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SDG Lab Director reflects on leadership course at GCSP

‘This course allowed me to pause, reflect and challenge my assumptions as a leader'

From 12-14 April, Geneva Centre for Security Policy organised a course on ‘Leading Inclusive Teams.’ This edition of the course was run by Ms Fleur Heyworth, Gender and Inclusive Security Cluster Leader at the GCSP and Mr Patrick Sweet, co-director of the Geneva Leadership Alliance. The aim of the course was to provide new skillsets, mindsets and toolsets for leaders to create inclusive cultures that foster creativity not conflict.

Below is a reflection from one of the course participants, Ms Nadia Isler, Director of SDG Lab.


"When you are in charge of a team in a high paced setting, it’s rare to make time to actually think and self-reflect on how you are performing as a leader.

As much as I have always known in the back of my mind that building an inclusive team was core to the success of the new unit I am leading, it has always been a challenge to find the time to invest in learning how to accelerate the reaching of that goal. My typical day is so absorbed by the flow of activities and unexpected demands, that I have based a lot of my leadership decisions on past experience, management trainings and (let’s face it) “instinct”.

Taking this course allowed me to take a step back and learn new skills to challenge my assumptions on inclusion, to frame difficult situations with a new mindset and to acquire new tools that I know will help me bring this mindset shift to the rest of the team too. Some sessions were very practical while others allowed for self-reflection and peer exchange.

In light of the diversity of the course participants this proved very valuable. The heterogeneous nature of the group really mirrored the kind of context I operate in every day and allowed me to tackle situations that I could relate to as a leader.

As I end this course and go back to my team and to the wonderful challenge that we face together in building this new unit, I am more energized than ever to turn our diversity into something powerful that will allow us to give the best of ourselves as individuals and as a group.

I recommend this course to colleagues who want to maximize the diversity of the teams they are leading and who want to learn practical tools that will allow them to enjoy the journey!"

The GCSP is offering a course on ‘Lead and Influence with Impact’ from 8-11 April and ‘Inspiring Women Leaders’ 3-4 October. Registration is now open.

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