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The power of leadership

Well, it might not have officially ‘come home’ but it seems incredible to be writing that the England football team was right on the brink of getting into a World Cup final.

Something that, this time last month even, would have seemed a long-distant dream for the majority of us.

And as well as rediscovering the glory of the game, we seem to have found ourselves a new national treasure in the form of England manager Gareth Southgate.

Manager? Yes. Leader? Definitely.

Gareth talked in an interview recently about his role in motivating the team, saying:  "I think it is important to listen and I think it is important to get a feel of what motivates the individual."

That to me is leadership at its very core. Motivating those around you to succeed, and creating a team that has the drive and creativity to make decisions. After all, Gareth can’t make every decision for his 11 men on the field from the sideline. But inspiring them and giving them the confidence to make decisions themselves – that he can do.

This philosophy certainly chimes with our own at WSFT. We’re all leaders, whether we lead a small team, a big organisation, or even just our families. Leadership is not about telling people what to do, it’s about earning trust so that people are happy to be led by you. Whilst there is always more to learn, we’ve adopted the ‘Southgate’ method in our leadership values and behaviours – focusing on marginal gains that we know add up to a big difference. But it’s been inspiring to watch this young man lead and unite not only a team, but a nation.

And we in the NHS are now being led by a new leader at the top; I was delighted that local MP Matt Hancock has been made the new Secretary of State for Health and Social Care. Matt has always been a passionate and supportive MP to us as a Trust, and alongside Jo Churchill MP and James Cartlidge MP I believe we do have politicians in our area who truly care about the NHS and its future.

That future is, for the most part, looking bright I think. There’s been a huge commitment from the Government to inject more money into the NHS over the next five years, which won’t solve all our problems but will be a huge help. At a time when some 20% of Government spend already goes on the NHS that’s quite a commitment, as it’s as good a deal as we could have imagined and one we’re grateful for.

This major landmark announcement has come in a major landmark year – I’m sure none of you managed to escape the NHS celebrations as we clocked our 70th birthday on 5 July.

Our healthcare system is the envy of many across the world; yes, we don’t always get it right, but I think it’s a special thing to be part of a system that provides free healthcare for all – regardless of wealth, individuality or diversity.

It was incredible to see such an outpouring of love and pride for our national health service, not just from the people who work in it but from the many, many people whose lives it has touched or saved. To me, it really brought home how much the NHS and the people in it are valued. Thank you so much for your ongoing support, it makes me so very proud to be a part of one of the best hospitals in the country.

Like England before every match, we have a mountain to climb and a journey ahead of us, but I believe we have the right team to succeed. Here’s to the next 70 years.

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Chief executive, Steve Dunn

Chief executive, Steve Dunn