Oct 16

Top leaders share their tips

Posted: 14 October 2016

Sharon-Allen-SamOur CEO Sharon Allen talks about #imwithsam and what makes a great adult social care leader

I was recently at the launch event for I’m With Sam - hashtag #imwithsam – an important campaign to tackle hate crime against people with learning disabilities and autism being led by Dimensions, and I was thinking how sad it is that we even have to address a basic human rights issue like this one.

We also have to live in the real world where 73% of people with autism or learning disabilities have experienced hate crime so Skills for Care is 100% behind this campaign. Anything that challenges those who perpetrate this dreadful crime in our community and also the rest of us not to stand by can only be a good thing.

At the launch I bumped into Peter Kinsey, CEO at Care Management Group, who shared my anger that hate crimes like this still happen, and we also had an interesting chat about what makes a great adult social care leader.

Regular followers of my blogs will know leadership is a subject I am hugely interested in because the golden thread that links quality providers is outstanding leaders who set the bar very high and lead by example

Peter shares many of my views of makes a good leader and I think we both agree that we should be better at sharing what makes for effective leadership. As a provider who has achieved Outstanding rating from CQC I know Peter is hugely keen to share and support others aspiring to provide the highest quality care and support.  I took the opportunity to ask Peter to give me his 10 top tips for leaders in social care and he took up my challenge:

1. Visit services every week

2. Set up separate representative structures for people you support families and front line staff and meet them regularly

3. Work at least 2 hands on shifts a year

4. Ask powerful questions like what specifically? How specifically?

5. Don't take people's word for it ask to see the evidence

6. Personally check improvement plans for any requires improvement or inadequate services at least once a month

7. Be on top of the detail that matters like turnover sickness and training compliance in each service

8. Personally answer all complaints from families

9. Always have quality as the first agenda item in your board report

10. Never forget to ask would I be happy for a member of my family to live here.

These are exactly the sort for useful tips - applicable to any organisation - I was hoping Peter would come up with and there is nothing there that I would disagree with, or didn’t do when I led a social care provider organisation. That said it’s important to always share our thoughts on leadership as if I have learnt one thing it is foolish to think you are the complete leader as that just breeds complacency.

My thanks to Peter for sharing his thoughts and if any of you have a similar top ten list then I’d love to hear from you so I can share your thinking too.

You can tweet and follow Sharon at www.twitter.com/sharonallensfc