In late March I was privileged to interview Carew Hatherley who was attending the Executive Quality Academy (EQA)* at Ko Awatea.
Carew has had an illustrious career, including 17 years in the British Army with 2 years as the team leader for the Chief of the General Staff and 3 years as the commander of a busy infantry battle group. He is a Fellow of the British Institute of Leadership and Management.
To Carew, leadership is a personal thing and there is no template for the perfect leader. However, he believes there are common leadership traits and throughout his career, which began as a young 17-year-old soldier, Carew has purposefully tried to learn from the leaders around him, and from their successes and failures.
While there are many types of leader, Carew leads by example and has a ‘do as I do’ approach. It is this leadership style, along with his ability to energise his teams, that has earned him the respect and admiration of many who have served with him.
“If you want people to follow you, you need to earn their respect and take them on the journey with you,” says Carew. “People need to believe in you as a person and what you are trying to achieve. They also need to see some relevance of how they fit in. That’s why courses such as the EQA are so important as it gets leaders thinking about how can we work together and motivate people to bring about sustainable and effective change.
“I have to say that from my brief time at Ko Awatea you seem to have a culture where everybody works together for a common goal -that is, the patient. It’s been great to hear about all the wonderful work that is taking place at Counties DHB and how everybody from the CEO to the people on the ground has a role to play. That ‘can do spirit’, strong belief and energy needs to filter through to all levels of the organisation – get that right and people will go that extra mile.
“As for being a leader, it’s not an easy road and I’m sure there are times when even the great leaders among us have had doubts or question what they are doing. There is a great Bill Bryson book called Mother Tongue that talks about a word called velleity – which is the will to do something but it’s just not strong enough to make you actually do it. We all have moments of velleity every day. Part of good leadership is getting people to just get over that tipping point.”
*The EQA is run by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement and brings leaders together to discuss ways of implementing sustainable and effective change.