Meet our conference speakers: Sarah Hughes

The 2019 edition of our annual conference will take place at the Business Design Centre in London on 21 November, and will focus on Leading Outside the Ordinary. The full programme is available on the website, and in this blog series, you will get the know our speakers a little bit better.

Sarah Hughes is the chief executive of the Centre for Mental Health. At the conference, she will talk about creating a safe, positive and inclusive organisational culture.

What’s your favourite thing about working in the social sector?

I have worked in the charity sector all my adult life, it has always felt like home. I have always had a sense that charities who especially work closely with communities can have the biggest impact on peoples lives. There has always been a cultural fit between me and the sector.

What does leading outside the ordinary mean to you?

This is such a big question. I guess it means leading with heart, mind and soul, using all my thoughts and feelings about things, being brave and determined. I don’t think this is always easy but feels intuitively right.

What’s the best professional advice you’ve been given?

One of my favourite managers said to me once ‘people will follow you Sarah, they will follow you over a mountain, just don’t forget to make sure everyone has a parachute’, what he meant by this was that I needed to think about the tangibles as well as the vision, something I still have to work on today.

What’s your favourite thing to do for your own well being?

Apart from being with my family, friends and peers, I enjoy relaxing with a good book and a cup of something warm and comforting, for exercise I surprisingly love Zumba.

Why do you think it’s important to attend networking events?

Spending time with your peers is incredibly important, sharing ideas, getting advice and support, keeping up with developments in the sector, a time for emotional support and laughter.

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