Kieran Turner oversees the Scotttish Public Leadership programme
This month saw the start of the second year of the Scottish Public Leader (SPL) programme with 18 participants. Over the next eight months these Scottish public leaders will get together at a number of weekend events, meet senior public leaders, be paired with a mentor and visit a number of significant cultural locations in Scottish public life. Our group this year includes film makers, financial advisors, teachers, lawyers and entrepreneurs amongst others and we are excited to explore with them their call to leadership within Scotland.
At a time when Hollywood, Westminster and Holyrood are grappling with the relationship between personal conduct and power it’s clear that there has never been a greater need for Christian public leadership that will bring kingdom transformation throughout all areas of our society.
The vision of the SPL programme is to bring that long-term transformation to Scotland by investing in emerging leaders and creating a relational network of public leaders all across Scotland. Each year we bring together 15-20 emerging public leaders and help them explore leadership issues of character, culture, calling, competency, and communication, all within a framework of biblical Christian leadership.
Recognising that isolation is a key challenge for leaders, we pair each participant up with a mentor to walk with them and we help to facilitate a peer group and alumni network for those who take part in the programme. A major focus of all that we do is to give current senior Christian leaders in business, politics, media and education the opportunity to pass on wisdom to those who are coming behind.
There are two compelling reasons why this matters and why it matters now. Firstly, our culture desperately needs faithful leadership. Whether in banking, media, politics or Hollywood the major pillars of cultural life have been rocked by scandals in recent years that ultimately come down to leadership. If we live in the UK each of us still owns part of Scotland’s biggest bank, RBS, because of poor leadership. Whether a company or a country is well led matters to hundreds, thousands and sometimes millions of people, families and communities, and because God cares about His world and every person in it, God cares about public leadership.
The second reason is the greatest answer to our crisis of leadership. We know the gospel works. The message and values we carry as believers has power not only for personal salvation but for positive impact wherever these values are articulated and lived out. And it works whether people recognise it or not. How many workplaces and national institutions would benefit from the fruit of the Spirit being more fully lived out by Christians? How many would benefit from greater compassion, selflessness, forgiveness, grace, truth and love? The answer is simple: all of them.
So our vision is not just to see an increase in the number of Christians in significant leadership roles in Scotland. It’s to see a better Scotland for everyone, as Christians live out the gospel more fully in public leadership. It’s ultimately to see a society that better reflects the king who we serve and who is the ultimate example of public leadership.
Find out more about the course and apply for the September 2018 cohort: thepublicleader.com/thepublicleader