Leading the transformative power of meaningful work – empowering women to brighter futures
The power of feminine leadership – leadership lessons from Alice Boyle, founder of the Luminary Bakery in London
A 27-minute conversation and interview
“The intangible aspects growing of a woman’s self-belief and creating a community of love are the essential and the hidden secrets to our success…we feel we are part of a greater plan.”
Alice Boyle, founder of Luminary Bakery
One my passions in life is personal transformation and renewal.
When I first heard Alice Boyle present at a Rainmaker Foundation event in London, I was truly inspired. She helped women from disadvantaged backgrounds transform and renew their lives in very tangible ways through running a successful social enterprise business for four years.
Previously, as manager of a café in Brick Lane, East London, Alice saw first-hand the problems that many women from disadvantaged backgrounds face when seeking productive employment. The training she developed has been developed specifically for women from difficult backgrounds: some have experienced abuse, some have criminal records. But Alice knows that their past doesn’t define them. Alice knows that within them is the potential still to be hard-working, brilliant employees and entrepreneurial flair. The training she has helped to create is aimed at releasing and focusing this latent potential.
But whilst many of us see the need around us, and think about doing something about it, Alice decided she could do something to help. She founded the Luminary Bakery. As a shop and a bakery, it works, but it is more of a cover for her to empower and train women who have had difficult pasts.
Alice invited me to the launch of their new Luminary Bakery premises in Stoke Newington at the end of 2016, I was struck by the amount of love in the room. Oh, and I loved being shown how to ice gingerbread figures, and was proud of my achievements!
I wanted to find out more.
“To me, leadership is about inspiring people and aiming to bring out their best.”
Alice Boyle, founder of Luminary Bakery
Eventually, after much diary co-ordination, in January this year, I sat down with Alice in the basement training room of the Luminary Bakery in Stoke Newington, London, to ask how she has founded and led such an inspiring project.
I asked lots of questions, like:
- What inspired you to start the project?
- What role does inspiration play in your work and leadership?
- How do you nurture your own sense of inspiration as a leader?
- What do you love about leading Luminary?
- How do you balance the love and caring with business results?
- What is hard about being in leadership for you?
- What is the role of faith and spiritually in your business?
- What are the challenges involved?
- How have you had to grow?
- What keeps you going?
- What fulfils you most about running the business?
- What gets you up on a hard day?
So what you are going to get by listening to this powerful and inspiring conversation are:
- The power of listening to your inner voice to be authentic in your leadership
- The power of feminine leadership
- The joy of not knowing as a leader, so you learn and grow
- Training people to be better at things than you are
- The power of sisterhood and using business to uplift each other
- Building your business on a faith as well as business principles
- The power of choosing to do good and do good business
- The power of culture and a female only environment
- The power of naivete to get going and then learning as you go
As well as running the café and a bakery, Luminary supplies other establishments all over London. It is the food that people are attracted to, but obviously also to the story of how the café and the bakery are really a cover for the women’s training and empowerment programme, and how to get women to both glimpse and then actually realise, their potential.
You can contact Luminary at http://www.luminarybakery.com/or firstname.lastname@example.org
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“Luminary gave me confidence. I never thought that would happen. People listen to me. I have met some lifelong friends.
I don’t feel useless anymore.”