Are you leading for high performance?

Written by Stuart Haden on May 6, 2014

I recently presented at the Clinical Leadership Learning Event in Cardiff. We got off to an upbeat start with our Chair for the day – Fiona Jenkins. Pretty quickly 200+ participants were focused and hungry for more. I am always drawn to leaders who start with WHY, in her opening address Ruth Hussey did exactly that. Presenting the honest and exciting challenges for the NHS. This got me thinking – if we know ‘why’ is this one of the routes to being an authentic leader?

David Denyer grabbed our attention during his master class when he stated ‘leadership is not something you do, it’s something you are.’ His introduction of a video was simply outstanding. Evoking the question – what does this (leadership) mean to you? This was backed up with a sessions on high performance (resilience and competing tensions) and mess mapping which completed the picture perfectly.

Then it was my turn, the question of coachability raised. Are you coachable? A reminder that ‘when the coachee is ready the coach will appear.’ The need for a new paradigm of coaching – one where the coachee leads, mutual, traditional coaching labels dissolve. Knowing who we are being so that coachees can be authentic.  Noticing what is getting our attention so that we can make a start. This short video shares some of the sessions content, including 2 exercises around authenticity and change…

Chris Jones gave us a frank and honest close to the day, classic leadership characteristics in my book. With Fiona returning it was time to reflect on our day. Here’s my final observation on leadership – we can make a difference, despite the size of the organisation or the the magnitude of social need. It starts with us, no need to wait. Only a need to start. Mistakes to be made maybe, learning certainly.