Hello, I’m Andrea and I’m CEO at Shift. Wondering what my role involves? Come on in and let me fill you in.
My role as CEO involves leading and directing the work of Shift – to fulfil our ambitions, our aims and our purpose in the spirit and culture of our values. It’s rare I refer to myself as a CEO though, we’re not really that formal here. I more consider myself to be an ‘enabler’, as such a person who makes things possible.
I believe in soulful leadership, bringing your whole self to work and being led by things that matter. One of my favourite books is ‘Reinventing Organisations’ by Federick Laloux. It offers a way of working without traditional boundaries of hierarchy and structure and embraces qualities of creativity, compassion and connectivity.
My professional journey
My career spans several decades and began in North Wales at Wrexham Borough Council where I developed a sport strategy for the area. Then I joined the Sport Development Team organising community sport across the borough. This is where I learnt how schools, clubs, governing bodies, leisure centres, community groups and volunteers connect across the system to create genuine pathways for people to progress, as well as what it takes to join all this up in a meaningful way. The people I worked with there are still dear friends 20 years on and that is one of the things I love about this work. We are connected by our shared purpose and passion.
After working more strategically in Derbyshire at the County Sports Partnership I decided to explore different ways to get closer to the people and create demand at grassroots level, from the inside out.
Shift embodies all I believe in and care about personally and professionally. Soulful people with huge hearts and agile minds who come to work keen to learn and on a mission to make a difference in the world. I wouldn’t be anywhere else!
Why I do this work
I still derive most joy from seeing people creating opportunities for others to be active in their place – whether that’s a community jogging group or a workplace bootcamp. Capturing the value of this beyond the sheer pleasure or numbers attending is of increasing interest. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed working with colleagues at The Leadership Centre, where I am now a Fellow, to explore how this can be done more effectively to influence change at a whole system level.
Lifestyle and interests
Sport and physical activity are central to most of my days and I cycle, run and walk whenever I can. To celebrate my 40th birthday, I cycled 40 hills over the year including Alp D’Huez, Hardknott Pass and ‘The Struggle’ in The Lake District. I regularly take time out to explore in my campervan and ride waves in North Devon (although now I tend to spend more time watching my children from the beach). I’m hoping to learn stand up paddle boarding this year and would like to be better at snowboarding.