Q: Your book features some research of Outstanding rated managers – what can you share from that?
Sophie: We used the Judgement Index assessment to look at the values-based behaviours of managers at Outstanding rated care homes and I think the research is really useful for any new leaders to reflect on. The clear finding was that all of these managers had a solid personal foundation. What I mean by that is that they had good levels of self-esteem, they were not too self-critical, they all had things that fulfilled them outside of work and they all had great stress-coping skills. All of this means that they can get more out of work as a result and be better leaders.
If you think about it, if you’re stable in yourself then you’re probably able to make better decisions and be more focused at work. I think anyone can take something from these findings and perhaps more should be done to support people personally at work – such as confidence-building workshops or learning how to cope with personal stress. Often, companies think all training needs to be skills-focused, but things like this will have a positive impact on work performance.
Q: The ethos of your book is “Everyone is a leader” can you explain a bit about that?
Sophie: We definitely need more of a leadership culture in care, and that starts with the individual. We argue that everyone is a leader – and if you don’t lead a team then at the very least you lead yourself and the people you care for. That’s why we wanted to make the book accessible to anyone, managers and CEO’s but also team leaders and people just starting their journey. We hope that the practical exercises could be used at any level to develop leadership skills.