The Charity CEO Podcast


Kate Lee

CEO Alzheimer's Society: Care Deeply And Be Honest

“(As a leader) if your head isn’t above the parapet, it’s in the sand”

Kate Lee joined Alzheimer’s Society as Chief Executive in March 2020. Prior to this role, she was CEO at children’s cancer charity CLIC Sargent for four years, during which time she rebranded the organisation, setting new values and building a culture of total team working. She successfully lobbied Government to fund the funerals of all children under the age of 18 and founded the Children and Young People’s Cancer Coalition. She also recently joined the Board of Trustees of World Child Cancer.

She was previously CEO of Myton Hospice, an adult palliative care charity in Coventry and Warwickshire, where she worked with many individuals with dementia and their families. Before that Kate spent 16 years at British Red Cross leading UK service delivery, before becoming Director of UK and International Strategy and Deputy CEO in 2005.

Kate is a proud Yorkshire woman and lives in Coventry with her husband and two teenage children. She loves gardening and tea.

Ep 17. Kate Lee, CEO Alzheimer's Society:

Care Deeply And Be Honest

Kate Lee is CEO of Alzheimer’s Society. We talk about how the organisation supports people with dementia and her own experience of dementia with her mother, who has been living with the disease for over 16 years.

We explore the principle of Radical Candor, as introduced in the book of the same name by Kim Scott, and that in order to be effective as leaders, we need to care deeply and be honest. Giving honest and constructive feedback is key to achieving this.

Kate reflects on her own emotional resilience and ability to recharge. She also shares her belief that given the enormous emotional toll of the past year, what is needed now is for everyone to embrace kindness and compassion.

Recorded April 2021.

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