“There is nobody who cannot vastly improve their powers of leadership by a little thought and practice”
Field Marshal William Slim

Staff College believes that leadership is an amalgam of emotional intelligence, courage, analytical skills and commitment, along with the resilience to rebound from setbacks and still be focused on the final objective.  Our programmes have been developed to enable staff working within the healthcare community to consolidate and expand their leadership abilities through experiment by exposing them to a range of experiences and techniques. 

Whilst we have a methodology for leadership development, we consciously do not have a specific philosophy for leadership itself, in the sense of how best to lead.  We recognise that this varies with context and may evolve over time. So we keep an open mind with regard to the approach and content of what we teach while remaining consistent on the methodology we use for successful development. We have a set of principles which are key to our approach and methodology.

Key principles

Only experienced leaders teach
Our faculty have decades of hands-on experience of leading within healthcare, the military, business and education.

We believe that leaders learn by doing rather than being told
As such our experiential courses are designed to provide the opportunity for leaders to partake in exercises that test the skills they need as leaders, so that they can identify their personal areas for development.

People believe their own data
As such exercises are often filmed and reviewed during courses to enable individuals to see for themselves the impact their behaviours have or haven’t had on others in their groups.

The power of feedback
Peer to peer and faculty led feedback is encouraged throughout courses, providing the opportunity for individuals to develop their personal reflective practice and develop their awareness of themselves and how others perceive them.

Leadership as a relationship
We believe that leadership is all about the quality of relationships we have with others. Therefore, we focus our efforts on developing individuals’ understanding of the role and importance of the behavioural and relational aspects of leadership.

There is nothing so practical as a good theory
Our courses, while light on theory, introduce short and simple theoretical concepts and models that we’ve found helpful to hundreds of healthcare leaders over the years, followed by short inputs to help individuals understand how these concepts are relevant to their worlds.

The difference that makes a difference

The people who attend our programmes often mention that they like the fact that ‘we do things differently’. It is often difficult to pin down the ‘difference that makes a difference’ but includes:

Members discover the truth about themselves as leaders by

• Extensively viewing visual feedback, which not only connects at an emotional level, but prevents them denying behaviours. People believe their own data.
• Being encouraged to challenge each other, as a way of assisting in learning and also giving support.
• Receiving feedback from Directing Staff (DS), their group peers and their own senses, the power of which combination ensures the learning occurs at an experiential level.

Directing Staff (our term for faculty members) are unusual, in that they

• Initiate and sustain a generous relationship.
• Lead by example during the course and bring extensive leadership experience to it.
• Come from diverse careers and organisations – the healthcare community, the military and the commercial sector.
• Are mutually rigorous in their testing of material for inclusion and examination of all approaches.
• Are committed learners, who are full participants in the unfolding of the courses.
• Are always open to change.
• Do not pathologise cynicism and resistance but work with it, understanding that this is what leaders are contending with daily.
• Are immune to much of the ‘fashion and gimmick’ nature prevalent in the field of leadership development. The test is ‘usefulness’ not ‘newness’.

Programmes include powerful activities

• Low power-point per hour ratio. Experiencing and engaging in dialogue is privileged over lecturing.
• Involving real tasks, with no case studies or role play.
• Keeping members in the here and now.
• Creating a challenging as well as supportive learning environment.