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Wed, 04 Jul 18 13:00

To infinity and beyond!

Well this is my first blog since being elected to the ADCS Board in November. I just want to start by saying how thrilled I am to be elected and thanks to everyone at ADCS for making me feel so welcome. I look forward to meeting and working with many of you in 2018 and being the best we can be for children, families and our teams.

Christmas almost seems like a distant memory now but I had the pleasure over the Christmas break to spend a whole day with my daughter and her friends watching a marathon of Disney and Superhero films. Typically in the Jones household this then lead to a rather heated and fascinating debate about which superhero we would want to be when we grow up. I replayed this debate when I returned to work and the consensus was reached amongst colleagues that should I ever be asked at an interview what my five year plan is, my response of being Wonder Woman could potentially be a career limiting response. Or could it…for those of you who know me well you will know I love a challenge… the themes from those films gave me food for thought in terms of leadership and might do the same for others too (full credit to my perceptive daughter and husband here).

We all have a story - Our individual stories that brought us into wanting to make a difference for children and families may not feel as exciting as a Hollywood blockbuster but they matter. The people and teams we lead will resonate with your story…make time to share yours.

Sometimes we need to move out of our comfort zone - We are living, working and leading in uncertain times. I have been part of many discussions about the funding challenges ahead and the need to re-design and deliver sustainable services for the future. As leaders we need to push through the pain factor of these challenging conversations, because if not us, who?

We are being observed - In the same way children learn and model behaviour of others, our teams we work with do the same. Lead in a way that’s worthy of emulation.

Sometimes you have to keep moving – Built in many of our fabrics in the roles we do is our desire to take action when we see injustice and want to help everyone who needs it on the way to achieving an overall goal. The hard part is knowing when to divert and help and when it is time to keep moving.

People desire a mentor to learn - I’ve been really fortunate throughout my career to have met people who have invested time in me and continue to at present (although they may question where their efforts have gone after reading this blog). I know many of you do this or indeed have a mentor yourself. If not identify someone you can give the gift of time and support to in 2018.

Leadership exists to serve people, not be served – As many of you will know I’ve been part of an extensive improvement journey in Norfolk and during my time have experienced many different approaches to leadership. I’ve seen first-hand how powerful it can be when a leader shifts mind-set and unlocks talent around them.

I know, all quite high-level reflections but may give you a bit of an insight into my value base and personality. Hopefully even if just a small part of the above resonates with you, raises a smile, or indeed gets you thinking what superhero you want to be when you grow up then that’s not a bad way to end a Friday.


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