What gets me up in the morning – Ruth Hyde, Chief Executive of Broxtowe Borough Council
I am delighted to welcome Ruth along as the first guest blogger of 2014. I am a resident in Broxtowe, so she is ultimately responsible for emptying MY bin! She runs a complex organisation, similar to many throughout the world, that is central – and often invisible – to all of our lives, often only becoming noticeable when something goes wrong. I am very pleased to share here what motivates her…
The alarm goes off…
… at 5.30 am in my house, by which time my husband is probably already downstairs making porridge. Yes, I really am lucky enough to have a husband who has brought me breakfast in bed for the last 31 years! If I could be even half as good a wife as he is a husband (even the spoon is pre-warmed) I would be doing well.
And actually this is at the heart of what I want to say. What inspires me and motivates me is invariably other people.
It’s my first day back after Christmas, and I have the pleasure of reading a thank you letter from a lady who has appreciated the work of one of my environmental health officers. She says he “is a man who cares and takes pride in his work”.
This reminds me of the handmade card I received on behalf of the refuse department from a three year old earlier this year depicting the bin lorry which goes down his road every Friday “thank you for waving at me every Friday morning for the last year. I look forward to standing at the window and seeing the rubbish truck” he said.
My deputy inspires me, with his rigorous attention to detail, capacity for hard work and his willingness to help others to meet tough deadlines. Iron really does sharpen iron within my management team. I love it when individuals within my organisation help others to achieve their potential. I’ll never forget one young member of staff whose persistent coaching and helpful feedback enabled a young man with learning disabilities who started with us on work experience to get a job with the council on his third attempt. I still treasure the letter his Mother sent me speaking of her joy that he had achieved his dream.
This Christmas employees in my housing section took it upon themselves to organise twenty four hampers containing food, toys and other goodies to people they know who might otherwise have had quite a miserable Christmas. I was so proud of their efforts! When I thanked one for her hard work, her response was that she felt privileged to be able to be involved and genuinely loves what she does.
The man who cleans the streets in Beeston is unfailingly diligent, presenting a cheerful smiling face to everyone he meets. People are constantly telling me how good he is.
How could I not be inspired when I work with people like this? What is it about them that inspires me?
• Service motivated by love for people.
• Pride in the job and a desire to excel in doing it well – not just to get recognition or financial reward.
• Attention to the little things (often over and above the call of duty) that promote quality and excellence
• Time invested unselfishly in other people to enable them to fulfil their potential.
These qualities are at the heart of the public sector ethos. Long may it continue.
And more – see what gets other guests up in the morning…
Linda Frier, award winning accountant and founder of Coalesco
Giles Croft, Artistic director of Nottingham Playhouse
Suzy Lishman, Vice President of the Royal Society of Pathologists
Simon Hallion, architect, Shared Architecture
Jo and Mark Beattie, mother and son artists