Rachel Sutherland
(Leader, social services government agency)

I’m a senior leader In a large and complex social services government agency. As a people leader, I try always to lead with integrity and authenticity. 

In my role, I get to work closely with our executive leadership team and other senior leaders, including Ministers. My greatest lesson was what “influence” looks like. I learned quickly that you can’t force influence; “influence” is being me wherever I am - whether that’s in meetings with Ministers, with our executive Leadership Team or MCing a senior leaders forum of all of the organisation’s leaders. 

I carry my responsibility for my immediate team heavily.  The Equippers heartbeats are a great framework for building kingdom culture in my own team, and also shaping how my team goes about their day to day work with their colleagues. 

That looks like honouring the skills and strengths that each individual brings to their work, because we are all one body. It’s having conversations about what we expect and what good looks like and then holding people to those standards - that’s love and truth. And it’s about creating a culture that values relationships - supporting each other and celebrating together.  

Managing a team is an opportunity to see people as God does, in all their potential, and having a role in helping them realise that.  I get to speak vision and bring a different perspective. 

My greatest leadership training has not been through Business Schools or leadership training, but through serving at church, SHOUT conference, and EquipHer conferences.


Jessica Parkes