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Leadership Rhyme Of Reason

Date: 30-11-2014
Author: Adam Bojelian

Poem Of The Week

Award winning teenage poet, Adam Bojelian (aka Ads the Poet), provides our poem of the week this time around. Adam is also EduzineGlobal.com poetry editor, an Eduzine Global Young Ambassador and 2014 Eduzine Global ACE Young Achiever.  Over to Adam ...

"Thank you Rob Webster, Chief Executive of the NHS Confederation (and former Chief Executive of Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust, England), for asking me to write this poem. It took me a long time to do, but I really enjoyed doing it. I drew on my experiences good and bad as a NHS patient."


This rhyme is a puzzle, as you will see,
This rhyme tells you what a good leader should be.
A good leader respects the young and the old,
A good leader observes and is prepared to be bold.
A good leader is brave and will try something new,
A good leader works hard and gives praise when it's due.
A good leader expects the best from all staff,
A good leader brings happiness and shares in a laugh.
A good leader supports patients and gives them the best,
A good leader teaches staff to be ahead of the rest.
A good leader explains if something goes amiss,
A good leader rejoices in times of great bliss.
If you study this rhyme and look very close,
You'll discover the leader I admire most.

(C) Adam Bojelian 2014

We have tried to assist those readers struggling with the clues by being bold! If you are still puzzled, the information below the image of Adam and his dog Charlie should help! Huge thanks once again to Adam, for a wonderfully poetic 'rhyme of reason' and thanks to the staff at Leeds Children's Hospital for the fantastic care they provide to Adam and all other patients.


Rob's Leadership Story

One of the first things I do when I start in a new organisation is to share my leadership principles. These were first written down in about 2003. I was asked as part of a leadership programme for potential permanent secretaries to write down a “Leadership Manifesto”. I thought that sounded terrible. Giorgina Soane from the Cabinet Office told me to just “write down what you believe in”. That was much easier.

So here it is, my “leadership manifesto” – the thing I always share first. It has changed little in the last decade – during which time I have been a Director at the Department of Health, a Director in the Prime Minister’s Delivery Unit, a charity trustee, an Executive of a Public/Private Partnership, a Commissioning Chief Executive and a Provider Chief Executive in the NHS.

Rob Webster's Leadership Principles

My leadership is based on the following principles:

1.  We make a difference. Be confident and passionate about that. Amplify success and address any challenges in       the difference we make to real people’s lives.
2.  I will visibly lead by example. My leadership and what I value will be clearly communicated and understood.
3.  How we work is as important as what we do. We need to be very clear about both.
4.  People genuinely are the organisation’s biggest asset:

  •              Give people head room to succeed and they will exceed your expectations. Celebrate their successes.                  Say thank you often and mean it.
  •              Address poor performance constructively for the benefit of all.
  •              Always show genuine concern.
  •              Invest time and effort in development – this is work
  •              Incentives and rewards are linked to delivery and behaviour.

5.  Consensus is not always the best way forward. We must innovate, take risks and learn from failures.
6.  Diversity should be embraced – it drives change and innovation
7.  The governance, systems and processes in the organisation are both an enabler and our corporate glue.
8.  Our relationships must be big enough if we are to succeed.

In my organisation there is a deal that people will:

  • Work within an agreed set of values.
  • Be able to articulate a clear and simple vision for the organisation based on outcomes for customers;
  • Be part of an effective team;
  • Have a clear line of sight between what they do and that vision;
  • Have a forward job plan with personal objectives that reflect the roles of their teams and their contribution to the vision.
  • Receive regular feedback on their performance.
  • Have a PDP and be supported in their personal development.
  • Have two jobs – to do their job and improve their job.
  • Be supported to innovate and encouraged to take risks.
  • Share their skills and experience to the full with others.
  • Be able to work flexibly to benefit themselves and the organisation.
  • Work within a governance structure which is transparent and provides a clear set of authority and accountability.
  • Learn from mistakes and celebrate success through formal and informal reward structures.
  • Lead from every seat

I will take responsibility for ensuring this happens. I will challenge myself through 360 feedback, informal discussions and performance management by my line manager. I will face my shortcomings with courage and continually improve.

No wonder Rob is admired by patients and an inspiration to many National Health Service staff. Those at the top set standards. Setting and following high standards is the key to good leadership, something at which Rob Webster clearly excels. Why not help those helping others by donating to the Leeds Children's Hospital Appeal.

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Date: 30-11-2014
Author: Adam Bojelian


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