Learning to be better leaders at Lakeside
Having a culture of leadership within your school can lead to higher morale, improved loyalty and, as a result, improved performance. So how do you engender a leadership culture within your school?
Firstly, make sure that the leaders within your organisation are equipped with leadership skills and behaviours – inspiring, innovative, passionate, collaborative, encouraging (see our recent leadership article for details). And secondly, that they lead by example by actively practicing these behaviours in the workplace.
Getting leadership right from the start and instilling leadership values into emerging and future leaders will create a solid foundation from which to grow a leadership culture.
This is exactly the approach that Manchester University Hospital is taking with its graduates (pictured below).
Putting theory into practice
Manchester University Hospital recently sent its non-clinical Master degree graduates on Lakeside’s Leadership Development Programme. This Programme is designed to give the group of managers from the graduate scheme alumni, the opportunity to put theory into practice outside of their day to day roles. Tony Ball, Lakeside Programme Operations Manager, explains:
“Through the course of their degree, these talented people have learned all about leadership and management while working in the hospital. Our programme is designed to consolidate that learning, on completion of the scheme, by giving them the opportunity to practice these skills in a controlled and supported environment, while in their first roles in management.”
Tony added: “One of the most important parts of all our professional development programmes, including our Leadership Programme, is the opportunity for reflection. Delegates will examine their leadership performance and reflect on how effective and successful their actions were.”
As part of the reflection process, delegates are encouraged to consider areas that they need to work on to become even more effective leaders in the future.
The Leadership Practice Programme concentrates on two integrated strands of leadership – collective and distributive leadership.
Collective Leadership works on the principle that everyone in the organisation, whatever their level and role, can demonstrate leadership qualities. It’s about encouraging everyone to take responsibility for the success of the organisation as a whole and not just their own job or work area.
Through careful planning and continual learning, leaders need to have the ability to nurture their staff to adopt an individual and collective leadership mind-set.
Distributive Leadership acknowledges that appointed leaders can’t do everything. Instead, effective leaders must recognise individual strengths within a team and empower individuals to take on responsibility by giving them the tools and encouragement to make decisions and take actions.
An ongoing journey
Leadership is a lifelong learning experience. That’s why Lakeside’s Leadership Programme is designed to create a leadership mind-set that can grow. It helped to kick-start a culture of leadership among the Manchester University Hospital graduate scheme alumni and, to ensure continuation, the graduates have formed an action learning set to continue the ethos of peer learning. Through structured meetings, the group provide self-led support to help one another grow throughout their careers.
Clare Swarbrick, Graduate Scheme Manager, Manchester University Foundation Trust Hospital, said:
“This 3-day programme was a fantastic launch to our on-going development programme. It reflected the typical challenges that NHS managers and leaders face and the demands on managers to be evermore effective both in themselves and increasing the performance of their people.
Clare added: “The Programme aimed to increase self-awareness through review, and accelerate the transition to effective high performance among delegates by developing skills, managing and leading others. It also provided the opportunity for individuals to form alumni, sharing experiences, challenges and learning. All of this was made possible through fun and challenging outdoor activities!”