Edward Jenner – Leadership Foundations: My learning and impact 

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Rachael Kettle is a Leadership Development Officer and has recently completed the Edward Jenner programme.

Here, Rachael reflects on the skills, tools and confidence she has gained from completing Edward Jenner, and how she will apply her learning in her work.

I am a Leadership Development officer, supporting the planning, delivery, and evaluation of leadership learning modules. Since starting the Edward Jenner programme, it has helped me to gain confidence in how to put my skills into practice and to always evaluate my own personal attributes to ensure that I can be the best leader possible.

I wanted to complete the Edward Jenner programme to give me confidence in utilising my current skills and to progress them further, to be the best possible influence on those who I work with and to pass the learned skills onto my colleagues, with the outlook of being able to develop my skills further to secure a more senior role in the future.

The programme takes you through a number of different online short courses to learn more about different leadership skills.

The area that I think helped me the most is the aspect of emotional intelligence. This section focused on strong and poor leadership behaviours and was extremely helpful. It helped me to identify behaviours that I found questionable and ask myself, if I were in their shoes, how would I behave. It also got me thinking about my own personal characteristics and how I can adapt myself in certain situations to get the best outcome. It also showed me that environmental factors make a huge difference in how situations play out and that if we create a safe space for employees and patients, then better care will follow.

Compassion is also a key factor in being a great leader; if we are not able to listen and take compassion from situations, we are unable to truly get to the depths of any problems that may arise.

The programme also shared many tools developed from individuals who have great knowledge in key areas of development that help shape successful leaders. My favourite taken from the programme is the Johari window which anyone can access online, I will definitely be recommending this to my colleagues.

Since taking part in the Edward Jenner programme, I have noticed several changes that have made a positive change within my working environment. The ways in which I now navigate challenging conversations are one of the main changes I have noticed.

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I now feel confident to be able to have these conversations and to deliver whatever outcome in a professional and calm manner.

I have also started implementing adaptive leadership into my role, by identifying a plan, actions and solutions with the readiness to deal with them.

After completing this programme, I hope to continue to grow in my leadership journey.

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I see my learning as a journey with an unknown destination.

I believe that you can never have enough knowledge in life, and I will accept any learning and feedback with open arms. I hope that by completing the Edward Jenner Programme, I can inspire others to move forward with their personal and career growth, and hopefully be a positive influence on them every day. I will make sure that I take what I have learnt and actively implement it into my day-to-day work life so that change can take place and help shape the future of the NHS. I am truly thankful for the opportunity to be able to be part of the course, and I look forward to taking part in more courses in the future.

To anyone that is thinking about completing the Edward Jenner programme, I would strongly suggest doing so, as it has many aspects and avenues to explore with different examples of how you can get the most out of your personal attributes and how you can implement them into everyday work life.

To find out more about Edward Jenner and to start yourleadership development journey visit the NHS Leadership Academy website.

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