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Kathryn Braithwaite

Kathryn Braithwaite

Full Circle Arts

What makes a good leader?

Leadership is the comprehension of human nature, displayed through guidance, knowledge and support. It is a person who allows you a forum for growth by providing insight, inspiration and boundaries. The ideal environment for this is created through one of trust and respect. Chris Hammond, my current employer, shows immense leadership qualities. Through individual focus she leads from a perspective of understanding and overwhelming knowledge of the sector she works in.

Is leadership different for disabled people?

Does the simple linguistics of having an impairment or disability render one incapable of leading from the moment it is exposed? These words imply an inability to function, let alone lead. I have found it incredibly important to not allow this idea of being "impaired" to undermine the abilities I possess. The psychology involved in leading people is incredibly important, not only to those being led, but also to ones self. The concept of me in the role as leader has evolved over the past few years. My experiences of exclusion and involvement have generally been shaped by myself. It is often my own insecurities that lead me to exclude myself, my preconceived notion of what others may think. This is something that I have slowly but surely eradicated from my behaviour. I think it is fair to say, we often shape ourselves into leaders, not necessarily being full aware of the process we are going through.

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

I honestly don't think there are. It can be seen as an easier option to succumb to the submissive roles we are often placed in. However, I feel that if leadership is something that appeals to your nature, a "disability" is not something that should necessarily affect your progress. Disabled and non-disabled leaders all have weaknesses, the strength there in, is to not expose this weakness.