WHY Fronts - for managers: Follow the leader

Published: 16 November 2016 Ezine

Author: Christine Woodgate, ISAS Officer

This is a conundrum; as managers we are both leaders and followers depending on where you are looking from, either the ‘shop floor’ or the exalted turrets of the Trust Board.

Yet for those of you who have had the opportunity to be involved in management/leadership training, you will know that ‘leadership’ is not bound by hierarchy, but leaders can be found at all levels within a service. 

The ‘knack’ I would suggest is to find them and let them loose.

The reason I say this is a recent quote from health commentator Roy Lilley who said; “If quality is what you do when no one is looking, change is what you do when everyone is looking and involved. People love change when they feel they are in charge.”

Dangerous words! Letting some of the power go – what if they don’t do it as well as you do, what if it all goes horribly wrong, after all it is your head on the block?

Accreditation can support you as managers. By involving your teams in the process, asking them to develop the systems of work, protocols and comment on policies; you will start to develop teams that are engaged and can become passionate about the services you offer. 

They may develop ways in which service is improved by being, timelier, safer, more efficient, less costly and patient friendly. 

Who knows, you may even start to develop the leaders of the future.

In my time in the NHS I have met executive board members who come from AHP backgrounds, Director of Ops (Radiographer), Director of Quality (BMS), ADO (Radiographer) and radiographers who have national influence. I am sure you know some too.

In 10 years time would you like an influential radiographer to say “I am here because my manager encouraged me to think out side the box” or for you to be the inspiration that others follow? 

ISAS is just one way you can ‘safely’ start to let go and let others if you don’t already. Empowering teams to build and develop is rewarding and that it develops your service is an added benefit.

I'll finish with a quote from a radiographer I met on my travels; “ISAS helped us do the things we knew we should be doing; it was something we wanted to do before and this gave us the opportunity. It was obvious it needed doing when we look back on it”.   

Can you follow that lead?