Leadership, differences and coffee shops

“But, Daniel, you are the boss,” while this is true to some extent it is still a slightly uncomfortable coat to wear. It is strange the flashbacks you get to totally different times and places; when as a junior I remember calling a consultant boss and them commenting on how it they never get used to it. Not sure I will either.

It is even stranger to me as amongst the people are I nominally in charge of include a doctor with clinical experience equal to mine, but in a much more applicable areas, a surgeon with 15 years experience who is enthusiastically re-learning general medicine and a middle grade doctor whose clinical confidence limited by practising in a second language.

Navigating cultural differences hasn’t been a major problem, we are first humans, second doctors and thirdly nationals of our countries, but these difference have to be appreciated. The fact that a large proportion of the staff are refugees themselves can often be forgotten in the day to day humdrum of greetings, jokes and day to day problems. But the moments when you talk about home life and family the fact that they have experienced unimaginable stress and hardship over the last 6 months simmers to the surface. I try and remain cognate of this.

For me I feel more like a supply teacher to a well behaved class very understanding of my limitations and I try to guide them as we go forward. I try to imitate the behaviour of those who have led me well in the past, but of course, like so many who achieve mastery of things, they made it look so effortless.

So, I go for coffee. In makeshift stands, using repurposed storage tins, labelled with the acronyms of aid organisations, slowly the coffee pot is brought to boil, so time and space is created and we chat. I hope this leads to individual relationships and hopefully this is we go somewhat to creating an environment which we can work together in the system which for a strange twist of fate has me nominally in charge.

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