What Qualities Do You Look For In A Leader?

Everyone no matter what level they are at in the NHS has a boss or someone who they are accountable to.  Like most people you probably had some leaders that you worked with that you were really inspired by.  On the other hand chances are there were others who had quite the opposite effect.


It is really easy to follow the crowd and just be critical of leaders.  But do you have a clear idea of the type of qualities that you look for in a leader?  In this blog post I set out the qualities of the leaders I really admired when working in the NHS.




I had my first job in the NHS straight from school at the age of 15, working in the accounts team at the Scottish Ambulance Service.  At that age my experience of work and organisations was little or none.  Fortunately I had a boss who was really supportive.  He encouraged, he let me try things and learn from mistakes.




As someone who came out of school with basic qualifications it would have been easy to achieve nothing and just drift along aimlessly.  My first boss clearly saw some potential as he encouraged me to go back to night school and get more qualifications.  That was the catalyst for a successful career in accountancy.




It was really important in the early stages of my career to have support and encouragement.  As I progressed challenge became more important.  When I first moved into internal audit I was challenged.  All of a sudden I had to deal with a whole host of things that were band new to me.  Things like reviewing processes and sorting out what was essential as opposed to nice to have.  Providing feedback and delivering difficult messages to people who were much more experienced and senior to me.


My Head of Internal Audit set me these challenges and I enjoyed the highs and lows of making progress.


Pushed You Beyond What You Thought You Could Do


One of the best people I ever worked with was probably one of the moist driven individuals I have ever come across.  While driven. He was always willing to listen and adapt and put you in positions that were at times uncomfortable to deal with but provided real growth long term.




Everyone has different perspectives on different groups of professional people.  Not all leaders necessarily loved the work I and others in Finance did but they respected me and others for the contribution we made.


A Willingness To Let Go


All the great leaders I worked with were good at what they did and at the same time appreciated that they had to let go and trust others.  This does not just gain respect but adds a huge amount of motivation too when someone positively endorses you.


So that’s some of the main qualities I admired when working with leaders in the NHS.  Why not leave a comment with your list of qualities that you really admire in leaders.


Duncan Brodie of Goals and Achievements helps NHS organisations to deliver great performance through people.  Learn more here