27 June 2019

For this edition of our ‘leaders in the spotlight’ series we spoke to Molly Bishop, Housing Options Development Officer at Stockport Homes and previous winner of the 24housing Young Leaders competition.

1. Tell us a bit about yourself and how you got into the housing sector.

My professional working life began in entrepreneurship and start up acceleration at the University of Bristol. I went on to specialise more in social enterprise development and the social value sector when I moved to Manchester, before taking a leap into social housing. I wanted to join a sector from the bottom up and really understand it, get to grips with the strategic and political challenges and be a force for good. My roles at Stockport Homes have focused on homelessness engagement and project and partnership management.

2. What do you like most about your job?

What I love about my job? I enjoy working in a complex public and social environment and working out how to make change happen. There is always ongoing challenge that it stimulating and an environment of constant collaboration, learning and relationship management.

What I love about this sector? I love that my network is my team, it’s not just about who’s in my organisation but all the people I work with across Greater Manchester and nationally who collaborate and commit to work for something bigger.

3. And what do you find most challenging?

Sometimes it can be hard to stay motivated through complex change, there are always things that feel like they’re not moving, or going backwards, or going wrong. That’s why it’s so important to make sure you work with people who inspire you, who you can learn from and will come up with new ways of doing things when you are struggling to.

4. The tagline for the event this year is ‘lead from where you stand’. Have you got any tips or words of wisdom for the leaders of tomorrow on making an impact in their current role?

Developing as a leader starts with learning about yourself and practising acts of leadership and anyone can do this at any level. What can you practise?

  • Understanding your values
  • Making decisions based on your values
  • Knowing yourself better and understanding your reactions
  • Building effective relationships; gaining recognition, then respect
  • Understanding the strategic implications of your work, the work of those around you and at key decision making points
  • Being conscious of your practise – not acting on autopilot

It’s not about the big stuff. You don’t have to be making board room decisions, hiring or firing, or deciding top line budgets. You make a thousand choices every day about how you are going to achieve and perform and all of those decisions can include acts of leadership.

5. Tell us about fictional character from a book or film that you admire and think demonstrates great leadership skills.

Probably Matilda (as in Roald Dahl) because she is definitely one of the most courageous kids out there - she recognises strength and love over status and uses it to change her world. I also used to have the brown-fringe-obsessed-with-reading thing going on so she has always been my World Book Day character!

Molly is part of the Future Housing Leaders advisory board and help to create this year’s programme. Find out more about attending the event.

Molly Bishop

Molly is a Housing Options Development Officer at Stockport Homes

Molly’s working life began in entrepreneurship and innovation education, giving her a firm foundation in being disruptive. Molly has since worked for Stockport Homes Group over the last three years managing re-housing and homelessness project development, locally and with reach across Greater Manchester. Molly is led by a strong commitment to collaborative working, building real relationships and identifying common purpose to bring about change.

Leaders in the spotlight: Molly Bishop