Leadership – leave your title at the door

This article was written by Caroline Hughesdon, Clinical Lead for Community Wound Care and Hayley Turner-Dobbin, Clinical Lead for Wound Care.

What is leadership and who are leaders?

We normally tend to think of leaders as individuals in particular positions with important titles. Here at Accelerate, we believe that it’s not about title but something more than that, something about relationship, vision and purpose.

A leader is someone who has a clear understanding of the organisation’s vision or goal. It is someone who wants to take you on the journey to reach your goals. Leadership is really about trust, because ultimately leadership is about relationship and relationships depend on trust.

Each of us navigate our day to day lives through our connections, and at work those connections are with our patients, with each other and with the wider health care sector. In all these situations there is trust from others to us, trust from us to others, and ultimately trust in ourselvs.

This doesn’t mean that you are always right. As a leader, you must trust yourself to be vulnerable before others, to listen and grow with those around you. You must also have the conviction and belief in yourself to speak the truth to others, whatever the pushback.

So, if you want to discover where you can develop your leadership skills, ask yourself this question. Where in my work do people trust me? And this is where you can begin. What you will find is that there are places where each of us are trusted and therefore each of us are leaders.

But leadership is also looking beyond ourselves to who we are as an organisation. The temptation is to think this is different, but ultimately it’s not and it remains about trust.

The impact of leadership at Accelerate

Accelerate has grown wonderfully since it was established 10 years ago. This has happened because of relationships based on trust.

If we want to continue to grow we need to continue to invest in these trusted relationships. That trust is built on hard data of what we have done, what we have achieved and recognises patient success stories as testament to our collective leadership.

Success has happened because of the grassroots connections that each of us have established but also Accelerate’s innovative approach which challenges the expected norms of the healthcare sector.

We need to continue to trust ourselves both in what we do and what we can give – together we will continue to be leaders and pioneers in our field.

How we explored leadership at Accelerate

In October we held our All Staff Day, with the chosen theme ‘Leadership – leave your title at the door’.

Anna Swinburn, one of our Clinical Leads encoraged us to explore a little more about ourselves and our strengths. She used personality testing techniques to help us understand how to work better as team culminating in some fantastic team building games!

We had some brilliant speakers who delved further into the journey Accelerate has taken over the past 10 years. This helped us to understand the changes which have happened to enable Accelerate to be where it is today.

We also looked ahead to the next 10 years and where we see Accelerate as an organisation and our role within that organisation.  The dedication, innovation and leadership of all our colleagues is inspiring, and will help guide us into our next stage.

The take home message was that we all have leadership qualities and we are all leaders in the jobs we do on a daily basis.

Our actions make a difference to the situations we find ourselves in and the people we interact with and therefore, having the trust and confidence in ourselves and each other will help shape and achieve our shared vision.