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enhance: spotlight on leadership

As the enhance programme releases its leadership: first principles resource guide, enhance fellow Nikhita Joglekar shares her thoughts on the importance of considering your role as a leader early in your career.

At it’s core, leadership refers to what you do rather than what you are – it’s the attributes you demonstrate, rather than a title you have. Leadership is within everybody. enhance leadership resource guide, 2024

Many health and care workers may see leadership as a concept that is only relevant to very few of us, and so prioritising our own leadership skills can fall by the wayside when we are busy working within services with little extra capacity. However, the reality is that most of us take on leadership roles every day when interacting with our colleagues, managing workload and ensuring the best possible care for our service users.

Within the health and care space, especially within high pressure settings, we are regularly responsible for making challenging decisions day in and day out. However, we may still not feel confident defining ourselves as leaders or thinking about how we may want to progress with leadership roles moving forwards. Taking on a leadership role is something that can feel daunting especially for those without formal training or experience relating to this.

Within health and care, our understanding of good leadership is evolving. The King’s Fund have outlined this progression and in 2022, the Messenger Review characterised a gold standard for high-quality leadership in this setting. This report emphasised the importance of collaborative leadership from colleagues at all levels of the health and care system, regardless of seniority. Within NHS England and the enhancing generalist skills programme (enhance), we have included leadership as a cross-cutting theme for the programme, sharing the view that this topic should be embraced by all of our learners.

The enhance Leadership Resource Guide: First Principles is designed specifically for health and care workers who are early on in their careers and may have very little formal leadership experience. The guide aims to help you identify where you might be able to make changes within your current role, and what skills you already have that you could apply to your ongoing leadership journey.

Leadership in health and care applies to everyone, and the enhance leadership guide is designed to show all health and care workers how they can begin to lead and influence from the very beginning of their careers.

Access and download the enhance Leadership Resource Guide: First Principles from our Learning Hub