Posted by: ayrshirehealth | November 16, 2012

Partnership and Vision by @kerryahpaa

Partnership and vision – there’s no place like home.

Someone reminded me last week of a quote by Helen Keller which struck a chord for me as a leader.  Helen Keller said that “the only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision”.

That got me to thinking about how we as AHP’s work in partnership with people to help them not only identify their vision, but then to realise it.  But then I wondered if we take the time to do this for ourselves….and how often do we, as individuals, consider our vision in relation to our wider world?

The concept of enabling individuals to retain their personal vision in the context of a wider team vision is one which provides for me, one of the greatest challenges in relation to leadership.  When our world feels extremely complicated, with copious and sometimes conflicting demands and directions isn’t it obvious that we’ll try to protect our own vision, sometimes at risk of abandoning the team?

So how do we work in partnership through challenging times to reach a common goal or vision whilst remaining true to ourselves?

Something to focus on

Maybe we can learn something from the story of the Wizard of Oz by L Frank Baum.

For those of you who haven’t read the book the story goes like this – Dorothy (a young girl) is swept up by a tornado and ends up in a strange land – her vision is that she wants to go home.

On arrival she is given a pair of ruby slippers and is told to “follow the yellow brick road” to the emerald city where she should ask the wizard of Oz for help.

On the yellow brick road she forms new friends each of whom have their own vision – the tin man who wants a heart, the lion who wants courage and the scarecrow who wants a brain.

Together they encounter and overcome numerous challenges, finally reaching the emerald city and the wizard of Oz, only to discover that the only help they needed from him was for him to give them each something to focus on and to help them see that they all had the ability to attain their vision by themselves and had shown it through their journey.

Personal learning

So what’s the learning in this for me?

  • If we’re all clear about what we want and find a way to work together to achieve it, then we’ll have a greater chance of success.
  • We are often capable of much more than we think we are.
  • But we’ll never get anywhere if we don’t take our first step…….

Helen Keller also said that “security is mostly a superstition.

It does not exist in nature.

Life is either a daring adventure or nothing”.

AHP’s and partners…. welcome to our daring adventure!

Kerry Gilligan (@kerryahpaa)

Head of Profession – Occupational Therapy Services.

NHS Ayrshire & Arran

Next week:


  1. Kerry, so many thanks for sharing with us. You are so right, leadership requires not only vision but ‘insightfullness’ – this is what distinguishes ‘it’ from good management – not to be overlooked but definitely not the same. So many thanks for sharing your thoughts with us all, AHP’s with voices, such a joy!

  2. Lesley, many thanks for taking the time to leave your comment. It has been a pleasure to have this golden opportunity to let the AHP voice be heard!

  3. […] Partnership and Vision by Kerry Gilligan on the Ayrshire Health blog.. […]

  4. […] Professionals seeing things differently and learning to meet the challenge of working together in Partnership and Vision on the Ayrshire Health blog. In Wales, Dyfrig Williams focused on an exercise that is part of a […]

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