Are you up to something big?
We feel privileged to help people in all walks of life use FED to make a bigger difference. We’re doing some great work in the NHS and are delighted this week to hear from Professor Rob Wilson about his leadership journey. Do let us know if his piece strikes a chord with you.
I start a new job next month as Medical Director of the healthcare trust where I have been working as a consultant surgeon for well over 20 years. We are committed to leadership development and as part of this I have been fortunate enough to come under the coaching wing of Peter Lees in Southampton. I owe him a debt of gratitude as this has been the single most significant thing which has happened in the recent part of my professional life. It has re-energised me and opened up a new library of leadership papers and books. And thanks to the help of my colleague who is a great believer in F-E-D I too have become an enthusiast.
I’m certainly going to need all the help I can get – as the most senior doctor in an organisation of near enough 1000 medical staff and more than 7000 staff in total – I will be responsible for leading my part in strategy and governance over the next five years or so. Our department has a huge responsibility to Health Care Commission reporting as well as a large number of regulatory bodies. In addition we have to monitor all aspects of clinical governance. So there’s lots of everyday leading to be done.
But what of the really big leadership challenges – the new big tasks that interested me in the job in the first place? For me to be really up to something and deal with these new challenges will require energetic application of all the principles of F-E-D. One of the biggest challenges is that there is a lot of negativity about the job. Lots of people say things like: “congratulations or should it be commiserations? “You’re a brave man” or “Why would you want to do that job?”
Already I am stretching some of the F-E-D leadership muscles – the key message from Future is that I am ‘up to something’ that I really believe in and am committed to. I have a clear vision of the future – I can see a better way of doing things. I’m already well past the starting gate and on my way. With this positive energy I know that I am engaging others in this future and see the challenge of the financial context that we face as a great opportunity for us all. I really know that so long as I keep practising stretching these Future and Engage muscles that we will Deliver – together! And finally I know that as a leader who is up to something big that I need to keep growing my support team – and I thank my senior colleague for coaching me on this exciting leadership journey.
So my suggestion this week whether or not you are starting out a new job, stepping up as leader into a bigger leadership space, is to get really clear on what you are up to – it is never too late to build your support team, have a coach or simply ask someone for help. Crucially it’s most important to get re-energised and to re-commit to what you are up to!
By Professor Robert Wilson, Medical Director and Surgeon at South Tees Acute NHS Foundation Trust. Robert is also Professor of Surgical Science in University of Durham and has been involved in a variety of leadership roles including assisting with the Church of England Growing Leaders course. To contact Robert please email him on: firstname.lastname@example.org