Page 3 - TalkingCare_Issue3_WebVersion_OACP Winter 2017
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 hello...and a very
warm welcome to
             “Leaders set the tone for how to behave; organisational culture and delivery...ensuring the small habits of asking how are you and saying thank you, become part of Ihow a team works together”.
n our complex and fragmenting world, it feels that leadership has never been in such demand, but also never in such a short
supply. Whether it is in response to world­wide issues, or to manage more local priorities, we all have our own view of leaders, often not very complimentary ones, or at least leaders’ qualities are open for debate depending on your standpoint. But as we wrestle with one of the most challenging issues of today, how to manage growing pressures on social care with a decreasing public purse, what makes a leader?
There are lots of precise definitions of leadership. How about this? Leaders are people who do the right thing; managers are people who do things right. So leadership is more than managing; leaders can create an inspiring vision of the future. They motivate and inspire people to engage with that vision; often they mentor and build a team to be effective in achieving the vision. And leaders are not afraid to step outside the box and challenge us all to do things differently. Leadership isn't about being great yourself; it's about enabling others to be great.
In this issue of Talking Care, you will encounter a number of leaders in different roles. Cllr Judith Heathcoat leads the response on behalf of Oxfordshire County Council to our local
pressures on adult social care, an unenviable task, but one that cannot be shirked. And we have a range of articles and interviews with other senior leaders, Kate Allen from The Kingwood Trust, Chris Ingram from Style Acre, Gail Hill from The Camden Society and Jamie Miller from Headway Oxfordshire, all excellent and inspiring examples of organisational leadership.
Leaders set the tone for how to behave; organisational culture and delivery. Chris Ingram’s description of his induction into Style Acre has it in a nut­shell; understanding the organisation by participating in it. And ensuring the small habits of asking how are you and saying thank you become part of how a team works together.
A particular facet of leadership that seems attractive is highlighting our desire to learn from mistakes (it certainly feels attractive to me!). It is a sign of a leader’s strength in asking for guidance and support – Jamie Miller admits that it was his Mum who set him on his career pathway; what better advocate can there be, than a parent. Seeking guidance sends a powerful message that asking for help is more than OK, it's often the right step. And of course admitting mistakes shows we are human.
When your team wins, a leader steps back to enable victory to be about your people. Gail Hill’s pride in her team at The Camden Society bursts out of these pages; she is their cheerleader. But in between these insights into these leading figures, we focus on a number of people who have shown through their work how to do something and how to do it well. Leaders make a difference – they are the connection between success and failure and enable people around them to be the best that they can.
Leadership has nothing to do with seniority,
or your position in the hierarchy of an organisation. Too often a company’s leadership refers to the senior positions; leadership doesn’t automatically happen when you reach a certain pay scale. Hopefully you find it there, but there are no guarantees!
The Oxfordshire Care Awards last year aimed to shine a light on work done every day in this County, which goes unrecognised, except by those in the immediate vicinity. Every day you go to work, or out on a leisure or pleasure
journey, care workers are all around you providing 24/7 care and support for the most vulnerable people in our communities. And amongst our Award winners and Highly Commended, we found heaps of leaders; extraordinary people doing extraordinary things.
Fiona Mayfield at Larkrise lights up her residents’ days with her unfailingly cheerful disposition, but points to her colleagues as the ones who enable her to be her best. Rachel Burdett­Smith of Sanctuary Care leads with her musical talent and Sarah Jones at Style Acre with her gardening knowledge; both using it as a way in to engage people who otherwise find it hard to engage. The Lifestyle Coordinators at Bridge House, bounce ideas off each other to create an atmosphere that is impossible to resist. The two Kims, Kim Webb from Hft, and Kim Marsden from OSJCT have that indefinable quality of integrity, a moral compass that is so important when working with vulnerable people. Cherry Care Services’ Zeep Gathogo has that too, as well as a limitless work ethic that drives her to do better. That ‘going the extra mile’ is evident at Turning Point, where the Carterton team are highly valued for supporting people and families through end of life care, and apparent through the work of Sue Hendron at Shared Lives.
All these qualities are present in leaders; people showing not just what to do, but how to do it. They all influence others around them. Leadership is a process of social influence, which maximises the efforts of others, towards the achievement of a goal. For people working in social care, goals vary from promoting independence to preserving existing skills. We salute our social care leaders, and invite you to become one of them. Have you got what it takes?
Eddy McDowall Chief Executive
Oxfordshire Association of Care Providers

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