Deep Perseverance for Collective Leadership

What does it take to lead in times like ours? Deep Perseverance.

How do we respond to the global climate emergency? How do we create a more successful country with opportunities for all that increases the wellbeing of people living in Scotland? How do we recreate our public services so children grow up loved, safe and respected so that they realise their full potential?

Scotland’s ambition for its future, as set out in the National Outcomes is inspiring. We know that doing more of the same but quicker and smarter is no longer the solution going forward but how do we change our engrained patterns of behaviour? When the scale and complexity of the challenges can feel overwhelming, how do we look after ourselves and others in a way that allows us to take positive and perceptive actions?

Part of the answer is that we require a very different kind and quality of skills, experience and mind-set to persevere in our work without succumbing to exhaustion, overwhelm, cynicism and despair. Through the Collective Leadership for Scotland initiative we have recognised the need to take system change work to a deeper level to enable leaders to prepare themselves for the difficulties and challenges they face, particularly where those systems are failing and require transformation.

The ability to persevere in those most difficult of times requires intensive and deep personal work that can be difficult to attend to sufficiently. In particular, the need to cultivate the skills and practices to:

  • use systems thinking to explore relevant interconnections and potential consequences of policies and actions when working collectively on complex problems
  • maintain composure and stay present in difficult situations
  • maintain a stable mind that enables less reactivity and wiser responses
  • act with compassion and insight
  • deal with situations of high conflict, polarized positions and strong emotions.This will be the theme of this two-day event. It will be experiential, stretching and perhaps challenging at times but it is designed to help sustain you in your important system change work. Throughout the event, you will work on your own challenges and questions and also hear from colleagues and peers on how they have been making changes within their systems. More details will be released over the next few months. Spaces are limited so book yours now here:

If you have any questions, please contact Keira at

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