The concept of a ‘leadership pipeline’ isn’t something new (Charan, Drotter, & Noel, 2001), however, its application to the evolving world of ‘hospice’ may well be. The pipeline model investigates how we best prepare people for an organisational leadership journey ensuring that they are equipped with and practice leadership skills, well in advance, of any promotion in the organisation. In 2014, following the Hospice UK ‘Ambitions’ publication, LOROS Hospice set about developing its own leadership pipeline confident of its impact internally and hopeful that it could be of value across the sector. Research shows that several factors influence the development and ongoing practice of leadership. Early exposure to leadership opportunities, learning through ‘doing’, reflecting upon role models and finally being embedded in a supportive culture are perhaps the main factors noted. Using this knowledge LOROS has developed two leadership interventions. Both are focussed upon ‘self’ – with the sole aim of helping aspirant and existing leaders invest time to better understand what they personally bring to leadership and just how they impact upon others and how others impact upon them. LOROS believes that this approach, ‘to first understand oneself’, is a fundamental in effective leadership development and should come before any other form of leadership programme that develops more technical skills such as financial or strategic leadership. ‘Aspiring Leaders’ is aimed at those new to leadership. It forms an intensive period of time where delegates are challenged to think about how and why they have come to a leadership position and how they wish to be viewed as a leader – nurturing their authentic leadership style. ‘Thoughtful Leadership’ is aimed at middle management leaders and delves deeper in to their own performance adding skills in managing challenging situations and the impact of coaching as a leadership tool.
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