Tell us a bit about yourself…
At the moment I’m living in London and working for Alpha International. I co-ordinate what we do with youth and students globally and how we develop what we do with students in the UK. I really enjoy this role as it’s all about strategy and development and you get to see how the big picture affects ‘the one’ locally. Understanding and getting to know other cultures fascinates me, I love thinking globally when it comes to how to spread the gospel!
I also recently co-founded the Women in Leadership Network: London. WLN exists to inspire and equip women to lead excellently in their sphere. Previous to living in London I lived in Sydney, Australia studying theology and leadership at Hillsong Church.
In my time off I’m doing stuff for WLN!! If not that, I’m a total shopping-addict, love long brunches chatting with the girls and just creating genuine community over GREAT food with some of my closest friends.
What does it mean to you, to be a leader/influencer?
I think the type of leader that’s always resonated with me is one who’s desire to see change trumps their desire for comfort or popularity. I think that’s where leadership begins when you’re willing to stick your head above the parapet and say ‘this is what I believe in’ even if it will cost you status, popularity or security. I was watching the recent Suffragette movie where women gave their safety, their marriages even their lives for something they believed in. The result was that while at first they received shame and abuse from those around them they eventually lead 1000s of women to freedom and changed the world as a result.
My experience of leadership has little to compare to these amazing women but throughout my life I have often found myself in situations, much to my frustration sometimes, where I’ve had to choose to be different and challenge the status quo at the loss of ‘fitting in’. However I have found that what might at first cost you a lot will often lead to even greater respect and esteem from people later on. I think leadership is tough but also the greatest privilege, I don’t take it lightly.
How have others invested into you?
I think people have mainly invested in me through mentoring. Since I was about 14 I have had the most incredible mentors and it’s added incredible value to my life and leadership. I’m so grateful and so challenged to keep investing in others. Finding a good mentor is tough but when you find the right person it’s the best investment you can make in yourself.
Who would you say you look up to and why?
I look up to people who are kind, have a strong heart and are determined to live life to it’s fullest. People who have overcome adversity and become better for it, who carry themselves with grace and dignity inspite of difficulty. I think that’s rare and it makes me just want to be around them and learn from them.
What opportunities do you see for young people these days?
I think the opportunities are endless for most young people in the UK. The reality is that our generation is more likely to listen to their peer than their politician. Celebrity can be achieved through a well-curated Instagram feed or Youtube channel and knowledge and understanding is available through a few clicks of a mouse. I think globalization means that influencing way beyond your natural sphere is more accessible than ever before. That gives us all an incredible opportunity to influence a lot of people. I think the challenge is what motivation your going to do it from and what you’ll lead them to. If a whole generation of young people took all that’s in their hands and attached it to Kingdom purpose there’s a lot of good that could be done. I hope that we leverage this opportunity and use all we have to bring greater truth and light into the world for the sake of Jesus Christ.
How do you invest in others?
I always try to make myself available to mentor others if I happen to have something to offer. At the moment I have some girls in their early 20s who I catch up with. I think investing in others is just an attitude to giveaway what you’ve learnt and encourage, you can do that every day if you so choose.
Georgi Sheaf is Co-Founder of Women in Leadership Network London and is Alpha Youth and Student Global Co-ordinator and will be speaking at Run Alpha 16.
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