Stick to your values
Hello and welcome to 2013. Happy New Year!
This is my first blog post of 2013 for “Leaders for Leeds”. One of the things that is really important to me is value based leadership. Being clear about what you value is critical every day, and particularly in tough times. Sight of what you value, and of purpose, is the thing that, for me, got lost in Mid Staffordshire and Winterbourne View. Value based leadership has helped me reform services, improve care, carry one organisation through its abolition and another on a journey from its creation. You can read more in this interview here: http://www.valuesbasedleadership.co.uk/Voice/dec2012/
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.
And my New Year’s Resolution? This will be a tough year. I will stick to my values – because in tough times, when often there is no right logical decision, it works.
Leadership Principles: Rob Webster
My leadership is based on the following principles:
- 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.
- I will visibly lead by example. My leadership and what I value will be clearly communicated and understood.
- How we work is as important as what we do. We need to be very clear about both.
- 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.
- Consensus is not always the best way forward. We must innovate, take risks and learn from failures.
- Diversity should be embraced – it drives change and innovation
- The governance, systems and processes in the organisation are both an enabler and our corporate glue.
- 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.
A final thought for you – do your staff and your team know what you value as a leader?