Letters Don’t take me to your leader

Aspirational idiocy at large

BMJ 2010; 340 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.c3007 (Published 09 June 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;340:c3007
  1. Rebecca Cooper, public health specialty registrar1
  1. 1Oxfordshire Primary Care Trust, Oxford OX4 2LH
  1. rebecca.cooper{at}oxfordshirepct.org.uk

    A wise old leader told me recently that motivated, high achieving professionals need less leadership and more savvy management.

    Delamothe’s observation of the ridiculous overuse of the word leadership in the medical world demonstrates perfectly that the term is not understood and is used as a generic cover for a plethora of issues.1 Where does the NHS want to be led to? Out of its current problems into a happy Utopian future where the fourth largest employer in the world functions as a small cottage business with shiny happy innovative leaders safely steering the ship? Yes, aspirational idiocy is alive and well in the health service.

    Good leaders of any shape or size are apparent regardless of their background. They are able to adapt to their environment, understand the people whom they are working with and for, and make decisions that allow change to be implemented in an organisation by ensuring that all staff own it and are accountable for it. Frankly, I don’t care what background NHS leaders have, but I would like to see people appointed who have a bit of savvy: the need to lead being secondary to the ability to manage current circumstance.


    Cite this as: BMJ 2010;340:c3007


    • Competing interests: None declared.


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