Leadership Connections

Leadership Connections is a leadership consultancy also offering HR training, large scale change, leadership safari and mentoring

Our links with Africa

Part of the reason for setting up Leadership Connections was to create the opportunity to use our skills to help make the world a better place and make a contribution to people with needs far greater than ours.

Our quest to find how to do this started at a conference in Barcelona in 2004, took us to build a school with the Maasai and continues today.

From our previous visits, we have produced a series of articles which can be accessed through the Lessons from Africa pages.

Click here to see the story to date...

Click here to visit our special Africa Mini-site...

 

Join Us!

We're looking for people to help with our work in Africa. This might include:

  • Individuals or groups who want to come for an incredible experience and a profound personal, leadership and team development.
  • Funding to help with the work - or ideas on how to find it.
  • Anyone with a shared passion for the cause and idea who wants to join us on our quest to help those in need.
     

Let's Talk.

To understand more about this work, and how you might get involved, please Contact Us – we'd love to hear from you.

Supporting leaders to overcome their obstacles and develop themselves - through coaching and mentoring

Increasing the effectiveness of management teams through leadership team development

Identifying and improving leadership across the organisation through talent management and leadership development

Mobilising large groups for change through creating inspiring conferences and motivational speaking

Increasing the effectiveness of the Human Resources function through HR strategy and skills development

 

Leadership Connections and Africa

Chris's story (so far!...)

 

The story began with a trip I made to Barcelona to facilitate at an event called the Council and Parliament of the Worlds Religions in July. When I heard about it, it seemed to be divinely sent to help me answer two big questions that I have been wrestling with for a long time – ‘what does spirituality mean to me?’ and ‘what is the work that I was put here to do?’. How better to do this than to use my skills on some huge global issues whilst rubbing shoulders with people from all religious traditions? My hopes were, therefore, high but not in vain.

The first ever Parliament in 1893 brought together representatives of all of the worlds faiths to try to improve common understanding and look for things on which they could all agree. This first event spawned a lot of academic research but nothing then happened for 100 years until the Parliament was recreated to celebrate the centenary. The 1993 event was followed by one in 1999 at which the participants agreed that all faiths could agree on four things; a just economic order (debt), the right to safety in ones own home (refugees), the right of access to clean drinking water and the avoidance of religiously motivated violence.

The 2004 event was in two parts. At the Council 400 invitees came together and this was followed by the Parliament where several thousand people attended. The focus of the Council was to learn from one another’s faiths about the issues and solutions to them. I was facilitating in the group focussed on the water issue and I learned some truly staggering facts. One billion people in our world do not have access to clean drinking water. Incredibly the problem is getting worse and this figure is expected to double by 2050. More immediate, perhaps, is the fact that a child dies every eight seconds of a water related illness. How can this be? Why do we let it happen? These things are hard to comprehend living in comfort in rainy England.

The issues then were huge and would have been overwhelming if it were not for the extraordinary human beings who came to the event. In the water group we had people from 17 religious traditions. Each person had travelled from all over the world to join with people from other traditions to share their own stories and wisdom, to learn from others and to each make a contribution to making the world a better place. Each and every one of them was an extraordinary human being, with an incredible story, a powerful spiritual presence and who were already doing amazing things for the good of others. To be amongst them was both humbling beyond description and incredibly inspiring.

There are more tales to tell about this event than I have space for here but there are two things that most stand out for me. The first is how important the work is. The problems are all overwhelming in their scale but I feel deeply that I must be part of helping – even if only at a local level. The second, and probably related, thing was that a combination of the issues, the facilitation work and the people meant that I found myself happier and more effective than I think I have ever been before whilst working. This must be a huge clue to what I might do for work in the future.

To this end I met a couple of American colleagues in Barcelona with whom I set up a venture. Our idea was to run personal and leadership development events around third world projects. In June 2005 we took our first group to help build a school with the Maasai village of Merrueshi in Kenya. It was an unbelievable experience for the three of us as well as the nine people we took. The Maasai are incredible people and what surprised us all was how much we have to learn from them about community and relationships.  It was a life changing experience for all of us.

Perhaps the best illustration of the way they took us to their hearts was the welcome we received on arrival. Perhaps 150 people had gathered at a clearing in the bush – some of whom had walked 10 miles to be there. All thoughts of our long trip were completely erased when the welcome began.  The warriors danced for us (and with us!), the women sang for us and every single one of them greeted every single one of us individually. It was the warmest, most generous welcome I have ever received and set the tone for the entire trip. We became so close to the people in Merrueshi that we were pining to get back ‘home’ after only a day on Safari in the middle of the trip. I was one of a number of us who wept when they left us at the airport – it felt like saying goodbye to very old friends who we might never see again.

One of my colleagues, John Scherer, went back in September 2006 to help the same community with a water pipeline project and I am taking my daughters to Malawi in Summer 2007 to work on a project there.

We're now looking for further groups who want to come on a project like this for a life changing experience. If you know anyone - or would like to get involved then please make contact.

 

To be continued....

 

Chris Henderson

 

Related links:

www.wateraid.com

www.cafod.co.uk

www.maketradefair.com

Leadership Connections

Leadership Connections is a leadership consultancy also offering HR training, large scale change, leadership safari and mentoring