Issue 30 | August 2015
Leadership – commitment, honesty, vision, self-aware, wisdom
We all want to work with great leaders and learn from them, and we aspire to be strong, responsive leaders – however, leadership can be difficult to define. There are many different types of leadership, for instance community leadership, political leadership, leadership on the sports team and leadership at work. So how do we develop leadership attributes and knowledge? Firstly, we know that leadership encompasses many different skills and knowledge and leadership skills can be taught and developed over time. Good leadership includes living our values and we are reminded that as workers in SA Health, we display the values of INTEGRITY, RESPECT AND ACCOUNTABILITY. This edition of the SA MET newsletter focuses on leadership and provides guidance, tips and various resources, to assist in the development of aspiring leaders.
From the Chair | Professor Kevin Forsyth, Chair, South Australian Medical Education and Training (SA MET) Health Advisory Council

Leadership—one of those aspirational words that are poorly defined, not so much a destination as a process…..being a good leader is about providing leadership and being acknowledged by those around them as providing such leadership, but how can an individual know if they are leading or demonstrating leadership attributes? Being responsive to those around them is at least the beginning of providing leadership. Articulating a vision, demonstrating exemplary practice, being communicative, responsive and thoughtful and acting with wisdom are all leadership attributes. We all need to be responsive leaders in the areas we work. We need more women in senior leadership roles; we need everyone to be willing to be trained in leadership attributes.
2015 Women's Leadership Symposium | Associate Professor Alison Jones, Manager, South Australian Medical Education and Training (SA MET) Unit

Recently I attended the 2015 Australian Women’s Leadership Symposium in Adelaide. It was an excellent day, with a range of speakers and opportunities to network with other women from South Australia who are interested in leadership. The broadcaster and author, Indira Naidoo, delivered the keynote address and inspired the audience with her perspective on how your career can evolve organically. She encouraged us to think about who we are and move away from being labelled by what we do. The value of networks was also highlighted. Abbie Wright from Aurecon spoke about her role as Diversity and Inclusion Manager. It was stimulating to hear how she had developed an approach of leading with authenticity and becoming more skilled in recognising and tackling unconscious bias in the workplace.
Valuable tips regarding leadership development included:
  • Taking your organisation’s values and translating them into practical statements
  • Not seeing conflict as a failure
  • Ascertaining how to take the emotion out of difficult discussions.
Natasha Stott-Despoja AM, Ambassador for Women and Girls, was the South Australian winner of the Excellence in Women’s Leadership awards. Natasha reflected on the early days of her political leadership journey. Various other speakers and panel members gave valuable advice and tips including the importance of gender diversity strategies and having sponsorship of women in leadership roles. It was an inspiring day, challenging the participants to think about their own leadership destination and what strategies they could employ.
SA Health Leadership and Management
Leadership and management capabilities are central to the success of Transforming Health and to ensuring South Australians have the best quality healthcare system into the future.

The SA Health Leadership and Management framework – Developing our people and culture – identifies common key competencies required across SA Health to support the development of high level management ability and adaptive leadership.   

Leadership is needed at all levels of SA Health and is not restricted to those in formal leadership roles, but is a shared responsibility of all employees in delivering consistent, quality care and facing future challenges for the success of SA Health.  

In addition, practical skills and knowledge are required for those who have a management component to their role which may include the management of people, finances and resources, and creating and monitoring systems to ensure standards are met.  Managers may work with teams as service delivery or project managers, or work independently as technical experts.
The following is an outline of the framework which includes detailed behavioural descriptors for each competency. 

This framework will soon be available online and SA MET will advertise this when it is available. The framework may be used to identify key priorities for a particular role, and in conjunction with the Performance Review and Development (PR&D) program to inform learning and development plans.

Women in Leadership (WiL) Steering Committee
The Women in Leadership (WiL) Steering Committee was established in December 2011. The Committee comprises a Chair, Deputy Chair and senior female leaders and executives from across SA Health. The Committee provides direction and acts as a forum for the development and sustainable implementation of WiL initiatives. Key areas of focus for the Committee include:
- Raising awareness
- Supporting and empowering women at all levels
Role modelling
Setting a target and tracking outcomes to:
  • Raise the profile and importance of improved leadership diversity in the workplace, and
  • Raise the proportional number of SA Health women in executive positions from 49% to 60% by 2015.
Activities of the Committee include:
- Promoting and facilitating events for staff to develop and network
- Surveying women within the organisation to determine their views
- Working towards gaining recognition as an Employer of Choice for Women
- Offering shadowing opportunities
- Offering a Mentor Program Sponsorship.

To find out more, contact the WiL Steering Committee
Preventing discrimination, bullying and sexual harassment, by surgeons in Australia and New Zealand
‘There is no place for discrimination, bullying and sexual harassment in the college or any modern workplace’ - Expert Advisory Group (EAG) on discrimination, bullying and sexual harassment at the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS). 
After recent media reports detailing discrimination, bullying and sexual harassment by surgeons, the RACS are undertaking an examination of processes, operations and ways of working to determine what is happening.  This examination includes the establishment of the EAG, independent of the College, to inform the College on how to prevent discrimination, bullying and sexual harassment in the practice of surgery. 
The work EAG has commenced includes:

- Commissioning new prevalence research into discrimination, bullying and sexual harassment in the practice of surgery in Australia and New Zealand, through a quantitative survey.

- Creating an avenue to hear from individuals (identified or confidentially) who have been affected by discrimination, bullying and sexual harassment in the practice of surgery. Their experiences can deepen the EAG’s understanding of the problem and its systemic and cultural causes.

- Commissioning research and literature reviews to find out what other organisations – in the health sector and more generally - have done to deal effectively with discrimination, bullying and sexual harassment and find strategies to prevent it.
Leadership during Transition
Life is always full of changes whether we are children, adults or aged, we always seem to be involved in change. 
However, where would we be if we didn’t adapt and respond to change?
  Currently, within SA Health, there are many transitions occurring across the state.  We are all aware of Transforming Health, the new Royal Adelaide Hospital, changes to internship and changes occurring in various Colleges.  How can we manage this change and transition, yet at the same time provide exemplary leadership? These steps below may help you:
  • Remember to care for yourself.  Consider your own resilience and health.  We all know to eat well, rest and take time for fun.  Look at other ways to care for yourself at work.  Find a mentor, complete a resilience or mindfulness course and speak with others.
  • Ensure you understand what is involved in the transition or change, sometimes this can be difficult. To lead people in transition, you must have a clear understanding of the vision. Know why the transition is occurring and be active in the transition.
  • Recognise and accept what you can and can't change, control or influence. Set realistic goals.
  • Know your values and hold on to them. SA Health’s values are Integrity, Respect and Accountability.
  • Maintain a hopeful outlook and take time to find the positives.
  • Discuss what is happening and be honest about why it is occurring. Challenge people to discuss urgent problems and encourage them to seek solutions. Seek commitment.
  • Most importantly, don’t forget to celebrate success!

Evaluation of WiL Steering Committee's mentor program
Mentoring offers reflective space for Women in SA Health. Meeting with a mentor creates opportunities to discuss situations reflectively, hear other experiences and build confidence.
Being a mentor can be a rewarding way to contribute to someone’s personal development. As a mentee you gain from the experience and knowledge of your mentor. So far, 125 people have registered as mentors or mentees with the SA Health ‘Women in Leadership’ mentoring program. SA MET Unit recently evaluated the program, synthesising data from 42 survey responses and 11 interviews. Successful mentoring relationships are characterised by a good first conversation, open discussion of expectations and meeting at least three times.

‘You’re not immersed in the craziness of the day to day job, you’re actually just sitting with someone else and you go ok what do I think they’re saying and why do I think they’re saying it…’ - Mentor

Australian Medical Association (AMA) SA - Diploma of Leadership and Management
The Diploma of Leadership and Management has been developed specifically for leaders within Health, Medical and Primary Care industries. The Australian Medical Association (AMA) South Australia (SA) is a membership organisation and is open to medical practitioners.
The Diploma focuses on building:
  • Strong leadership skills
  • Critical skills needed to improve a team’s success and effectiveness
  • Skills to manage the work of others in constantly changing work environment
AMA(SA) provides flexible training and offers a range of delivery methods. These delivery methods include online learning, self-paced learning, information sessions and workshops.

For more information including registration forms, visit the AMA(SA) website.
A moment with...
Dr Adrian Anthony
Director of Clinical Training, The Queen Elizabeth Hospital (TQEH) Central Adelaide Local Health Network (CALHN)

Over your time as a doctor, is there one moment of exceptional leadership you have experienced or witnessed, which has remained in your mind and influenced your own leadership development?
In my first year as a consultant, I recall a senior surgeon openly acknowledge during a peer review surgical audit that a contributing factor to a patient’s death was a wrong decision he made. This fact would have remained unknown except for the surgeon’s admission, which was stated in front of colleagues, registrars, interns, medical students and nursing staff. I saw his frankness as a clear demonstration of leadership; he was advocating for honesty and transparency in how we should evaluate our practice in order to improve patient outcomes. Amongst other things, I learnt that modelling high standards of behaviour even when it is inconvenient to do so characterises good leadership.

What is an essential skill or attribute that you think all doctors in a leadership role require?
A key attribute is awareness through self-reflection. Finding the right time to reflect on one’s own thoughts, emotions and actions for a given situation is difficult. It is even more challenging to recognise and acknowledge one’s weaknesses and limitations in order to change or improve practice. If leadership is about influencing others to achieve good outcomes, then reflection and awareness allows us to understand what change is necessary and how best to affect change in order to achieve the desired outcome.

In your leadership role in the workplace, how have you managed to balance your work and personal life?
With great difficulty! Saying “no” to work is a useful ploy, but not always possible. I found up-skilling those I work with so that they become capable of taking on delegated work and responsibilities, has been helpful. This has reduced the work that may otherwise encroach on my personal life while helping my colleagues develop professionally. Establishing networks so colleagues can reciprocate cover for when I am absent or on leave is also important. I recently completed an introductory mindfulness course and some of the exercises and techniques have been reassuringly useful in bringing perspective on professional and personal priorities. It seems obvious that work and personal life assume different priorities at different times. Being mindful of this, however, has allowed me to accept focusing on either work or personal life without feeling that I am compromising one for another. I think this approach sustains the enjoyment in whatever I do.

Do you have any tips for junior doctors, aspiring to take on a leadership role?
I view leadership as positively influencing others to perform well towards a common goal. This should be a generic skill for all doctors to develop, whether or not they aspire to become a leader in a hierarchical sense. One way to develop leadership is to always assume responsibility for patients and to always keep in mind what is best for patients (easier said than done, sometimes). Being able to effectively advocate for patients will often translate to an ability to influence others to perform well, even in a nonclinical context. When one observes good leadership behaviours, work out how to emulate such behaviours. Don’t pass up the opportunity to lead an activity, whether it is a ward round, teaching, presenting at a meeting or even joining a committee. Having a mentor who understands your aspirations and abilities can guide the development of good leadership habits.
Dorothy O'Keefe
Clinical Ambassador – Transforming Health, Professor of Cancer Medicine at the University of Adelaide, Senior Medical Oncologist at Royal Adelaide Hospital (RAH) Cancer Centre

Can you tell us a little about your role as Clinical Ambassador for Transforming Health and why you’ve taken on this role?
My role as Clinical Ambassador for Transforming Health (TH) is to work for the Minister, to lead the clinicians in delivering the best care, first time and every time to all South Australians. It is largely a communication role.  I advocate for TH to Politicians, media, staff the community and anyone who wants to know about it. I lead clinical committees, drive the agenda for reform, and provide a clinical view within the system. When I was offered this role, almost exactly one year ago, I could immediately see how exciting it would be. There was no job and person specification; nobody knew how it would play out. Would we succeed in making the case for change? Would Cabinet approve the program? I realised it would change my life, and I didn't really understand how much, or in exactly which ways. But I did know that I was being offered a once-in-a-lifetime chance to play a State-wide leadership role in health, and that if I turned it down I would regret it enormously. The role evolves with each stage of TH, and the current implementation phase is the most challenging yet most exciting.

What tips do you have for managing your work/life balance, in your busy career?
I know that I need to work at getting the work/life balance right. Throughout my career I have accumulated tasks and activities, to a level that is not sustainable. I have always been able to take stock, and actively "cut back to full-time". The humour implicit in that is part of my strength. I exercise regularly (and one of my signs of stress/overwork is that I find I am not exercising enough). To force this I have 2 dogs who need walking. Dogs are really good for my fitness, health and general wellbeing. I read, I go to the theatre and I love good food and wine. I also admit that having children has been good for my work/life balance - I dread to think how late I would have got home from work if there hadn't been the pull of family. Now the nest is about to be empty, the dogs will call me home instead! And, luckily for me, my brain seems to have an overload safety valve. There are days when I may think I am going to work, plane trips that I load up with paperwork, for example, and then my brain just stops me and I find myself resting, reading or watching a film. And the work gets done when I am rested.

Within your leadership role, what has been a challenge that you have overcome? 
I think in all leadership roles, and maybe this one in particular, dealing with unhappy people is a major challenge. Maybe my Oncology training helps here. It is all about communication, and respectful, authentic communication at that. I don't like fighting, and I see it as a failure if I become upset or angry. But I also think that showing a bit of emotion is a good thing. Finding the balance without being damaged oneself is a life-long goal. Making people feel listened to and valued is vital.

What advice would you give to a young doctor, wanting to become an effective leader?
We are all born with an innate leadership ability, but it can be improved, like any other skill, with practice. I remember as a medical student thinking that one day I would like to be a professor of medicine (it seemed like a great job). I just couldn't see how I would get there from where I was starting. It turned out there wasn't a road map, but there were choices to be made along the way. I always chose to do something new and interesting when offered. I have always chosen to do things I love doing. My major attribute is probably tenacity - I failed my Physician's written exam not once but twice. But I didn't give up because it was the only way to get where I wanted to go. Then I did a research degree because that was needed in order to get the job I wanted. And then I just kept on going - speaking up when I thought speaking up was necessary, doing a course that sounded useful when offered, getting involved. And eventually I was offered a job that fits my skill set almost perfectly.

But probably the most interesting lesson I learned was that the more senior I became, the more weight my voice carried. And it was the negative side of this that had to be respected - because what I say and what somebody else hears is affected by the perceived power relationship. When I was a first year doctor, if I asked somebody to do something they just heard me asking for help. As a Clinical Director those same words could be interpreted as a command. As Clinical Ambassador I dread to think what they would mean - so the more senior I become the more gentle my voice and body-language need to be. In summary, I would advise training in leadership, as in any other important part of the job, and being aware of your impact on others. And a bit of tenacity!
Resources available
Want to find more resources, readings and further information?

Workplace Gender Equality Agency
The Workplace Gender Equality Agency has a vision of women and men being equally represented, rewarded and valued in the workplace. Their website contains information about workplace gender equality, recognising best practice and workshops and events.

Office For Women
Office For Women is a South Australian Government website, providing information on Women’s Policy, Women’s Information Service and Premier’s Women’s Directory.

Mind Tools
The Mind Tools website has various resources on leadership skills, team management, problem solving, decision making and more.

Business Balls
The Business Balls website includes information on team building, communication, leadership and management and personal development

Women and Leadership Australia
The Women and Leadership Australia (WLA) comprises of advisory services, professional development programs, networking channels and research. WLA is a national initiative, supporting women in business and community leadership roles.

Women in Leadership: Understanding the gender gap
The Women in Leadership: Understanding the gender gap report was released in June 2013. The report includes contributions from experts regarding why a gender gap still prevails in Australia and the barriers in achieving gender equity. Read the Women in Leadership: Understanding the gender gap report.
Upcoming workshops
Preparing to Lead (new!)
The Preparing to Lead course offers South Australian Junior Medical Officers (prevocational doctors) the opportunity to participate in a full day workshop. Gain skills and build your confidence in becoming a leader.
  • 13 November 2015
Cultural Awareness workshop
  • The Queen Elizabeth Hospital - 9 September 2015
Visit the SA MET website for more information.

Professional Development Program for Registrars (PDPR)
PDPR aims to improve leadership and management performance in the workplace via a sustainable, national professional development program for vocational doctors (Registrars).
  • 24-25 September 2015 (only one place remaining!)
  • 19-20 November 2015

Next Step workshop
Have you undertaken the Professional Development Program for Registrars (PDPR)?  Would you like to know more about how to manage conflict, stress and build your resilience? 
For those who have undertaken PDPR, a full day of training is scheduled for 30 October 2015. Please visit the SA MET website for further information.

Managing Workplace Stress
  • Modbury Hospital – 17 September 2015
SA MET is excited to offer a two day course for Senior Registrars and Consultants.  Participants will learn skills designed to enhance resilience and wellbeing.  The skills focus on components of PERMA+ (Positive emotion, Engagement, Relationships, Meaning and Accomplishment. PLUS optimism, resilience, physical activity, nutrition and sleep).   
  • 10-11 March 2016
Visit the SA MET website for further information.
20th Medical Education and Training Forum

Program themes, Pre-forum workshops and Special Interest Group Meetings have been announced! For further information visit the Prevocational Forum 2015 website.

What are your thoughts on this edition of the SA MET newsletter? Do you have you an experience you would like to share? Is there a particular theme you would like us to promote?
Provide your feedback, experiences or general comments below.
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