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Leadership insight: Dr Sayeed Khan, chief medical adviser, EEF

Published on: 11 Sep 2018

Dr Sayeed

Leadership insight: Dr Sayeed Khan, chief medical adviser, EEF

Dr Sayeed Khan says that good leaders are made through a combination of nature and nurture.

“Your experiential knowledge is a stronger element than I ever thought was the case,” he says. “Because I’ve realised how many mistakes I’ve made and learned from them.”

He explains that younger people promoted to senior positions have it hard because of that lack of experience. “They might be intellectually bright but they don’t have the gravitas.”

Khan argues that a good leader is visible every day. “Being in a London HQ, never being seen, isn’t good leadership.”

Similarly, he recommends keeping the circle of communication as wide as possible, “talking to the cleaners and the receptionists who are the founts of all knowledge. A good leader knows who knows what.”

He adds that humility is another important quality. “A good leader knows when to say sorry and how to say it, particularly in my environment because one of the biggest complaints about healthcare professionals is they never apologise.”

Finally, he says, the best leaders have the emotional intelligence to think carefully how to sell their messages. “They always answer the question ‘What’s in it for me? Whether it’s the [benefit of the] organisation or the employee or the manager.”

Read IOSH Magazine’s full interview with Dr Sayeed Khan: