Tes profile about CDN Chief Executive Jim Metcalfe, by Kate Parker.

After working for MPs in his early career, Jim Metcalfe now finds himself on the other side of the political fence: supporting staff at Scottish Colleges in his role at the College Development Network…

‘What kind of a leader am I? What a horrible question,’ laughs Jim Metcalfe, chief executive of the College Development Network.

‘I think my colleagues would say I’m pretty calm. I try to be quite relaxed and informal…This all sounds a bit clichéd, doesn’t it? But it’s true: I don’t do standing in front of people and shouting, I just think there’s no real point to it. I do like informality.

‘It’s important to me that people are working in project teams, and around tasks they are actually interested in and not just sort of doing rinse-and-repeat work. I think it leads to a small team approach and clearer focus on outcomes.’

CDN may be a small team, and Metcalfe may be a relaxed leader, but in Scotland, his organisation packs a punch. It plays a crucial role in supporting colleges with leadership and staff training, the development of sector-led research and bringing stakeholders together to collectively tackle challenges facing the post-16 sector.

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