‘Learning Leadership: How to become a leader in the NHS’ by Professor Aidan Halligan

Aidan Halligan, Professor of Foetal and Maternal Medicine and Director of Education at UCL reflects on his experiences of being a leader in the NHS. He shares the stories of people he respects as leaders, and analyses the key features that make them so effective.

Leadership is “… going into the unknown with courage. People respect courage and they respect compassion.”

“We know when we see a leader. They inspire us and when we’re inspired we become determined. And when we are determined we go further. That’s what leadership is about… And it’s your example that counts, not your rank. And if you care about patients to the point of being selfless, people will always respect that.”

“Martin Luther King ‘I have a dream’, you remember that great speech? Imagine if he had said, ‘I have a strategic plan.’

“It was Michelangelo who said, ‘The tragedy abut life is not that we set our heights too high and fail, but we set our sights too low and succeed.'”

And the magic word – what is essential – in hospitals: KINDNESS. (Go to 7’05”)

Thanks to Mark Gilman for this, who shared a stage with Aidan at a conference organised by AA.