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Over the past four years I have been looking for people with a commitment to making a difference in the world through social action. I look for people who are actively reflective, ready to ask for advice and learn from mistakes.
Leadership potential is shown by how people approach the opportunity to connect with others – as demonstrated with the wider Clore Social Fellowship network.
A gap for many people in the social sector is a significant lack of feedback from peers, managers and those they seek to help, support and manage. This lack of feedback leads to many people being uncertain of their strengths, and the power of building on them, while being over-focused on what they perceive as deficits, including, most commonly, a lack of confidence.
I am able to get affirmation about the leadership potential of Clore Social Fellows from their nominators, who have seen them in action. Among those applying to be fellows, I am interested in experiences throughout their life, including in their education, social life, volunteering as well as through paid work.
Since 2010, in addition to the appointed Clore Social Fellows, I have met more than 140 applicants who have not (as yet) been offered fellowships. It is time we all look for leadership potential across the social sector and actively mentor and coach people to make the most of it.
With the NHS facing bigger challenges than ever before, leaders must ensure that cultures within health care organisations sustain high-quality, compassionate and ever-improving care. This paper explains the interaction between collective leadership and cultures that value compassionate care, by drawing on wider literature and case studies of good organisational practice.
Collective leadership means everyone taking responsibility for the success of the organisation as a whole – not just for their own jobs or area. Organisational performance does not rest simply on the number or quality of individual leaders. Vision and mission statements must be translated into clear, aligned, agreed and challenging objectives at all levels of the organisation, from the board to frontline teams and individuals. A collective leadership strategy focuses on the skills and behaviours that leaders will bring to shape the desired culture, including generic and specific behavioural competencies. Collective leadership implies all staff welcoming feedback, treating complaints and errors as opportunities for system learning rather than as prompts for blame.
Might it also indicate that many at executive level do not yet possess the vision and skills to start creating the cultural and learning changes required?
I work in the VCS but also spend some of my time working with senior NHS managers particularly around integration. However, I think that there needs to be more emphasis in collective leadership models and especially the key messages on how leadership also involved relationships with external organisations. Type the characters you see in the picture; if you can't read them, submit the form and a new image will be generated. This last Friday, April 17th 2015, I presented a six-hour seminar to the twenty-seven key subordinate leaders that affect our organization’s mission in the state of Indiana and parts of Illinois. Developing ethical leaders is instrumental to the continued success of the organization, and the principles of ethical leadership reflected in the Northouse (2013) text are similar to the professional leadership education Marines receive throughout their careers. For example, the United States military was faced with the repeal of the “don’t ask, don’t tell” law. Serving others extends beyond just servant leadership, but servant leadership is instrumental to the success of any organization that seeks to develop ethical leaders.
Though I am bias, the Marine Corps endures to empower its subordinates out of necessity, and therefore does it the best.
The ethical leader must thrive to be just and fair in dealing with subordinates; I commonly refer to this as the burden of leadership. The United States Military seeks to lessen the burden of leadership by imposing law that maintains a separation of the ranks and responsibilities.
I believe that the two most important traits to be an effective leader are 1) integrity (honesty), and 2) humility. The United States Marine Corps, and the larger naval forces that we are a part of, have adopted core values of honor, courage, and commitment. The problem with morality and ethics is that they are subjective, but an organization can draw upon positive social and environmental influence to create organizational ethics that are objective and appealing to a broad audience. This week, the 2014 cohort has become part of the Clore Social Fellowship network, marking 83 fellows appointed in total.
If you know who you are, you will make good decisions about where your leadership is likely to be most successful. Generosity in sharing experience, connections and skills is a good indicator of someone who will attract followers and, in the process, grow leaders among them.
It has become evident that we would open up and develop much more leadership potential if such feedback was actively part of the way in which we work together. We learn a lot on a leadership journey but far too often this goes unacknowledged (back to the importance of feedback) therefore each time someone takes on a leadership role there is an expectation of this being a new challenge. Some of the strongest candidates are those who have made the most of such experience, starting from when they left school and without following a higher education route.


And I have spoken to many more other applicants who were assessed but did not get on to the interview list. There are a number who have been well placed to get on and make the most of what they are doing already without the need to take up a fellowship.
Collective leadership entails distributing and allocating leadership power to wherever expertise, capability and motivation sit within organisations. It outlines the main characteristics of a collective leadership strategy and the process for developing this. Research shows that where relationships between leaders are well developed, trusts will benefit from direction, alignment and commitment.
This encourages collective openness to and learning from errors, near misses and incidents.
NHS managers are publicly funded democratic agents, their relationship to civil society is fundamental to their roles not an added extra.
The seminar was specific to ethical leadership, and directed toward the recruiting mission where community influence manifested by professional and personal conduct are essential to mission success. Respecting others, serving others, demonstrating justice, manifesting honesty, and building community are the principles of ethical leadership outlined in the Northouse (2013) text. We develop personal ethics through key influencers of our youth, and sometimes we hold onto those personal ethics passionately. In the interest of truth, the Marine Corps was the most reluctant and last to accept the congressional push for the repeal of the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, because key leaders thought the timing (in the middle of two wars) was inappropriate. The Corps emphasizes decentralization of command, and trains to subordinate leadership decision-making. Sometimes, in the interest of justice, a hard decision must be made about someone or something that has to potential to emotionally consume the leader. Rules concerning how to address senior officials (by Sir, Ma’am, or rank and last name) help to minimize loyalties to subordinates, and laws governing fraternization make relationships among seniors and subordinates career damning. Northouse (2013) brilliantly pointed out that “[honesty] has to do with being open with others and representing reality as fully and completely as possible” (Northouse, 2013, p.436).
Northouse (2013) examined the community building characteristics of leadership when unifying under a common goal (Northouse, 2013, p.436). Much more than a simple slogan, they are at the foundation of our every action, policy, and behavior. In order for the organization to establish a set of ethics, its leaders must be ethical leaders of the highest caliber. What is it in this very diverse group that has suggested their potential to develop significantly as social leaders? They recognise diversity and difference as being positive and shared values of courage, passion, respect and focus are evident.
And, on the contrary, there have been those who will be ready in the future for active leadership development after longer and wider experience in the social sector.
NHS boards bear ultimate responsibility for developing strategies for coherent, effective and forward-looking collective leadership. It seems to me that now, more than ever, NHS managers need to encourage and enable collective responsibility for services and change throughout their organisations.
As the balance in the social contract shifts back towards informal and voluntary sector support then this becomes even more critical.
I am very interested in the mismatch between exec level leaders and coalface doctors and nurses - especially as a hands on jobbing doctor myself who also goes into other hospitals and health economies to give constructive sense checks and external advice. Professional ethics is a subject that I feel passionate about, and I believe it is the foundation upon which we build a successful organization. I will attempt to relate those to my organization’s principles, though my list will not be all-inclusive. Parents, teachers, church leaders, friends, neighbors, relatives, movies, music, social climate, and countless other influencers start to shape our sense of ethics. However, when the American people put their metaphorical feet down, the Marine Corps was the first to openly welcome homosexuals. The consequences of unethical behavior for a leader are far reaching, but the most profound consequence is that they simply lose the moral authority to lead. A genuine leader is compassionate and servant, and may shoulder the failures or discipline issues of others as their own. This archaic method of maintaining a hierarchy helps to maintain firm, fair, and impartial treatment within the organization.
Therefore, when people are exposed to the core values it either appeals to them or not, which helps to draw in the right demographic from the initial accession. Ethical leadership starts with respecting other people, and continues with serving, ensuring justice, being honest, and creating a unified team through mutual trust and respect.
They are curious about unfamiliar contexts, different people and open to learn about themselves. My guess is that for those who spend hours working in busy acute medical units or emergency departments or on wards struggling to recruit and retain nursing staff and who are dealing with (sometimes justifiably unhappy) patients daily, their perception of any care gaps is grounded in palpable operational reality.


After all, the United States Marine Corps has three primary responsibilities to the American people: 1) Make Marines, 2) Win our nation’s battles, and 3) return quality citizens back to the American people.
A social climate of racial intolerance, for example, has the potential to shape our ethics toward racism.
Though some people thought it would have a negative affect on the image of the elite service, policy was adopted without a single ripple or story of mistreatment. A climate of “do as I say, not as I do” will prove catastrophic to morale, order, and discipline, and will culminate with the leader no longer being recognized as a leader and therefore irrelevant. It is in these challenging situations that leadership becomes a burden, because the leader may be forced to punish their best employee or lay-off an employee who they are endeared to.
Any organization that wants to foster an ethically just environment should consider creating organizational standards that minimize fraternization.
The most crucial thing about honest and humility is that the leader’s moral compass must point north at all times.
Fellowship and camaraderie are appealing to a good percentage of the market and ethical leaders can draw people in. As a result of the appeal, it is even more vital that leaders behave in an ethical manner commensurate with those core values or the message is viewed as the ultimate deceit, or simple hypocrisy. Every person is fallible, and the humble leader may tell us that they have made more mistakes than they have good decisions. And if these same staff are the ones reporting problems up the line, they are also best placed to know how much they feel listened to and whether their concerns are taken seriously. As a senior enlisted leader in the elite organization, I have a solemn responsibility to develop ethically sound and morally grounded leaders and followers.
A strong religious background has the potential to shape our ethics toward repulsion of homosexuality or other religions. So, the leader must first set the example, and then by that example demonstrate ethical altruism (Northouse, 2013, p.432).
According to the 2012 Demographics of the Military Community Report (2012), “The DoD Active Duty force has one officer for every 4.8 enlisted personnel. Avoiding bias and treating everyone fairly is difficult, because natural likening can occur between leader and follower. It is important, however, that the organization advertise its unifying professional ethics so that the targeted population can be reached.
However, if their mistakes were made without violating any ethical, moral, or legal thing, they will not only be forgiven by their subordinates but respected as genuine leaders. I take this responsibility seriously and without reservation, because I believe it is vital to the continued success of our organization and the continued prosperity of our nation. For an organization to succeed in manifesting better leaders and more productive employees, they have to establish professional [organizational] ethics that are non-negotiable. For an organization to succeed its members must identify as a member of that organization first; that is what pride in professional ethics will produce! A personal ethic may demand keeping the single mother who is occasionally late on staff because she needs the income and is a pleasant person to be around, but the professional ethics may demand keeping the higher producing, always reliable, and timely employee whose personal demeanor may be less than desirable on staff. Though the United States needs an Army, needs a Navy, and needs an Air Force, the Marine Corps only exists because America wants a Marine Corps. As Northouse (2013) stated, “[Leaders] approach other people with a sense of their unconditional worth and valuable individual differences” (Kitchener, 1984, as cited in Northouse 2013, p.431). In the workplace, altruistic service behavior can be observed in activities such as mentoring, empowerment behaviors, team building, and citizenship behaviors, to name a few” (Northouse, 2013, p.432). As the smallest of the branches of armed forces, the Marine Corps celebrates its low officer numbers because it forces young noncommissioned officers to function as decision makers on their own.
A leader can only maintain the integrity of their organization if decisions are made free from personal bias and in the best interest of the organization. Therefore, the personal and professional conduct of our nation’s Marines must be above reproach and success in any assigned mission is absolutely necessary, irrespective of the cost. Policy must be implemented that fosters acceptance, and carries punitive repercussions for violations of equal opportunity, sexual harassment, hazing, etc.
Northouse (2013) further pointed out, “…leaders should nurture followers in becoming aware of their own needs, values, and purposes, and assist followers in integrating these with the leader’s needs, values, and purposes” (Northouse, 2014, p.431).
Northouse (2013) points out that “[leaders] make it a top priority to treat all of their subordinates in an equal manner” (Northouse, 2013, p.433). Employees must understand that, when committing to the organization, they are committing to accept the organizational ethics as a condition of employment. If at some point the individual’s personal ethics are too strong to adopt the professional ethics professed by the organization, it is time to seek other employment.
The benefit is simple: respecting others means embracing the fact that people are different, and from that leadership is manifested.



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