The highest performing leaders can “surf the waves of change” even during times of huge global upheaval, with the ability to not become submerged by challenging circumstances but to rise above them.

This was one of the key takeaways from the latest inspiring Business against Poverty webinar event, which brought together guests from the UK, Romania and Nigeria.

‘The 4 Step Process – Leadership in Challenging Times’ examined what it takes to be a great leader during periods of trouble and difficulty. The session explored how to bring people on an empowering journey from initial vision to enablement and long-term sustainability, and how beneficiaries and customers respond to strong and decisive leadership.

This invaluable session explored the parallels and lessons that can be learnt between both commercial and charitable goals, thanks to insight provided from two expert speakers.

“It’s a bridge from one dimension of life to another”

Valentin Chirica, the founder of the Romanian ‘Way of Joy’ project – a partner of People against

Valentin described, in passionate detail, how the lives of many had been positively affected by the project since its inception by directly supporting children at the lowest margins of society, many of whom had been forgotten by both the political system and their own families.

Valentin explained to delegates how his vision to facilitate self-sufficiency for many families in desperate poverty had been realised by envisioning, mobilising, developing and enabling others – with hundreds of children having benefitted from the programme and regaining their identity in the process.

Way of Joy, under Valentin’s direction, is providing a “bridge” from social abandonment to a normal life, allowing children to reclaim their dignity and unique personalities that had been taken from them. Through the build and ongoing development of a micro-farm, purchased in partnership with People against Poverty and now feeding over 50 children, the project is identifying and nurturing future leaders for the whole community.

“The 4 step process sets the highest performers apart”

Valentin’s powerful example of the ‘4 Step Process’ in action provided the perfect backdrop for Ali Stewart, executive leadership coach, mentor and best-selling author of Liberating Leadership, to explain these principles in more depth – crucially highlighting the universal truth that, if you want to grow your business’ profits and future sustainability, you must effectively lead and manage people.

Ali described the mindset of “high challenge, high support” that is common amongst the most successful leaders: the ability to both challenge others to be the best they can be, while also taking on responsibility and initiative for themselves.

The 4 steps were explored, beginning with the ‘transactional’ stages (visioning and mobilising) before moving on to the ‘transformational’ stages (developing and enabling):

  • Visioning: Anyone can be a leader, but to be successful you must first understand who you are and be authentic. Take stock of your environment and surroundings, then set your vision explicitly.
  • Mobilising: Explain what you’re doing, why you’re doing it, and give regular feedback along the way. Identify, address and manage any performance issues quickly and efficiently.
  • Developing: Understand others’ motivations, flex your leadership style as required, and develop your personality style. Your vision begins to take shape at this transformational stage.
  • Enabling: Empower other people, hand over responsibility and autonomy while also providing continuing support to enable your vision to become a reality, built and grown by others.

We give our sincere thanks to Valentin Chirica and Ali Stewart for the valuable insight and contributions provided in this webinar. If you missed the event, be sure to watch the video  and contribute to the conversation with us on Twitter and LinkedIn.


The Business against Poverty community looks forward to seeing you at one of our future events.

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