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Where Were You 10 Years Ago? Cathy Brown 

10 years ago, I was a couple of months in to the most incredible professional (and personal) journey, that brought me so many friends, so much knowledge and experience, so much fun and fulfilment. It’s a little strange to look back to the very start of it and think of myself then, not knowing what was ahead.

That journey, of course, started with Engage for Success itself. In March 2011 I was working for BT – a middle manager, technically in Internal Audit and Risk but working on major transformation programmes, desperately looking for something new as I was aware that the work I was doing wasn’t enjoyable and my health was suffering. Disengaged, as I was soon to understand!

Through the BT Talent Pool I was offered a secondment to do something that looked really interesting – all about people, needing lots of different skills, something to do with ‘engagement’ that I didn’t really know what it was, and I just chucked myself at it. Wrote a business case, reorganised my life to accommodate it, and was delighted to be offered the role after an incredibly energising conversation with one David Macleod…

It would take more space than I have here to encompass what that opportunity meant to me. I did a two year secondment, then worked as a volunteer, then as a contractor and then finally as Executive Director of Engage for Success until 2018. My next role at the brilliant Employee Ownership Association came through one of the EFS Taskforce members, and I still sit on the EFS board, I sometimes like to think with a role as the steward of the collective memory of the organisation!

Any opportunity which starts with throwing you into organising a launch in 10 Downing Street with the Prime Minister is going to be good, and for me it was properly life changing.

My next role starts on June 1st, and I will be bringing everything I’ve learned about people, leadership and business, all my supportive colleagues and friends, and all of that energy from EFS to my work at the Chief Exec of the Initiative for Social Entrepreneurs, to be the best boss I can be.

Thank you, Engage for Success!

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