E8: “Channel your inner stoic” – seven actionable improvement leadership tips from ancient philosophy

Wednesday 17 May: 13:15-14:30

Format: Workshop
Stream: Building capability and leadership
Content filters: Responses to the Covid-19 pandemic, Wellbeing, Co-presented with patients, service users or carers

Leadership can be lonely and hard, especially during Covid-19, and achieving sustained progress requires perseverance. Techniques to deepen our personal resolve and ability to persevere are of substantial value, whether we are small or large scale improvement leaders. Ancient leaders faced different, but profound challenges, and many used stoicism to maintain their focus and courage.

In this session, a diverse group of improvement leaders will share insights from their practical and personal experience of using stoic philosophy to approach improvement challenges. Having consciously and unconsciously drawn on these tenets for years, we will make them explicit and actionable for all.

After this session, participants will: 

  • Be introduced to 7 tenets of stoicism with examples of how they have been used to improve leadership and results in our volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous world

  • Identify the tenet/s that most resonate/s with their own leadership challenges and describe what actions they are going to take to develop their leadership practice to better incorporate the key tenet/s

  • Through this exploration, create a better connection to other leaders and be better equipped to approach challenges with the insight, humour and perseverance which are essential to success when leading in modern health systems

Cat Chatfield, Health Services Research UK, England

Ruth Glassborow, Healthcare Improvement Scotland

Wendy Korthuis-Smith, Virginia Mason Institute, Virginia Mason Franciscan Health, USA

James Mountford, Galileo Global Education, France

Karen Turner, Royal Free Hospital in London, England

Birgit Hartoft, Danish Society for Patient Safety, Denmark