I am starting a new job – there, I said it ‘out-loud’. I have been a bit worried about writing it down as I thought it might jeopardise it, as this is one move I really wanted to make, to do something where I hope I can make a difference. I also know I am nearing the last leg of my ‘formal’ career – I know I won’t stop doing ‘something’ but I suspect what that is might be very different 5 years from now. I can also see that moving from a relatively high profile role to a local one might have its own teething pains too. How can I change how I behave to reflect where I will live?
Most of the moves I have made in the last decade have been an evolution of where I was, a natural progression, easy in the simple growth of thinking and skills. This time it’s different. I’m moving to a community provider and trying to use all my new thinking and skills in a completely different way.
I am aware that in the last 5 years I have behaved as an instinctive manager and leader and perhaps have thrown in a little bit of organisational development as I have gone along. I have done OK, feedback has been generally positive, but I really want to develop more – that will require effort on my part.
So I start my new role with some anxiety; I’m setting high standards for myself. I also know that, to do what I want to do I need to move into spaces that will be less than comfortable and may be lonely. I have written before about PWI (perceived weirdness index) and how being different can affect change; I also think that occupying a more neutral space allows others to lead, if you help to shed the light, rather than being the light.
So I have been thinking about my personal ambitions for the next couple of years and here are my first thoughts:
- Organisations are complex and dynamic and are powered by humans – I will respect the unique nature of the organisation I work in and those people who make it the way it is;
- I will endeavour to support others and create environments where people can give their best;
- I will use my natural ability to see links and connections – I will support others through acting as a navigator rather than driver, shedding light on the paths available rather than choosing the path – ‘doing with’ not ‘doing to’;
- I will work hard at developing others in the organisation and avoid dependency on me;
- I will throw light on unmentionables and take difficult conversations out of the shadows by acting with honesty and integrity;
- I will value conversation over process;
- I will be opportunistic and work with the power of others to support change;
- I will continuously reflect and learn;
- I will draw others to the power of communities in action and in doing so support changes to practice;
- I will operate from a position of expert rather than that of manager and in doing so act as a guide rather than through exercising managerial power;
- I will respect partnerships with citizens/patients as a principle;
- I will keep a relentless focus on citizens/patients/service users; the quality of what we do and how they experience it.
I think this is a challenging list. I will see how I go. You might too as I will blog about some of these things as I go along.
Is there anything I should have included on my list that I have missed?