Profile – Lord Adebowale

Name: Victor Adebowale.

Chief executive, Turning Point.

How long in the job?
Since September 2001.

Career highlight:
My current role.

Best training ever done:
Awareness training with the RNID.
It forced you to change your point of view. It gave you a genuine
glimpse of the challenges deaf people face, the trainer was
excellent and it was intellectually stimulating.

I didn’t get where I am today by:
Expecting to get where I
am today. I was far more concerned with issues.

Over the course of my career I wish

Learned more from my mistakes.

I wish I hadn’t:
Made those mistakes!

I applied for my current job because:
I like a challenge
and Turning Point represented a massive challenge, nothing short of
helping to turn 120,000 lives around.

The best move I’ve ever made was:
Opting for the
not-for-profit sector. I knew there was a better way of doing
things, of meeting social challenges.

The single most inspiring person I’ve met during my career
David, a service user in one of our learning
disability services who is brilliant. He is the most direct,
straight-talking person I’ve ever met. Whatever we’re discussing he
tells it to me straight.

I aspire to be:
Relevant and effective.

Me and my career:
My role is incredibly varied. It
involves a lot of contact with the likes of policy makers. I’m
currently chairing a Home Office committee looking at the impact of
stop and search procedures on different communities. I co-chaired a
committee with health minister Rosie Winterton looking at ethnic
minority mental health issues. I sit on several groups including
the advisory council on the misuse of drugs, the mental health task
force and the learning difficulties task force. Then there is the
major part of my role, overseeing a not-for-profit organisation
with a £55m annual turnover. Being a chief executive is all
about the people you have working with you. Leadership is what
happens when you are not around and fortunately I have an excellent
team. Over my career I’ve worked in housing, regeneration and
homelessness but social care is a constant theme.

Chief executive, Turning Point.
1995-2001: Chief executive, Centrepoint.
1990-5: Director, Alcohol Recovery Project.
1988-90: Regional director, Ujima housing
1985-8: Housing manager, Patchwork housing
1983-5: Estate manager, Newham Council.

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