My first blog independent of public sector employment so I cannot underestimate the significance of this moment for me . I have been on the payroll for 28 years until last week and thought I would stay until pension. But, like many the constant restructure and reorganisations got me this time. I didn’t want to leave, I enjoyed my job and had more to do in my career and so I pleaded to stay.
Why plead, I had done enough years so the kids wont starve. I guess I didn’t feel done yet and didn’t want to be forced out. So I went through a lot of personal pain because I struggled to accept this situation. I’m known by many for my dispassionate logic and reason, but I’m also marked by my passion and courage (some say bloody mindedness!)
It was the passion to support people with mental health problems that brought me in as a student nurse at 19 and that has never left me. As my career progressed great bosses,mentors,coaches and colleagues saw the courage and the passion to make a difference and inspired me to try harder, go further, reach out to more people. So, I moved up the ladder, worked across more areas, more responsibility followed, I acquired more skills and more opportunity.
Pretty darn good for a girl from a broken home, homeless at 17 with a factory working trade unionist for a father and mother who cleaned offices. I didn’t come from the right family or have the networks for an intern ship or the privilege of the right school or the right university for the first job. But the public sector gave me so many great people and they ALL believed in me. So to all of you who lead, pay attention to the young ones, be the one who sees and believes in their potential. Look for talent everywhere and don’t discount anyone.
My thanks go to the Housing Director in Greenwich Council who put me on a diploma in management studies, the Operations Director at the Maudsley who recommended me for an MBA, the Professor of Psychiatry who chose me to co author a book with him, the PCT CEO who sent me on a Kings Fund Directors course, the NHS SHA CEO who added me to the NHS Top Leaders list, a previous Director General who modelled public sector values to me, the retired CEO who picked me to join his exec team and my current coach. You have all done more than you will ever realise as you helped get me there.
So now I thank all of those who have believed in me and stood with me these last 6 months in this personal storm. My church, work colleagues, patient leaders, neighbours. You all remained confident when I really doubted myself, some of you listened, some of you coached, some advised, some challenged, others shared your networks and skill sets. All of you helped me to eventually see this as an opportunity and a release.
My husband (a natural Eeyore) has been bouncing about telling me the future is bright and he knew I would be fine. For a while I wished he would be his usual Eeyore but my sincere and greatest thanks go to him MY BEST COACH. He also chose the company name and more of that in the next blog.
So what next, well for the next few months to my twitter friends I’m still here and will continue to give my opinions and views on health and social care. I am doing an executive coaching masters so reading and writing (lots of). I have a few people to coach so starting next week I will seek to give them the time and space to become the best leaders they can be. And tomorrow is the first of four sessions learning French Patisserie, so I’m doing ok.