Everywhere we look or go in the veterinary industry at the moment, leadership is being mentioned. The Vet Futures identification of Leadership as a key ambition has encouraged a growing interest from in practice vets and the wider industry. However, what is collective leadership and why does it matter?

Collective Leadership suggests that every member of an organisation has a role to play and a contribution to make to the overall success of the business. Whether a vet nurse, administrative staff or a vet, what you do and how you do it affects those around you. As you go about your daily tasks, you have choices to make. For example, you can choose to say please, speak with a cheerful tone, help someone lift a heavy animal, or NOT. On a larger scale, you can choose to use your skills well; manage and look after yourself; and engage, encourage and constructively challenge others; all with the aim of overall business success. But why would you want to?

Well, if you are in a job where you are committed to your own progression and the progression of the business, then choosing to contribute is not only a possibility, but a responsibility. By learning to develop as a team and consider others, we can achieve much more. The overall effect is infinitely greater than just adding together the individual parts. Together, we can collectively create a great place to work: somewhere where staff feel supported, engaged and enabled at all levels of the business. The result? Reduced stress, improved well-being, retained staff, accountable leadership, high quality service provision and a sustainable business.

So that is why everyone is talking about it. Because it matters.

For some, it means marked changes. It won’t be instant, or, without effort and stumbles along the way. Many practices are likely to need specialist help to understand and improve. However, leadership has been identified as a key ambition because it is worth the effort. The industry is beginning to recognise the need.