SMACC Back 3 – Simon Carley on Leadership


Now I should be doing a SMACC Back on Roger Harris’ talk on the Right Heart as he surely cast a gauntlet in my path, but that would probably just encourage him : ). Instead, lets talk about…

Simon Carley on Educational Leadership and Subversion

This SMACC-Back deals with Simon Carley’s lecture from SMACC 2013. If you haven’t seen it yet, watch now–it is incredibly good:

The line that resonated with me was,

The first principle of Leadership is Excellence. The most important thing for an educational leader is that they are clinically credible. “Those that can’t do–teach,” is crap in medicine.

So utterly true!


Tangentially, one of my colleagues recommended a book to me entitled, Multipliers: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter.


Wow, what a horribly misguided tome. To hear why I think this, listen to the wee.

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  1. says

    Hi Scott,

    Thanks so much for the SMACC back. I’m so pleased that we found so much common ground about education, educators and leadership. Like you, I’m totally passionate about ensuring that clinical excellence remains at the forefront of education and that education is seen as an integral part of being a resuscitationist. As you may know I wear various educational hats and I can tell you now that if anyone ever, ever, ever, ever, (ever),*, asks me again to find an ‘educational’ role for a doctor who is struggling clinically I may explode….!

    We also need to think of our patients, We might (think anyway!!) be the best docs in the department, hospital, country, world but we all know that we cannot be there 24/7 and so by leading and educating we are remotely helping the patients in our departments when we are safely tucked up in bed or off shift. I also believe that as I get older the time will come when I might need my colleagues to treat my family, friends and even myself – so there is a bit of personal investment in there too ;-).

    I think your point about the book ‘multipliers’ is well made. Admittedly, I’ve not read the book yet (not sure I will after hearing your review….), but if as you say then I must agree. Leadership at a strategic level, the global direction of travel, the big picture, the overall goal etc. is absolutely required, and in my experience works best when based around individuals who are able to articulate this clearly and consistently. That clarity of purpose will of course involves listening and learning from all levels within an organisation but those are operational tools to achieve the strategic vision. Your description and what I have read about Thomas M. Scalea at Shock Trauma would fit this role and there are several others around the world who I’d put in the same mould. Clear, consistent, passionate leadership with a vision of constant improvement. As we quoted from the British Army manual on leadership at SMACC:

    ‘No (wo)man is as good as they can be.’

    ….but great leaders get themselves and their colleagues pretty damn close.

    Can’t wait to catch up at SMACC Gold – the best conference in the world – ever.



    * ever

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