Leadership Insights: Irene Gray

Welcome to this series of articles where I share insights from interviews with a range of leaders.  Today’s interview is with senior nursing professional Irene Gray. 

Tell me a little bit about yourself and your career

I spent 40 years in the nursing profession with 26 years in leadership roles including Director of Nursing, Deputy Director of Nursing, Chief Executive Officer and Chief Operating Officer.  I was an Honorary Professor awarded by 4 universities and retired from NHS in 2010.

I’m now self employed and providing interim executive support and leadership development in the NHS and private sector.

How long have you been in a leadership or management role?

Excluding ward sister, nursing officer and deputy nurse director roles, 26 years in total.

What do you regard as some of the essentials to being an effective leader?

Humility, humanity and humour

Being grounded

Recognising everyone makes mistakes

Seeing the big picture

Managing today whilst changing tomorrow.

What gets in the way of people being as effective as they could be as a leader?

Working within boundaries and silos and not seeing the big picture

Not accepting the values of others

Not recognising others abilities and enabling others to learn.

What would be your top tips for any aspiring leader?

Understand the politics and Politics

Work as a team, don’t try to do it all yourself

Support those who work with you and for you

Always recognise there are other ways of resolving a problem

Accept you are not always right and be clear about it

Look for challenge to enable you to learn and grow

There is no such thing as a free moan, give an answer to all challenges.

Anything else that you would like to add

Be true to yourself and others.

Irene Gray is Director of her own consulting practice and a senior consultant with IMD.  She can be contacted via her own business e-mail [email protected] or through her IMD e-mail [email protected]

About the Author Duncan Brodie

Since 2006 I’ve worked with in excess of 8,000 accountants and professionals in workshops, seminars and one to one helping them land their next jobs and become better leaders, presenters and business partners. Before that I spent 25 years in accountancy climbing the career ladder from Payments Clerk to FD. I’m a CIMA Fellow, Certified Professional Coach and Team Coach Facilitator.

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