Leadership in commercial and voluntary organisations is about being curious, motivated – and grateful, the chief executive of Services For Education, the Birmingham education specialists, has said in a national report, What 3 Words Leadership Locations Report.

Sharon Bell is one of 100 business and organisation leaders from throughout the UK asked to reflect on leadership qualities – and summarise their views in just three words.

The top five words cited by business and organisation leaders were learn, curious, collaborate, passion and adapt – according to the 60-page report which has been published by Starfish Search, the senior executive search and interim management service business. The report was launched at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London.

“Leadership is about ensuring the organisation stays true to its vision, creating a culture which enables all colleagues to give of their best and, at the same time, ensuring the organisation is well placed to serve its customers in the years to come,” said Sharon – who became chief executive of the education and training charity in 2019. Services For Education employs more than 200 staff delivering music tuition to children, and expert training and development to teaching and school support staff.

“In my four years as Chief Executive of Services For Education, leadership has been about enabling and supporting the team to deliver our mission – of bringing music and learning to life – whilst at the same time, with senior colleagues, plotting a path through the various and sometimes unexpected situations which come our way, such as the recent broader societal economic challenges.”

The report says that, based on the responses, “Modern leadership is all about learning: being open to new philosophies and opportunities, being curious about others’ experiences and stories, and being OK about learning from the things that didn’t go as we had expected, and moving on.

“In such fast-changing times, when everything is a work-in-progress, how can leaders be expected to know everything, and to get everything right first time? Effective and resilient leaders use their self-awareness to maintain progress by constantly adjusting their own approach to suit shifting conditions and different relationships.

“With the end goal firmly in mind, they can relate their own role and presence to the communities around them, building rapport, cooperation and support, and adapting their style to meet emerging priorities and moods,” the report says.

Contributors to the What 3 Words Leadership Locations Report include the chief executives and directors of organisations as diverse as the Federation of Small Businesses, Lending Standards Board, Lloyds Bank Foundation, Unicef UK, The Coal Authority, Age UK and Royal Borough of Greenwich.

“The one certainty leaders have is that there is no certainty to bank on,” the report concludes.

“Through their positive and big picture outlook, their agility and entrepreneurialism, their personal resilience and unshakable belief in what they do and in their people, the strongest leaders exist in a state of ‘perfect imperfection’ through which they will achieve their end goal,” the report says.

The report is available at https://www.paperturn-view.com/?pid=ODc8769968