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WOF Summit 2012: Why traditional leadership won’t do

“You’ve got to take risks. There’s no discussion about that. The sitting-still-position will make you die as a company,” says Sophie Turner-Laing.

Turner-Laing should know – she is Managing Director of Entertainment, News and Broadcast Operations at BSkyB. Together with an array of talented women, namely Shireen Irani, founder of iProBono, Zoe Jackson, founder of the Living the Dream performing arts company, Gaby Heppner-Logan, Managing Director of Transformation at BT and Ritula Shah, presenter of The World Tonight at BBC Radio 4, she talked about how spirited leadership approaches can make a business grow and innovate even through a tough economic climate.

In an inspiring discussion, the panel gave their audience a glimpse into the secrets of their successes: Take risks, make mistakes and be aware that you can make very conscious decisions as a leadership team to enable change – don’t conform to preconceived ideas. You don’t have to. 

“I’ve fallen flat and made mistakes many times and every time that happens it makes me stronger. I’m trying everything I can to be a rolemodel for many young people with self-doubt,” said Zoe Jackson. Jackson set up Living the Dream at the age of 16. A former Women of the Future Awards winner, she has since established a School of Performing Arts, a professional dance company, a media company and a dance-wear brand.

“Mistakes show that you’re human. Don’t be freaked out when bad things happen, because you can recover from them.”


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