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Blog: Searching for a mentor

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Liz Darlison talks about day 2 of the Cancer Leadership Programme

We had breakfast and checked out before the first session started at 9am. Kate and I fed back our Cancer Reform Strategy chapter. The session went past its allocated time, but having the strategy so well summarised really gave it meaning and retainability.

Cheryl Richardson spent half an hour refreshing our memory about the benefits of having a mentor and reviewing some of the mentorship styles. Each delegate is required to choose a mentor from anywhere in the country to help support their leadership development.

I have had mentors in the past, one or two that I have approached and others, that I feel have been more successful, have naturally evolved through working relationships. This time I’m not sure who is appropriate. I need someone with a disease-specific focus, preferably working nationally but still working clinically with patients. I needs to be someone who has taken their service to the next level. I’m really struggling with this and if anyone has any ideas I would love to hear them.

The final session, on leadership theory and practice, was led by Shelley. Like Cally, Shelley interjected the theory with her own experiences and slant on leadership. It was a very interactive session with lots of questions, answers and general comments from everyone. We were all inspired by Shelley’s open, modest, patient and nurse-focused story.

Sara Lister closed the module and we had a light lunch before heading home. It had been a great two days. We had a list of things to sort out before the next module, some reading material to peruse, mentors to choose, colleagues to approach about completing the LEA questionnaires and transport to arrange for module two. We also needed to reflect and not confine our learning from the module to the two days attended.

Module two takes place in Peebles, Scotland at the end of June. Bring it on! Of course I am anxious about hearing my personal LEA feedback but looking forward to seeing my co-delegates again.

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