Seyi Obakin,
Chief Executive

"Our purpose at Centrepoint is to give young people a future and ultimately to end youth homelessness. Everything we do must be in support of that. One of my first priorities when I became CE of Centrepoint was to pull together a leadership team in good enough shape to deliver it.

Everyone on my team at Centrepoint had the appetite to do the right thing and got along pretty well together: but we were not truly addressing the real issues.

We started by building a shared vision about what we wanted to deliver professionally. This was the easy bit! Then we met off site half a dozen times across a nine month period to address what it would take for us to work together well to make this happen. Given our different personalities, styles, histories and priorities there was a lot of work to do.

We started to talk to each other in a different way. We got better at giving feedback in a way that could be heard, accepted and used. Each of us gradually became more open and receptive to hearing feedback from each as the trust in each other gradually deepened.

We became more confident in challenging each other constructively and then aligning and committing around action and holding each other accountable to it.

The discipline to meet regularly to share honest dialogue with your peers and make public commitments to move things forward is very powerful.

It has not all been plain sailing since our development programme completed, and in fact we have even lost one of our members who did not find comfortable the new culture of candid feedback.

For the team that remains, including new members who have joined and embraced the approach, we are now more flexible and resilient and better able to absorb the shocks along the road and to adapt to whatever comes our way."