Making Sense of Work with Jean Balfour

Ep. #44 Leading a Hospital Through COVID With Mairead McCormick

March 13, 2023 Mairead McCormick Season 2 Episode 44
Ep. #44 Leading a Hospital Through COVID With Mairead McCormick
Making Sense of Work with Jean Balfour
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Making Sense of Work with Jean Balfour
Ep. #44 Leading a Hospital Through COVID With Mairead McCormick
Mar 13, 2023 Season 2 Episode 44
Mairead McCormick

Leading a hospital during the COVID-19 pandemic has posed a significant challenge for many leaders. By prioritizing relationships and creating a supportive workplace culture, Mairead McCormick has demonstrated her commitment to effective leadership during these challenging times. 

Join Mairead McCormick, the CEO of Kent Community Health, NHS in the latest episode of Making Sense of work. 

Jean and Mairead discuss: 

  • Mairead's relational leadership during the pandemic crisis
  • What is good relational leadership and how it looks like 
  • The impact of emergency situations on relational leadership
  • The relationship between performance management and a relational approach
  • The connection between coaching and a relational leadership approach?

Meet Mairead McCormick
Mairead is the Chief Executive Officer of Kent Community Health, part of the UK national Health service. It is an organisation spanning Kent, parts of Essex, and South London in England and covering a population of 2 million with a workforce of 5000 nurses, doctors, allied health professionals community care. 

Mairead has been in the NHS for 35 years including five years as a chief operating officer and deputy chief executive at Kingston Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.

She has a national reputation for her work in emergency care, working with NHS England in the Emergency Care Intensive Support Team carrying out a whole system review. 

Book recommendation: Intelligent Kindness: Reforming the Culture of Healthcare: https://www.amazon.com/Intelligent-Kindness-Reforming-Culture-Healthcare/dp/1908020040

Experience an Introduction to our Coach Training Programmes with our Free Taster Course: https://courses.baileybalfour.com/course/coach-training-introduction

Sign up to our newsletter to learn more about upcoming programmes: https://baileybalfour.com/subscribe/

Show Notes Transcript

Leading a hospital during the COVID-19 pandemic has posed a significant challenge for many leaders. By prioritizing relationships and creating a supportive workplace culture, Mairead McCormick has demonstrated her commitment to effective leadership during these challenging times. 

Join Mairead McCormick, the CEO of Kent Community Health, NHS in the latest episode of Making Sense of work. 

Jean and Mairead discuss: 

  • Mairead's relational leadership during the pandemic crisis
  • What is good relational leadership and how it looks like 
  • The impact of emergency situations on relational leadership
  • The relationship between performance management and a relational approach
  • The connection between coaching and a relational leadership approach?

Meet Mairead McCormick
Mairead is the Chief Executive Officer of Kent Community Health, part of the UK national Health service. It is an organisation spanning Kent, parts of Essex, and South London in England and covering a population of 2 million with a workforce of 5000 nurses, doctors, allied health professionals community care. 

Mairead has been in the NHS for 35 years including five years as a chief operating officer and deputy chief executive at Kingston Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.

She has a national reputation for her work in emergency care, working with NHS England in the Emergency Care Intensive Support Team carrying out a whole system review. 

Book recommendation: Intelligent Kindness: Reforming the Culture of Healthcare: https://www.amazon.com/Intelligent-Kindness-Reforming-Culture-Healthcare/dp/1908020040

Experience an Introduction to our Coach Training Programmes with our Free Taster Course: https://courses.baileybalfour.com/course/coach-training-introduction

Sign up to our newsletter to learn more about upcoming programmes: https://baileybalfour.com/subscribe/

Hi everyone and welcome to Making Sense of Work. Today I am joined by my good friend, Mairead McCormick, welcome Mairead. Thank you Jean. Glad to be here. Great. Before I tell you a bit about Maade, I have a couple of small asks. Firstly, if you would like to be kept up to date about our podcast episodes, please sign up to our newsletter and there'll be information about the podcasts, more information about the books and podcasts that we recommend, and also information about our programs, and you can sign up at baileybalfour.com. It would also be really great if you could rate and review the podcast growing. The impact of any podcast is partly dependent on reviews and ratings, and I would really appreciate your support. Let me tell you about mah. MAH is Chief Executive of Kent Community Health, part of the UK National Health Service. It's an organization spanning Kent, parts of Essex and South London in England, and covering a population of 2 million with a workforce of 5,000 nurses, doctors, allied health professionals, and other people serving the community. Marie has worked for 35 years in the National Health Service, including five years as Chief Operating Officer and Deputy Chief Executive at Kingston Hospital, NHS Foundation Trust, and that's where we met. Um, Ma, many years ago now, probably, definitely more than 10 years ago, ma originally qualified as a nurse in her native northern island, then moved to England to specialize. As an emergency nurse before working in Australia and New Zealand, she returned to the UK to continue her career in emergency nursing. Later, taking up a post as head of nursing at Kingston, and then Divisional Manager for Women and Child Health. She has a national reputation for her work in emergency care. Working with N H S England and the emergency care intensive support team carrying out a whole system review, MA is driven by improving outcomes for patients. Seen this in practice and working with teams to deliver transformations. She's also an exceptional leader. We're going to talk today about her approach to leadership, and particularly her approach to relational leadership. So again, Marie, welcome. Thank you Jean, and uh, what a lovely intro. I almost didn't recognize myself, but thank you. You're very kind. It's all true. I know. I've seen it. So, how's work at the moment, ma? well work at the moment. It's probably the most challenging time, I've ever been in the n h s gene, as you can imagine. Where I think the people delivering the care, have really been quite bruised and broken over the last three years. And they need a tremendous amount of, care and kindness. You know, personally for me, six months into this CEO role, although it's a massive responsibility everything that I value, and everything that I am really fits with what is needed currently. So I feel actually quite purposeful, and optimistic and full of hope. And that might sound really strange. Um, when I was preparing for this role, I spoke to someone and she said to me, you know, the chief executive role is very different from any other role you'll ever. And she described it as the other r the other rules will have been jobs, and this is a lifestyle and I know exactly what she means. Now. It's sort, it becomes part of you. Um, and it's who you are and you know, you're, sort of living your values every day. So yeah, full of hope and, optimism actually for the future, but very aware of the tremendous amount of. That the workforce need, more so than ever. Yeah. Well, you are an amazing person to be doing that because that's my experience of how you lead. So they're, they're lucky to have you. Thank you. I wonder if you could share with us a bit for you about what does a really good day at work look like? It looks like a really good book actually, that you've learned something new and the stories that people are telling are, stories full of, hope, um, I guess stories of achievement. And actually they're keen to go onto the next chapter and they want to come back for more. And it's interesting and fulfilling. Patients are getting what they need, um mm-hmm. and they feel cared for. But likewise, the staff are feeling the same and that absolute balance has got to be there. And I think for me, you know, knowing if I just know that I've enabled one person to do what they need to do, that's a great day at work. Of course, if it's more than one, that's a brilliant day at work. But that's pretty much what it looks like, when it all comes together. And just to move on from that, I wonder what you see as your role in that. the enabling part is really unlocking, people's potential almost. It's a strange thing when people feel that they need the permission to be themselves and to bring their whole selves to work. And I always find that really interesting, that people are seeking some sort of permission and often it's pretty straightforward and it's just simple words of it's absolutely fine to do this. I've got your back. That's also really important. Having someone's back means making people feel safe and when people feel safe, particularly if they're not gonna succeed at it. And that's all part of improvement, as we know. But I think feeling safe to give it a go. And to try new things, it's the only way to improve, of course. Um, but that feeling safe part is really, really part of who I am and what I'm about. Mm-hmm. that's so important. I've been, really exploring personally this idea of we have to feel safe enough to try things and fail a few times and keep going and keep going. And your role ultimately, Holds that safety, because if people fail and, and yet there's encouragement to keep trying, then that makes the difference of whether they'll keep moving forward. I really notice when I say to people, you know, I am responsible and accountable and I will own this. we'll own these decisions together, but ultimately I'm responsible and accountable. It unlocks something very different for people. Mm-hmm. um, it gives sort of license to, think freely, and much more creatively. Mm-hmm. fantastic. I shared a bit about your career, but it's always lovely to hear from people the story of how you came to be sitting in this chief ex. Chair that you're sitting in now, what was the journey to bring you? Well, I suppose Jean, I, I never set out to be a c e O, um, but one thing I was really clear about is I always wanted to be a nurse. And from early on, I used to bandage my brothers and sisters from head to toe. Um, and I used to run around with a little first aid kit. I didn't like dolls, but I quite liked taking them apart and putting them back together. So that must speak volumes about, getting into emergency care. So, I was an emergency nurse for much of my career, and I think the appealing thing was that sense of working in a team, which is so important in that environment. Mm. And I think moving into leadership and management. It came quite naturally, because for me it was more about being able to bring out the best in people, and to help people shine. I also think my dad was a tremendous role model. He was, a very successful businessman who led with tremendous kind. I really watched that growing up and how that influenced people, that worked with him and, how they were always given that, safety to progress and, it was always done with tremendous kindness. So I'm so aware of that, that probably shaped me. And as I said, I didn't set out to be a C E O, but I can understand how, who I am and the values that I am, really fit with that role. And of course, I do acknowledge there is a quite a strong element of self-belief, which has always been something that I think I, hold, near and dear to me, but it's not enough bon its own, um mm-hmm. And I feel really grateful for the leaders that I've met in my career, actually, who've encouraged me, and enabled. Actually to, um, to do what I'm doing today. So, very fortunate and acknowledge, uh, you know, the people that I've met along the way. Mm-hmm. Yeah. And I can see that. It's interesting. I wonder. as you see yourself now when so much of your career was really hands-on nursing, even when you were in a leadership role, you really led as somebody who was in the department on the floor. How do you see the relationship between being a nurse and being a chief executive? Well, I think they're very linked because they both require a tremendous amount of, care for others. I guess the difference is that, I'm a lot further away from the patient in the sense that I'm not directly delivering treatments. Mm-hmm. um, and my care is, fundamentally all around, you know, care for the workforce. Cuz if I care for the workforce, we care for the workforce. They'll ultimately being able to care for the patients, much better. But I think they are really intrinsically linked because they both require a tremendous amount of care. Caring comes natural to me. I, am a good carer. I own that. You are. Yeah. Mm-hmm. you really are. Yeah. So we, are gonna talk a little bit about relational leadership because it's something you and I have both studied actually, and you are. I believe the embodiment of this, and I know that because I've seen you in action in many different settings, but I wanted to share a little story before we kind of head into a conversation about this. So this was a while ago when you were there. Head of the emergency department at Kingston, and I came down to look for you and I asked the then lead consultant where you were, and he said, well, Mara's in the department doing one of her delusional talks, So I said, what's a Delusional talk? And he said, well, she's in there telling them that they're gonna have a good day. And the strange thing is they always believe. So I think, and I, I often come back to that idea that whatever's going on, you were in there encouraging, caring, having a laugh, but really being very relational. And so, I mean, I guess all joking aside, you do lead through people and we, we can already hear that from what you've said. It would be really great to hear from you how you define leadership, particularly relational leadership. Yeah, well I suppose if I was to simplify it, Jean, and it's not simple of course, but if I was to simplify it and try and capture it in, in, you know, one or two lines, I think it's really about making everybody feel that they belong. as part of that, that actually their being there is making a difference. That no matter what part people are playing, it's an important part and it's all part of making the difference. And I'm really, really aware of that. I'm back to the delusional talks. I remember those really well. because part of that was setting people up to have a good. And making people feel safe and that you've got their back. And I think also, that sense of teamwork, we're all in this together and every single person feeling included and that their, what they were gonna do that day was gonna add value. In whatever their role was, at the time. So yeah, making everybody feel that they belong, and that, and that they're being there as an individual is making a difference to the greater whole. Hmm. Hmm. That's really interesting because that's not about, um, the, the groupness of the team is important, but it's is also about us as individuals. I hear that really clearly. Yeah. And that sense that I can come and bring my contribution, whatever that looks like in that day. Yeah. And feel, um, valued for that. Yeah, precisely. Yeah. And when you see other leaders leading relationally, what behaviors do you see that you would say, okay, that's, that's what I would like to be seeing in leaders? Yeah. I'm, really fortunate that I see it a lot. I've got a lot of really great people around me, that the behaviors that I see that I really like are when people take time. To understand other's perspectives. And really listen and really understand where they're coming from. And I think, the flip side of that is being, really directional, autocratic and feeling done onto, which we know has, really negative consequences. But I think that real ability to listen to the individual, listen to their perspective and understand where they're coming from. Because I think when we understand what's driving people, um, and you and I, Jean, um, you know, we, we certainly studied it, but um, saying it in action is, really, really powerful stuff because I think when someone has taken the time to listen to me and understand my perspective, I feel really valued. Um, I feel really listened to and understood, and even if someone doesn't, that's still really good stuff because it enables us then to want to have sometimes difficult conversations. Mm-hmm. So having difficult conversations with kindness is another thing I really appreciate in leaders. Mm-hmm. Um, I really value that and I think we don't do it enough. Um, but when I see it being played out, um, it's, it's really, uh, fills my heart because when there's kindness there, all conversations, no matter what the outcome, can, you know, can be undertaken with kindness. And I absolutely believe that even the most difficult. Mm-hmm. Yeah. That's really interesting. Cause there's a, a connection I think there to performance management. You know, sometimes I can hear that relational leadership or a coaching approach to leadership. Isn't tough enough, you know, or mm-hmm. doesn't, it doesn't kind of help people perform. And so I guess I'm curious about how you hold that tension in that, and you've said a bit about that, but it'd be great if you could say a bit more, God, you know, Jean, even the words performance management, I have to say, still make me squirm a bit. Cuz you know, I have memories of it being used as a whip. And I, would liken it actually to the coliseum, uh, where you're, you know, feels like you're, you're, you're in with the lions about and to be eaten, for someone else's entertainment. So I've learned how not to performance manage, and I see. You know, relational leadership about setting the right conditions to make people succeed, and I really believe that that success comes from the good relationships and you need to build the trust. and I think that performance management through a negative lens, if it's seen as punitive or the coliseum or it's a negative experience. That's certainly not how we're gonna get people to succeed or, or to be their best. Mm-hmm. To get the trust part, I think really requires us to, get to know people mm-hmm. And really understand people's strengths and also, but really understand what people are not good at. You know, what I'm not good at and really owning that. Um, and it, it may be that I'll never be good at it, but it's okay to say that because there'll be someone. that will be really good at it. And I think that's all part of trying to understand how you pull it all together and get the team to work cohesively. I've mentioned it before, but there's a thing about feeling safe. um, feeling safe to be vulnerable and to try things, is really important, to get the success criteria. And I think how we respond when people are out there most vulnerable is quite a critical, point and sets the scene for, building the trust. I've seen many, many good and bad examples of this, but I really place a huge emphasis on getting that right, because I think when you get that right, Even when the outcome's not good, or there's a failure. It will only help us improve, and that to me is part of improving performance. Mm-hmm. Um, so I tend not to use performance management only because personally it makes me squirm a bit and it feels punitive. Mm-hmm. But I know exactly what you're saying and I think it's how it, how it, it sort of relates. Yeah. So much about what you're saying is, is related to inclusion and belong. because what you're saying is it's about the individual. It's about how an individual feels safe, how they feel able to be vulnerable, and also to share their strengths, their weaknesses, their sort of areas of anxiety, I guess, concerns. And that in that we can then help them think about how they can be at their best. And, I think the other side to it is that quite often my experience is if somebody's not succeeding, it will often track back to lack of clarity and lack of clarity of expectations. Yeah. And you know, being clear is a really important thing, particularly in these roles. And I find time and time again when you do sort of track back to. why isn't that person progressing in the way that they should or why haven't they delivered the outcome that was expected? It often tracks back to, um, someone, or we have not been really clear about what's been expected and what you need to do to get there. Yeah, yeah. Oh, I really second that. I think that's a, it's a part of management actually, that we all need to learn. It's, it is, it's kind of less leadership and more manage management. Yeah. Yeah. Um, Now you were Chief Operating Officer of Kingston Hospital when Covid hits. I know I was with you in the hospital in January, 2020 and, and everybody knew it was coming and um, I mean, I imagine there's a million stories that you could tell about leading a hospital through Covid, but I'm actually really curious about how you were able to be relational and lead relationally in a. Situation. Yeah, no, absolutely. Look, Jean, I think it's what got me out of bed in the morning, and into work every day. And I don't think we could have gone through it without, those, that relationship, um, relational leadership, the thing about it is, is the relationships were already. and I do wonder if I had been in an organization completely brand new, um, and Covid came along, it would've been a very different experience. but that's not the case. The relat relationships were already there. They were strong. I think they were honest, and they were authentic. The growing work had been done well in advance. Mm-hmm. which was extremely helpful and I'll be forever grateful for that. Because if I ever needed convincing that relational leadership was the way to do it, then it was that. We were also really aware of each other's abilities. Um, And there, there was that real shared, responsibility and that was quite a powerful thing. But also we were aware of the things that we were not good at. Hmm. Because we'd had those conversations in advance. Yeah. In fact, there was great humor around it. Um, and, you know, if anybody wanted anything tremendously detailed, done, you know, don't look here, sort of thing, Um, but equally the tough yards, the stuff that, was really uncomfortable for all of us was the unknown. And in a time of unknowns, which Covid was, uh, there? it really exposes your vulnerabilities. Mm-hmm. And I think experiencing that together, with those really strong relationships, was tremendously helpful in managing anxieties. And I think the other thing, Jean, which, I find extremely helpful was being able to, express fear in a safe environment. Mm-hmm. uh, with colleagues that, you know, you knew very well and felt very safe with. It was all very grounding. So I guess the thank goodness that work had been done, because I think. Covid wouldn't have given us the time to really understand each other's perspective and the groundwork that is needed. Because of course, you go into, a command and control, structure, which is essential in emergencies. And so, you know, was all part of it. Yeah. Yeah. And that's interesting, that tension between, commands and control in a crisis, which is needed because it's part of the way everybody knows what their roles are. It goes back to clarity of expectations and roles and it needs to be there. And that, that being easy if the relationships sound that, if people feel that safety you are describing, if they feel that they can say, I am. I'm worried about this. You can say, I guess I, I get you. I'm here and we still need to do it. We still need to lead. We need to go out there and you know, make it happen and I can be here for you. I think that's exactly what played out, but also describing and explaining to people why you have to move into a different style is really interesting in itself. I find that whole explaining to people why you go into command and control and why it is fit for that time, but also why you then need to come out of it. And you're constantly reevaluating that. It was a really interesting thing actually, because. people really welcomed the command and control in an emergency situation. I think it makes people feel safe as long as it's described appropriately. But then of course if it goes on for too long, you'll get the command and control fatigue. Playing out of it and people feel disabled and all of the sorts of things that we know. But I do think people welcome it in a crisis because, there, it puts a framework in place, puts a structure in place, that feels a bit safer. Yeah. Yeah. That's really important. And you've talked so much about. Safety, and this is a different expression of the safety cause. So often safety is, you know, you can go out and take risks and try things. In this case it was safety of I've got you and we need to just do this. Yes. This is how we're gonna do it. Yes. So different really, but the same concept of helping people to feel safe. What did you learn through Covid? So many, many things. I learned that, making decisions, was really important than no decisions. I've always kind of known that, but it really, really emphasized it for me, because people couldn't cope with the ambiguity. We just needed to get on and progress. What I learned most about myself was, an inability to switch off and it was a very deliberate thing. In the end I had to. I had to give myself a bit of a talk. You know, you there, there is an off button here. Yeah. Because I was sort of very driven to constantly, constantly improve that there must be another way of doing it, et cetera, et cetera. Mm-hmm. Um, but, The, rest time in between was really, really important. And likewise for colleagues, recognizing colleagues, when they were fatigued, and really, and people not always owning that and not wanting to, there was a real. I guess it was a real spread of we're all in this together, the don't care expert. We need to, you know, we, need to solve this. But because it went on for so long, uh, there had to be, you know, there had to be a switch off, every day. And as we, later find out that it. went on for many, many years Um, so yeah, finding the off button was interesting because I think I didn't appreciate, at the time how long this was gonna go on for. Mm-hmm. Yeah. And as I imagine attention in being a relational leader, where, you know, you describe yourself as caring and kindness. and in a crisis, at which point do you take care of yourself and encourage everybody else to make sure they take care of themselves at the risk of not being there for people. And that, you know, that's the kind of real tension. If you don't look after yourself, you are not gonna be there for people in a long term. But by looking after yourself, you're not there for people in those moments. And yeah, and I think we find a way, definitely as a senior leader, Team Gina really recognizing in, in each other, uh, and calling it out on each other. And that was the bit of the safety net in the end. And I, I find that really, really helpful. Mm-hmm. when people recognized it in me, if I didn't recognize it in myself, cuz there was a great tendency to just keep going at it, keep going. Uh, because there's, you know, we'll, we'll find a way out of this. I find it really difficult to, walk. at the end of a day, uh, knowing that this was enormous for everyone and trying to, that balance between wanting to wrap your arm arms around everyone and making sure everybody feels as looked after as they possibly can, and recognizing that that was impossible was really hard. Oh, I imagine, I imagine that was really a tough gig. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Oh, well thank you. Thank you for sharing that. Just to sort of draw this to an end, because my world of course is all about coaching, I'm curious about how you see the kind of connection between coaching and relational leadership. I think they're hand in hand. Because I think they're both about bringing out the best in people, but also really getting people to help the. That is fundamentally what we do, isn't it? I think it's also. Recognizing choice. And you think the connection comes back to having the right conversations? You know, it's, been a good mentor really, isn't it? Mm-hmm. Um, and so the people, don't lose who they are and they're not trying to conform to type, because I do believe sometimes, we can restrict people by, trying to get everybody fit to fit into the one. I guess the one way of doing and the one way of knowing mm-hmm. and I'm really clear that that just doesn't work. Yeah. Yeah. And, and just acknowledging the richness that individuals bring. and I love that, and I think that is all part of what coaching and relational leadership brings to the table, is that recognition of the individual, and the richness of what they. um, fascinates me out. Yeah. Yeah. No, it's amazing. It's so related to belonging and inclusion. Yeah, it's the same. We're in the same place essentially in that. Yeah. Yeah. Thank you. Let's just move in a way, a little bit back to you for a minute. You probably had some critical career moments along the way, but I wonder if you could share one and, what you learned from it. There are many, many defining moments in my career, but I guess one of the, one of the biggest ones for me, I'll refer back to my experience of the Coliseum,,and, I was given a letter by my boss at the time on Christmas Eve, and it was basically a letter of underperformance related to the financial situation at the time. And, you know, the steps that would be taken if no improvement were made so to speak. And it was really confusing for me because it was delivered by someone who had encouraged. All along the way and supported me, actually had been extremely supportive and I instinctively felt a disconnect between the person and the letter and the contents of the letter. it just didn't feel right. And I came home on Christmas Eve wondered why such a letter was necessary on Christmas Eve for full days. But I made a decision that I couldn't change anything that evening and I would enjoy Christmas with the family. And on my way out, I met another manager, and he looked quite broken. It Really strikes me that, you know, one of the things he said was, I'm the main Earner of the family. He had immediately got himself to play a self. Um, this will, you know, me being dismissed from a job. And ultimately what happened is, you know, we both came back after c. Worked with our teams. The financial situation didn't really change. There was a much bigger problem going on, a structural problem, you know, that required additional investment, et cetera. But it was really clear we weren't gonna solve it through the, the letters wasn't going to make either of us deliver anything different. Um, what did happen, however, was really interesting for me because I really started to lose momentum, and started to dislike work. For the first time in my career I actually disliked coming to work. and I would call out Jean that for many years. And that was a, a tremendous example for me of what, you know, it work sat, uh, satisfaction looks like when you're, you know, you're happy to come to work and as part of your structure. Um, and I guess part of this learning for me was that there was a real disconnect and a loss of trust in relationships. Yeah. And that comes back to. relational leadership stuff. I felt, very sad, but I instinctively knew that I needed to move away from the organization and I did. Mm-hmm. and that was the, that was the right thing for me at the time. So for me it was all about, you know, being true to myself. Mm-hmm. and sometimes, you know, walking away is the kindest thing you can do. Um, but I also learned that. You know that, that time, um, if I reflect back on it, I think I probably wasn't displaying enough fear, for the person that maybe wanted to exhibit that. And it was another way, the letter was another way of exhibiting power. Hmm. So as a relational leader, I think. Seeing fear in others would be a complete failure for me. I would feel that I have fundamentally failed as a leader. Um, and I think having difficult conversations with kindness and I come back to that, um, is, is what I'm all about. Uh, when, when things get tough, because there are kind of ways to do things. Yeah. So I think that whole power play was really interesting for me. But back to. really looking after myself at that time. Uh, that was a, that was a step change. Um, that, and I'd never walked away from anything before. Wow. Yeah. Yeah. But you knew you had to, but I knew I had to. I knew I had to, uh, that whole myself, belief was challenged. There was a lot of things playing out there. Um, and that was, that was really all about the relationships. the trust was gone. Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. Wow. So it is, it's back to trust and safety and the, belonging essentially. Yeah. Yeah. And just, I guess you've just sort of touched on confidence. Could you say a bit about imposter syndrome, whether you've experienced or what shows up for you in, in, instead of imposter syndrome? So, so I, I hear many people talking about imposter syndrome and, and I've heard people say, everybody experiences it. and I'm gonna say something to you, but then I'll, I'll, you know, put, put my thoughts behind it. I'm not sure that I do in its truest sense. Mm-hmm. And the reason why, if I, you know, in its true sense, if I, have I ever felt that I shouldn't be somewhere or I didn't deserve it, you know, as a result of my own efforts, then that, that's not my experience. However, I've not always felt included and. I think they are separate things. Mm-hmm. and that has felt like I don't fit the usual mold, or I'm not conforming to type and Jean, I, I, I find it really impossible to behave in a way that makes me blend in. Mm-hmm. I've always find that an impossibility and even though it's really, really uncomfortable, I would actually rather sit with a discomfort. So I feel really comfortable in my own skin. And you know, I think I've, I've always had tremendous self-belief, and a good sense of knowing, but that comes with quite a risk in itself, uh, in that, to really sit with that. has, I, I've had some long periods of discomfort where I've felt that I haven't fitted in mm-hmm. In the way that maybe that is expected. Yeah. And that is, That's as close to imposter syndrome that I could get, but I, I believe probably separate things. Yeah. Well, I I love that you are saying that not everybody experiences it, cuz I actually believe that's true. I think I've gone on a journey of that. I think I've thought that we all did, but I just don't and so I think it's great that you are sharing that, um, And I'm seeing such a beautiful correlation to your sense of wanting to be yourself in all of who you are and you leading in a way that encourages people to be themselves in order of who they are. And that's, very congruent. That's really beautifully aligned and that's great. That's really great. Thank. Okay, we're coming to the end and we always like to end with any recommendations for books or podcasts that you have that feels a bit like Desert Island disks. Do I get people off to the island One of the most recent ones, called Intelligent Kindness. Um, it's all reforming the culture of healthcare. it stands out for me because it was given to me some by someone who's got a very similar interest in practicing kindness. It's one of those books that, you know, when you read and it really resonates and it just feels, it couldn't be more pertinent in the, you know, in the current climate. And it looks at the emotional life at. and the emotional life of teams and you know, what brings out the best and worst in us. And I'm really, really in interested in, you know, what they say about how in particular teams can influence teams. Hmm. And how that kindness can influence people to be their best. And also really explores why people struggle with compassion and kindness sometimes. Okay. Yeah. And I think. We know that people bring all sorts of, you know, conflicting needs and desires into groups, but it's how we manage it. I think that is, is, is the important part here. Um, and I think it's just a book that can really shape how kindness can help us feel included. And that can be, you know, more relevant today. But it's always been so, so I would highly recommend. Great. Thank you. I'll put a link to it in the show notes. Yeah. It's John Ball and Penelope Camping. Thank you. Oh, ma, I'm feeling really inspired at the heart of what I believe is good leadership is. Is inclusive leadership where we can be ourselves and where there is kindness and caring and compassion. And I've heard you use so much language today about that, about how. You know, relationships really matter about how caring and kindness is at the heart of good, effective leadership and how we can lead like that even in a crisis. And I'm really grateful to you for sharing that and for embodying that in the way you lead and in our friendship as well, So thanks so much for being here, Marie. Thank you, Jean. Delighted to talk to you as always. Thank you.