Today’s guest is Mark Russell, CEO of The Children’s Society, trustee at the Church Of England and RSA Fellow.
Mark started out as a youth worker in his home country of Northern Ireland, in a divided town bringing young people together in the run-up to the Good Friday agreement. At the age of 30, he was appointed CEO of the Church Army, a social justice charity working in some of the most deprived areas across the UK and Ireland, a position he held for 13 years.
Mark joined Children’s Society in 2019 – and now has the pleasure of being OTMO host Joe Jenkins’ boss!
We speak on a range of topics including burning the candle at all 4 ends, building resilience as a leader, white privilege, the stereotypes of CEOS and the importance of both family time and BBQs.
There is also a great Chief Exec/Lion King analogy and talk about being an extrovert (with introvert tendencies) while dealing with life and death during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Date of Conversation – 26 June
The Key Takeaways From This Episode[2.15] Conversation Begins
[3.15] Balancing time with family/friends vs work
[5.25] Consequences of taking on too much
[9.19] Leaders are not superheroes
[11.02] “I can’t breathe” – #blacklivesmatter & using white privilege
[17.57] Challenging the traditional stereotype of a Chief Exec
[21.57] What can only a Chief Exec do
[26.00] The importance of organisational culture
[32.35] Leading through presence and leading through absence.
[40.00] How Mark builds his resilience
[43.03] What is keeping Mark awake at night
[44.58] Being an extrovert in a time of a pandemic
[51.30] Three kinds of charity will emerge from the pandemic
[56.25] Why Mark is filled with hope for the future
Resources From This Episode
- Children’s Society – childrenssociety.org.uk
- Third Sector article with Mark on his first year at The Children’s Society:
‘Constant communication has carried our charity through lockdown – and tragedy’
- Church Army – churcharmy.org
- RSA Fellowship – thersa.org/fellowship