Introduction

Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, Chair of Council"As I travel around all areas of the UK meeting inspiring GPs who are achieving fantastic results every single day for their patients, I am always surprised at how many ask me 'what makes a great leader and how do I become one?

The truth is that most GPs are already great leaders – we are experts in dealing with uncertainty and complexity, co-ordinating multi-disciplinary teams and working as major players in our local communities and health economies.

We are expert medical generalists, but we are also diplomats, politicians, accountants, entrepreneurs, innovators and mentors.

Unlike management skills, leadership cannot be taught in the traditional sense, although it certainly can be learned and enhanced – and we all need help, especially in navigating the choppy waters of modern-day general practice and making sure that we are fit for the future and its inevitable challenges.

That's why the College has produced this new Leadership Strategy for our members everywhere, exploring what we mean by leadership specifically in a GP context and identifying the types of leaders we need to be developing.

I hope you find it a useful resource that sets us on the right path to high quality medical leadership for all who seek it, and drives wider improvement in the NHS for the benefit of our patients, our teams - and our own development."

Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, Chair of RCGP Council 

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