Goodwash gives Vi-Ability’s Kelly a clean start

In a reflective blog, Kelly Davies explains her reasons for stepping down as CEO of social enterprise ‘Vi-Ability’ after seeing it go from strength to strength.

This time of year, I always start to feel reflective and begin looking back at all we have achieved in the past 12 months.

In fact, at the moment I am not just looking at the more recent months, but my past eight years running Vi-Ability! Why? Because I have decided to step down as CEO of the social enterprise.

For those who have been asking, and simply never believed I would…

My reasons for which are as follows:

I never wanted to be in a panic about the future of the social enterprise.

I feel so very lucky then, to be in the position to step away when the social enterprise is feeling so strong. Vi-Ability is at its peak, it is changing lives, its expanding operations, and it has an extremely strong board and team leading it to even greater things!

Honestly, I never wanted to be a CEO.

I believe everyone should be very aware of their strengths and ‘areas for improvement’. I have learnt I am most definitely not a natural at operations, strategy, or handling high levels of stress. Just ask my father and partner! What I am though is extremely passionate, entrepreneurial, and driven by the hope that we can bring about positive change for us all. That is what has got to us to this stage, but now it is time for a fresh pair of eyes and new leadership to take it even further.

Everyone has a ‘sell by date’ and ‘Founder Syndrome’ was always an inconceivable option.

Right at the beginning of my journey as a social entrepreneur I remember reading an article about Founders Syndrome and how founders of charities and social enterprises often don’t know when to relinquish their powers – to the detriment of the organisation. It was therefore always inconceivable for Vi-Ability and me to be ever talked about in that way.

The fact is that a social enterprise or charity should outlive its founder and not the other way around. From day one, I always knew I had a sell-by-date. This is not false modesty, but a combination of being a former professional footballer (where one day you’re the star of the show, the next a bench warmer) and hard-headed business planning.

The secret is always knowing when to move on.

I’m seeking new challenges.

Whilst I will always be an ambassador for Vi-Ability, and still play an active role in new business adventures, I have recognised that I really thrive in start-up and creative, change making environments. For this reason, I am co-founding a new Welsh social enterprise that hopes to change the world one wash at time , #Goodwashco dispelling the common myth that the words social enterprise and luxury are not oxymoronic.

Be sure to watch this space…

For now I’ll leave you with this quote:

“One person can make a difference, and everyone should try”.

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