Leading at a National Level - Dr Caroline McElnay, Director of Public Health, New Zealand



This short teaching session will provide medical professionals with insight from Dr. Michael Day, a Director of Public Health in New Zealand's Ministry of Health and a skilled leader in crisis management. Dr. Day will discuss the importance of communication, being accurate, timely, and transparent, as well as the concept of “being kind” and the need to not just tell, but also to listen and understand other perspectives. The session is an opportunity to cultivate strong leadership skills that could benefit medical professionals in their careers.
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Learning objectives

Learning Objectives: 1. Identify knowledge-based approaches for responding to a crisis. 2. Describe effective communication techniques for leading in a crisis. 3. Understand the importance of being open, honest, and transparent as a leader in a crisis. 4. Utilize techniques to effectively influence and inspire followers. 5. Recognize opportunities that provide valuable experiences in leadership development.
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Computer generated transcript

The following transcript was generated automatically from the content and has not been checked or corrected manually.

thank you. And I'm really looking forward to our next speaker who we've got with us today. He's Doctor Carline, Michael name who were really honored to spend spend some time with She is the director off public health for the New Zealand's Ministry. Off health. Thank you so much for joining us, Dr Michael Day. Um, on that I just wanted to maybe start a little bit with with maybe sharing a little better by what your role in deals on. Perhaps Ah, you know, a little bit of your journey over the past year. And then we just want to kind of dig into some of the things that that you might be able to share as as a leader with with those here joining us this evening. Cura Uh, yeah, I'm a director of public health at the Ministry of Health so that I still remains on the chief public health adviser for the museum and government on, but it's a roll it up being in for 4.5 years. So I was in the role before covert came along, but certainly like most of us across the world, Covert has dominated, are working and our personal lives. So I've I've been involved very heavily with the covered response in New Zealand. Really? Since January of last year. Onda, Um, not much else to say at the moment. I'm in public health is quite a broad field. Um, were were because of the situation that we're in in New Zealand, with no community cases off covert, we still have, ah, large effort keeping it out of the country. But But now we're trying to get back to more business as usual and looking at some of those other, um, tricky public health issues that we have that we share with many other countries. Uh, we are really living on with envy in some ways, that New Zealand and what you've been able teo achieve on, But, um, you know, community cases is is quite a quite a chief mint. Really? Is there anything that you would, um, uh, say would be something that would be super important as a leader? Teo do, when leading in a crisis, are there Are there particular characteristics you think you need to put in place? Was there anything that that you did or some approaches you took in new Zealand you personally, maybe other leaders that you have worked with to really leave the country really in in sort of crisis times or difficult challenging times. I think for us to New Zealand has been a big focus right from the beginning On communication on Denny one, anyone has been involved with any sort of crisis management situation or emergency response will realize the importance off, off good communication. And I think if you're if you're if you're one of the workers dealing with emergency head, dine it busy dealing with it, but particularly any any crisis that effects the wider community in population with particularly if you want people to do something, then you have to communicate really clearly to people what you want them to do. Oh, but not just what you want them to do, why you need them to do that. So I think for museum and that's probably Bean, um, along with some other things like closing borders and remoteness. But actually that communication which was lead really by our prime minister but was very much a strategy for for all of us, working on the coverage response was a need for good, clear communication, right? So, no, As a technical leader, I think that's really important. Know your stuff. So you do you have to be right being be correct, but and also you have to be timely, so communicating at the right time to, you know, getting early. There's nothing worse than a lying things to operate in a vacuum, because that's when you get meth, some stories and all sorts of, um, all sorts of things that's actually really hard to spend all your time trying to correct some of those myths. Um, stories, rather just getting to the fax Onda. So, you know, so be accurate, be timely, but also, um, in a transparent, be honest, uh, don't look like you're covering things up. Um, Onda course for us in New Zealand move with Sort of adopted. The local would be kind. Uh, which again are Prime Minister's was very much lead from the front, not just in covert, but in a number of other things Where, uh, you know, we don't have to be beat people up because in the middle of an emergency, I think if we can, we're kind of we're open. Honest. Then that's what a communication as a leader. Uh, it is very effective because what it does give people who are listening. Is it allies? Then I have sent a crust on a lousy to actually think Maybe they're saying something that we do need to follow and so that you don't necessarily get 100% take up from that message. But it's a much better strategy if you do more people to do something so that I think it's been one of the clean approaches that New Zealand has taken what it's, uh, really powerful is. And if you kind on guys were using the freeze, stay home, save lives be kind, right? Was your kind of Yes, that's right. That's right. In our early days from when we went into a lot done, you know, we went into a really a lot. I'm really quickly, really early. So community it large didn't, you know, suddenly thrust upon when we had a few days notice again because off the emphasis on good, clear communication, then having so called messages Now that doesn't mean that it's simple, but it's actually it might be unclear easy to understand messages and so yes and stay at home. Step saves lives on. Be kind of was very much, um, keep the key message is four people, you know, we just we needed to make it really clear what we want people to do. A onda, um, hopefully stay calm ourselves, but also, we want it. We want it to get across in this situation, that the reason why you're doing what you're doing it. So that was you know, in summary, full stabilize. I'll save lives. You know, Was that that someone is why we wanted to do this. You mentioned something there, which is super interesting. A bite and kind of taking people with you on whilst you can't get 100% agreement for adoption in a room. What? What? I mean, are there any techniques that you, as a leader have used to kind of influence? Maybe people who you you have to screen with you at the leadership level or even, you know, not a leadership level. You know, the public at large. If if there are, you are disagreeing or they don't want to kind of play ball. Um, are there any sort of influencing techniques or inspiring taking extra? Gonna take people on that journey with you that you've seen used. That's quite interesting, because I think especially is that if you've got a technical background and you find yourself in a leadership role, you tend to come at the the North from a knowledge perspective, and they can be a tendency to think. But I'm right. Why aren't you using to me? I'm like, I've done the work we have. We have a, um, Ali word for work, which was my We've done the my hate. We say that all the time and you're going down the Marty. Therefore, why don't you just listen to what I say? I've done that Evidence reviewed, have done another two to search, got years, Got a PhD in this particular area. Why don't you listen to me And and so that's where that this is the subtle tails Are you actually influence others? Is is. Actually, people don't want to be treated too. They don't want people to just tell them they actually want to be heard. And so my my observation meetings where there has been a challenge, your mind, maybe some of some of the advice that I'm giving both the recommendations that I'm giving. It's just this is this isn't if there's, um, resistance to that questioning that, but that is actually really important to understand where they're coming from such a listen to what their views are, Why, why those white people are saying what they're saying on day to understand, To understand why they're saying that because I think sometimes we we look at a problem and we see it with different perspectives on you. See it from your perspective. But your perspective is not the only perspective those other perspectives on equally valid. And if you're working with a group of people, you need to understand they're perspectives could so that you can have that shared view or what you're trying to do. Oh, and then sometimes that does mean it's a technical leader. You have to stop saying I'm right and start this one on. Also work out really work out. What is the What is that? What's the issue here? If if you're getting a bit of resistance to something on, sometimes you're not the person. You're not the person to reach the solution. By that, I mean, sometimes it's other people in your group who would be the one that you need to talk to because they are actually the cleat influencer, not you. So leading with influencing it doesn't mean that you have to be the one who does all the influencing. You can use others to do the influencing that I call that being politically savvy because it's about, you know, high high. You might work with others in order to get a shared agreement like what you want to achieve and then get there hope that makes things that makes total sense. That's, um, as super super helpful on you can actually apply that to lots of situations. So we've got lots of beer joining us, who are leaders in societies and associations somewhere. Medical student, Summer, June, your doctors and no diet will come up against resistance in in some decisions. They're making maybe the first step in there, sort of, um, leadership journey. Is there anything you've kind of done in your career that you sort of looking back on? Have bean really great leadership developing? Obviously, go it is is ah, one of those situations where you're kind of threw threw it in the deep end after lots of training, and it's it's, you know, a big event, but is are there any other time? Start your career where you've you've really benefited from being able to step up a leader, and that's helped you get to this point any sort of experiences that you've had along the way. Oh, well, I think I think leadership. There's all sorts of different. There's different types of leadership, and there's different types of literature opportunities. And not everyone is in a job where you unnecessarily in that role. Although I think, um, most doctors are in some sort of leadership position just by virtue of being a doctor, they may be leading the team. They may be working up in a general practice and therefore a leader there. I I think that would be unusual for doctors not to be in some sort of leadership position or have a leadership recognition of leadership or an expectation off off leadership, certainly influencing very least. And I think that's where in your career there's no any work opportunities. But I think a lot of leadership skills are very generic, so those opportunities that you have in your her small life for leadership, I think really important. They actually probably teach you a lot about need a ship that you can then apply and work. So for me personally, you know, I was involved with, um, school committees on day early childcare committees on some voluntary organizations on, but, uh and then because I was interested in and being involved in governance, sports I I also then didn't had a national roll on that on a national entity for a while. And I think looking back on it, those opportunities, as well as my work experiences prepared, prepared me for the job that I've got. No, which is a national roll on. There's a expectation, large expectation on leadership. But it wasn't just my work CV. I feel that that the work see, they might have been the thing that got me the job at the interview, but I feel that what's prepared me to be able to do the job is actually everything that I've done, not just my my work on, but just really say that. You know, I think I think what we're seeing as much more appreciation off those other aspects of your life coming through when it comes to work opportunities that, Oh, I think particularly for women. This is I'm very relevant because in the past I think some of those opportunities and some of those roles Woman have played as maybe being at a disadvantage to their work does. Disadvantage is the wrong word. It's maybe being they haven't worked as much always full time. But they have been involved in other, um, leadership roles. And I think increasingly there's an appreciation, actually, that those were just as valid When it comes to leading people as having had a full time job for 30 years. Absolutely. Um uh, and probably on that same topic, it must be. I can only imagine what it must be like to be in a position that you're in a moment. You're probably bombarded with stuff, But do you manage to 90 and that sort of do management and balance between sort of work and life And there's gonna be lots of, um, you know, people in the room. Some of some of them were gonna be super ambitious and probably kind of throwing themselves into everything and getting involved in lots of committees and lots of organization. Lots of things and doing lots of things. But I don't know if you have any advice on, um, on high on height, um, anti in that balance. Um, if if you are able to maintain another move, it must be very difficult. Yeah, I know it is. It's It is incredibly hard. Look, I think I think, as medical practitioners, health professionals, I think we all know what the right thing to do is we know about work, life, balance. We know that we should be taking breaks, that we should be compartmentalizing our lives, you know, and that we should make sure that we have time off actually really difficult to do. Oh, on been that way. I think we need to support each other as well. So I manage. I directly manage a team of four other doctors. So, you know, I make sure that I encourage then, if not, tell him to take time off, that we can support each other. And I tried a lead from the front by actually doing that myself because I think it is very hard up. And everyone will know this that if you're part of a team and you see the leader of that team working constantly, then it can be very hard for you to take time off or you sort of feel well, um, I not a good team player or lie not strong as others. This all of this turn that happens. That sort of makes you think you have to keep on working. So I think that's where as a leader, it's important that you you role model, what it is that you're saying, saying that incredibly difficult on you don't have to be. You have to be mindful that, and I know that there's there's times when you just can't, um, yeah, have to do the work. But actually, then you do have to have some time off and you need to make sure you recharge your battery's because otherwise you will learn a lot or not. Is such a common ah topic of discussion amongst the medical fraternity at the moment, and that's because we're recognizing were night. It's really and I think, to be mindful of that, we were working in jobs where the workload doesn't necessarily disappear, so actually it's a it's a culmination. Old us is individuals managing, um, but also the organization which we work for. Hopefully, organizations are getting much better at understanding what needs to be in place to support individuals so that they don't, um either suffer from burn are also that actually supports workers to be able to have a balanced. But it's a constant struggle. I I will acknowledge that. I mean, it's easy to say it's hard to do. It can be really hard to switch off, but you have to do it. And you know one of the ways in which I switch off and I'm very blessed being in New Zealand with beautiful environment that we've gotten the landscape on one day, many people will be able to come back and visit New Zealand without having to go into two weeks quarantine in a managed government facility, which is currently the situation. You know, getting like into the fresh air going for a walk, go for a long walk, is really good and on have friends and support groups were under who make you do not sort of thing, um, way, don't have much more time ago have one last little question. If there were some key characteristics as ah leader on but you were to say it would be super important, so we're covered loads already in 15, 20 minutes. But if if you were to say some key characteristics, as as a leader for the junior doctors and medical students who are are joining us, what what would what would you say? Some of the key characters. Car interesting. Oh, gosh, that's really difficult because people are so different. People are sort of like I think for me what people have said to me. The most important thing is to be yourself, because authenticity it is the number one thing. If you are trying to be something that you're not, people will see through that so quickly. You know, I I've I've observed that with back to the media and communication, you know, if you're if you're styling up there in front of the whole bunch of reporters and you say something that you don't mean, um both the reporters and the public at large conspired that, and I think as a leader, it's a sign if you were, uh, saying something that you don't mean or you're saying one thing and doing something different or if you're trying to be something that you're not? No, that will come through. And actually, I think sometimes we a lot of this is perhaps is this myth that a leader looks like this. Acts like this does this. Actually, there's all sorts of different leaders. And I think the key thing is you have to be yourself. And there's some hints to help you be a better leader. You know, one of my hands would be Stop talking and listen. But you have to be yourself. That would be my my my key advice. Brilliant. Thank you so much. I know you've got a busy day ahead because you're currently sort of the the clock in the morning. So, uh, have a great day and then use the own Thank you. Uh so so much for joining us and just showing a little bit off your your ship journey. We're We're really grateful. Onda. Keep up the good work and you feel all right. Thanks very much. Well, have a good day