Supporting Leaders & Developing Skills

“If ever there was a time for supporting leaders – it’s now” writes Louise Teboul, Operations Director, Common Purpose UK

At Common Purpose, we’ve been working with diverse, cross-sector leaders for over 30 years, bringing them together to learn from, and with each other, through real-life, honest conversations about the challenges of leadership.

Over those 30 years over work has developed and changed, but it has always been fundamentally about supporting people to be more effective, better leaders, in both their organizations and the places they live and work in. We do this by creating a safe environment where individuals can challenge themselves and cross boundaries – whether that’s the boundaries of sector, ways of thinking, faith, geography or culture.

We’ve always focused on leading change and collaboration and it’s always had an impact, with people forging bonds that last many years after their programmes, but now, more than ever, we believe we need to support leaders to be agile, lead people and solve complex problems. And all of this needs to be achieved against the current context of on-going uncertainty, when none of us know what’s going to happen in the future, let alone next month!

Like many organisations we adapted the way we work back in March, moving from a face-to-face programme, with 30 cross-sector leaders one week to completing the programme virtually. For years we’ve been delivering ‘blended’ learning, but we took the decision to create a new virtual programme – to see us through the current Covid-19 challenges. In hindsight it was the right decision, but none of us 100% knew that, at the time.

We have now developed new, real-time, virtual leadership programmes for both senior and emerging leaders. Both focus on connecting cross-sector, diverse peers to learn from, and with each other, and are about engagement, not lectures or webinars. We have inspiring and thought-provoking contributors, who share their leadership insights, in a confidential honest, open way and there’s lots of opportunity to question, discuss and engage.

We’ve also taken advantage of the benefits that virtual learning can bring – alongside local cohorts, the programmes across the UK join other participant groups from South Africa, India, Hong Kong and Ireland for even more diversity. In addition, we’ve developed an app – to help track the insights/learnings from the programme and a Cross-Boundary Leadership Index tool.

We’re confident that this programme can help leaders develop the skills they need at one of the most challenging, uncertain and pivotal points in their careers. We found this earlier this year with our senior leaders programme – as Nicola FleetMilne, CEO, FleetMilne Property put it:

“The online programme hosted by Common Purpose was an absolute lifesaver – it brought together a community of professionals at a time when we were facing the same life-altering situations, the same intense pressures, but a multitude of different work and personal challenges. I enjoyed the course immensely and over the past eight weeks I have developed leaps and bounds.”

We’re delighted, once again, to be supporting Birmingham Law Society and the winner of the Law Partner of the Year award will get a place on our next senior leaders programme. Here’s what last year’s prize winner Nick Green, Partner, Squire Patton Boggs said about his experience:

“I thoroughly enjoyed taking part in Common Purpose and found this quite simply the best course I have ever been on. It was is very well organized and thought-out and brings together a great group of people from a huge range of backgrounds and outlooks and challenges everyone to work together both to problem solve and also to see issues from a different perspective. Over the different modules we had the opportunity to hear from some inspiring people and learn more about other businesses and institutions that you wouldn’t otherwise have seen.”

Louise concludes: “Leadership can be a lonely place, especially right now, and I don’t think it can be learnt from a book, but having a diverse group of contributors, and peers, to support you in your leadership challenges and journey can be hugely beneficial.”

If you would like to find out more about the Common Purpose programme, visit or contact Louise Teboul at