy. Others may not feel ill through skipping lunch, but they're not offering their best if they're under resourced. My disability has forced me to take these issues seriously and take action in my own life - but they are relevant to all humans.