CALM Leader Live with Emma Clarke, CEO

CALM Leader Live recently brought the CALM hub an interview with Emma Clarke, CEO of Weston Park Cancer Charity. The epitome of CALM, Emma joined Weston Park in 2019 and was appointed as CEO during the pandemic following a career dedicated to serving the charity sector.

Emma is an inspiring and inclusive leader, passionate about people in her words as well as her actions. She role models her values for all to see and is a firm believer that without supporting your people first and showing up authentically, an organisation will only ever make limited progress.

We talked to Emma about how she lives and breathes her values in her role and why CALM has had the honour of supporting the growth and development of the team throughout the past two winters.

What’s helped Emma to create a CALM culture?

– Recognising that diversity amongst your people means you can cover a lot more bases and deliver more holistic outcomes.

– Fundamental basics when it comes to community building within a team include caring for each other and helping each other and ensure that links with the work that’s being done. People need to feel seen and heard and then beautiful things can, and do, happen.

– Leaders have to recognise that they have to work on culture and team proactively – it doesn’t just happen by itself. It needs thought, attention and space by both the leadership and the team as a whole.

– In practice this includes team breakfasts, walks in the park, cross functional working groups, CALM support through the winter for better wellbeing.

– As with life, it’s often the small things and the small touches that make the biggest difference when it comes to people. So don’t forget the daffodils!

– CALM leadership is best enabled when surrounded by a strong support team with a breadth and depth of experience and knowledge. Having this in place is essential for any effective leader. Think about who you would want around your kitchen table?

– When caring for others, it’s essential to take care of yourself first. It’s not easy but the benefits for people are so worth it. You have to persevere with it and try different things to make it work.

– Think about ways to help people show themselves and share information that makes them feel authentic and connected at work.

– Dealing with guilt is key when it comes to taking time out and resting. It helps to keep talking about this so it’s out in the open to create a shared reality around the guilt – you are not alone – and reflect on how to manage your energy more intentionally.

– Don’t leave culture to take care of itself and accept that the work here is never done – it’s a continuous process to tend to.

– Say thank you and celebrate a lot.

And Emma’s advice for 1% CALMer as a leader in the 21st century workplace: work with CALM ;), view leadership as an absolute privilege, get the right people around your kitchen table and use your energy wisely.

Listen to the full interview here: