The second part of my research involved doing eight interviews. Similar themes kept coming up and what people told me, backed up my questionnaire findings.

Five particularly strong themes came through the interviews. They’re listed below, in order or importance:

  • Strategic level disconnect: people felt a disconnect between decisions being made at the strategic end of organisations and things being implemented at the operational end
  • Behaviour: some organisations seem to promote people who could implement the tough stuff but who were less able to show ‘care’ about their people
  • Benefits of self-awareness: people felt that those with self-awareness paused before making decisions, reflected on the decisions they’d made and were better able to influence change
  • Definitions of self-awareness and leader effectiveness: people described what something was and what it was not as a way of really getting to the heart of their definition. Leadership was described as being about relationships and confidence
  • Welsh public service context: people generally equated the service to having ineffective leadership, reinforcing the feeling of disconnection