Be the Change

by Emma Butler   @Emmajbutler16

emmaIt was a normal day at the office. A busy day. I came across Ambition School Leadership (@Ambition_Inst) and a Headship course. I first thought – me? Headship? No. Not a chance… but I was 10% braver, without even knowing it. Women only cohort? Why not. So the women only cohort it was. I had no idea what it was, meant or had the ability to do. To me it was a new opportunity. To me it was a course, but it was so much more than that. I can’t begin to even explain the experiences that I have gained – it’s one of those things that just happens and you connect. And we did. All of us. We created a value driven group, a network of belief, trust, hope and success. We became a group of women that shared our successes and our failures and were confident to do so. So how did we become this group of women? It was because we had inspiring women leaders who talked us through their experiences in leadership, some which caused silence and shock, others happiness and confidence. We had women telling us to be 10% braver. Stood in front of us were women who had been 10% braver, who had taken that step and who overwhelmingly told us ‘You can do this’. So we became confident. We started to believe in our own ability. We started to share stories of our barriers, failures but also of our successes. We became a group of women all with different beliefs, ideas, and experiences that wanted to show the world who we were and what we could do as women in leadership.

We have learnt that together we are stronger. We have laughed together, celebrated together and we have cried together. We have shared our stories our dreams our passions and our ideas. Whatever our contribution has been, we have felt valued. We have felt respected. So have we been 10% braver? We have. We all have in our own way.

We now have women leaders at all levels in our group. We have women striving for gender equity, we have women applying for leadership posts, creating cultures of success and inspiring young women to be 10% braver. We have women who want to ‘be the change’

We are all making an impact in our schools that will forever change the lives of young people. We have this because we no longer accept that we won’t be that next Headteacher. We were lucky enough to celebrate one of our group been offered a Headship at our final residential. She was 10% braver. She inspired all of us.

So the headship course has now finished and we have all gone our separate ways but our connection remains as strong as ever. Since our final residential, we have had 100s of supportive messages in our group encouraging each other and celebrating with news of interviews, new jobs, Headteacher posts. The list goes on. What we have is invaluable. What we have is each other. That is the power of our connection and our friendships. That is the power of our network. That is the impact of us all be 10% braver.

To all women leaders and potential women leaders out there. Stop, think and dream. Do something amazing. Take that step. Go for that job. Stand up and speak up. Be 10% braver. Whatever that means for you. Be a part of education that changes lives. Create a network.

For women at any level in education reading this, I urge you to read the book and believe in its power of what it can do. Can a course really change your life? Can the NPQH women only cohort and a book called 10% braver have that much of an impact?

Yes it can. And I am forever grateful for it.

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