Professional/ShortCourse Unleadership: Transformative Leadership Practices

Entry year
Course code
Professional/Short Course
Bristol Business School
Three days
Course Director
Dr Selen Kars

Page last updated 23 May 2024


It is often claimed that as a society we have become obsessed with leadership and its importance. But global events, from the COVID-19 pandemic to the energy and food crises and to the climate emergency, are putting the assumption that leadership can save the day to the test. The way formal leaders, individuals, communities, and organisations have been responding to these challenges has highlighted the inspirational outcomes achieved through leaderly acts that have often emerged from unexpected places. The motivations and inspiration behind these acts cannot be explained through the usual leadership semantics. Instead, we look to what we have termed 'unleadership', not a lack or absence of leadership but paying attention to the everyday, seemingly unremarkable leaderly acts and practices that our obsession with leadership tends to disguise.

Transformative Leadership Practices is a unique, reflective and practical programme that explores the power of these leaderly acts and the underlying mindsets and personal and interpersonal qualities sustaining them. It is designed to facilitate a critical understanding of leadership practices with a view to helping you recognise different ways of leading (or unleading) that will both develop your own practices and will allow you to inspire and encourage others in your communities and organisations to unlock their latent leadership potential.

This programme is rooted in leadership practice and reflection; introducing and developing an understanding of models and frameworks that underpin the practice of unleadership, with activities and exercises that encourage you to experiment and put them into practice. It will also provide you with the opportunity to engage in thought-provoking debate, focussed enquiry into your own practice, peer to peer learning and offers unique networking opportunities.

Through activities and a series of case studies of unleadership, combined with learning from your own and others' experiences, you will come away with insight into the role of unleadership in enabling proactively responsive, timely and thoughtful action in complex and uncertain contexts.

Who is it for?

Whether you are an aspiring, new or experienced leader of people, this programme will help you to reflect on received notions of leadership, reimagine new forms of leadership and transform your leadership practice. You don't have to be working in a formal management role it is suitable for anyone and everyone who is taking action on something they are passionate about, be that in an organisation, a small enterprise, or a community group.

What do I get out of it?

This programme will help you to:

  • Broaden your imagination of how 'unleading' can complement and develop leadership practices
  • Build your understanding of how uneadership can positively affect, support and develop your areas of responsibility and make a difference in the communities you live and work in
  • Develop your repertoire of transformative leadership acts and practices and new ways of working
  • Gain insight into working effectively, collaboratively and confidently in complexity and ambiguity, guided by your sense of purpose

Benefits for employers

  • Release the positive energy and collective wisdom within staff
  • Develop leadership capacity and impact to create positive change in key areas of the organisation
  • Develop a workforce who embrace the different challenges posed by working with uncertainty and complexity
  • Nurture your employees leadership agency and influence and take responsibility for further fostering it across their networks
  • Tap into new ways of working amongst staff, responding to collective challenges more quickly under a shared sense of purpose



The programme structure

This open programme has practical development days designed to give you an opportunity to reflect on and explore these topics through individual activities, group work, and case studies using innovative research and creative methods such the use of poetry and storytelling.  As part of your sessions, you will cover: 

  • Thriving in complexity and uncertainty: This theme recognises uncertainty and ambiguity, and offers a mindset shift for dwelling in the unknown with no clear vision of a destination. You will consider the place of admitting to not-knowing and imperfection in creative practice.  
  • Connecting and collaborating confidently with others: This theme looks at the ways in which you can thrive amid complexity by tapping into the collective intelligence of groups to provoke the development of collective wisdom.
  • Identifying and leveraging your "best contribution" for increased influence and agency: This theme explores how your leaderly actions can be driven by your purpose and values, and how you can pay forward leaderly action in your wider communities.
  • Reflecting on action, acting on reflection: A theme that runs throughout the course is the interplay of action and reflection in leadership development.


Study facilities

Our open programmes are run at the Bristol Business School, providing a professional environment for your training needs. Located at Frenchay Campus, with easy access to the M4 and M5 motorways and Bristol Parkway rail station, it has four fully equipped training rooms, a communications and reception area.

Prices and dates

Supplementary fee information

Programme dates

2023 CohortTimeLocation
Day 1: TBC09:30-16:30Frenchay Campus
Day 2: TBC09:30-16:30Frenchay Campus
Day 3: TBC09:30-16:30Frenchay Campus

Programme fees

Please see the table below for current fees and discounts available. All prices are VAT exempt.

Discounts cannot be used in conjunction with each other. The greatest discount available will be applied at your booking confirmation.

2023 CohortFee
Full Fee£860
Payment DeadlineTBC
SME, Not-for-Profit and Public Sector Discount£774
Payment DeadlineTBC
Early Bird Discount£774
Payment DeadlineTBC
UWE Bristol Alumni Discount£731
Payment DeadlineTBC
UWE Bristol Staff Discount£731
Payment DeadlineTBC
Course Connect£688
Payment DeadlineTBC

How to apply

How to apply

2023 CohortBookingEnquiries
3 Days - Dates TBCComing SoonSubmit an Enquiry

For further information

  • Email: Please contact us through the online enquiry form link above.
  • Telephone: +44 (0)117 32 81043 (option 1, then option 2)