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Leadership Snacks: Nourishing Conversations with Jess Blijkers and Anna McKeon

Published: 17.04.2024
Anna McKeon Director of Capability Building

Leadership Snacks 

Jess Blijkers, International Director of Programmes and Advocacy, Light for the World and Anna McKeon, Director of Capability Building, IAPB are meeting up every couple of weeks to discuss a new question related to leadership. We caught up with them to find out more… 

What is Leadership Snacks? 

Jess: Leadership Snacks are 30-minute sessions where IAPB Members can share their leadership stories and learn from each other. We pose a new question each session, and people can either just come and listen, or join in the conversation.  

Anna: It’s an informal discussion, so bring a cup of your favourite drink and a snack and take a break in your day to something a little bit different.  

Why have you decided to run these sessions? 

Anna: Jess and I were discussing how important leadership is for the eye health sector in order for us to achieve our ambitious goals. We need a massive transformation to end avoidable sight loss, and to make that happen we will need to be the best leaders we possibly can. And we felt that a big part of growing as leaders is having the space to reflect on your own leadership journey.  

Jess: Anna and I could talk about leadership all day long! So we decided to create a where other IAPB members could join us. Thinking about questions of leadership is a great way to reconnect with your own agency as a leader – whatever kind of role you are delivering – and I think doing that in a group of peers is even more powerful.  

What are the sessions like? 

Anna: They’re just 30 minutes long, so it’s a not a big commitment of time. Jess and I will kick off with our own answers to the question and invite others to contribute if they’d like, and the conversation will flow from there.  

Jess: The idea is these sessions can be an opportunity to listen to an interesting conversation, to share something you’ve experienced that others may learn from, and perhaps have a welcome change of pace in your day.  

How long will they run for? 

Jess: There are 5 in the diary at the moment, one every two weeks – details below. We’ll schedule more as we go.  We alternate days and times to enable people on different time zones to attend.  

What snack will you be bringing? 

Anna: I’ll probably be very British and have a slice of toast and a cup of tea.  

Jess: It will be a cuppa for me as well (British mum), and cake! 

Leadership Snacks sessions coming up: 

  • 23rd April 5pm CET / 4pm BST – What is your favourite definition of leadership? Sign up 
  • 30th April 10am CET / 9am BST – What’s the best leadership advice you’ve been given? And the worst? Sign up 
  • 14th May 5pm CET  / 4pm BST – What’s the hardest leadership lesson you’ve had to learn? Sign up 
  • 29th May 11am CET   / 10am BST – How can you be a leader and yourself at the same time?  Sign up 
  • 13th June 9am CET / 8am BST – How do lead when you don’t have power? Sign up