The National Bridging Forum.

“Good morning. My name is Dame Deidre Trussell and it’s a sincere pleasure to be addressing such an august audience here today at the National Bridging Forum for Heroic Leadership in Social Care. Since receiving my damehood in 2016 for service to the advancement of epic innovation I have been called upon to talk about the groundbreaking success I initiated at Newport Pagnellshire, namely, empowering all 2600 learning disabled people in the borough to independently relocate to Gravesend, Australia. Commentators have described the programme as the perfect marriage between service user self enablement and effective budgetary management.

But I’m blowing my own trumpet and that is the first rule of the Trussell Leadership Majestum that I want you to take away and embed into your practice forthwith. Don’t be afraid to blow. Blow with pride and gusto. Blow from the rooftops of the world. The best leaders are at their best when blowing.

Rule two. I spit on Bonnie Tyler. Don’t hold out for a hero. Be a hero. You will grow into that cape and those leiderhausen. Stride. To quote another 80s songstress – Strike a pose. Vogue yourself into a hero. You’ll demand instant respect.

Rule three. Listen. Listen with your eyes. In fact, listen with every organ of your body. When our next speaker, Mr Milliband speaks, I will be listening to him with my toes. All ten of them. The people you lead want to be heard. Afford them the honour of opening up your audio glands and really hear their message.

Don’t make the service about the service user. This is a simple trap that many fall into. Yes, you are leadership champions in a service industry but make your customers work for you. Never attempt to meet their needs until your needs are met first. Here I disagree with my old darts partner, Jimmy Munby. The State may be the servant and not the master on paper but we live in paperless times. Master mastery. It will serve you well.

Rule five. Charisma Co-production. Join forces. Hold hands with your peers. Never shy away from putting your head together with an old leadership adversary. Picture your charisma champion and be that person. Mine is a combination of Isambard Kingdom Brunel and Anne Diamond. The perfect alignment.

Finally (and I can see Mr Milliband getting his Powerpoint out) the concluding rule was inspired by Nadia from Bake Off. What are the finest ingredients for a fruity Bridging Leadership sponge? This one is begging for an acronym so I’ll leave you with seven words. The seven ingredients to a succulent leader’s pattisserie:

Innovationalism. Modernistry. Artistry. Communicatable. Unrelentlessness. Newism. Trailblazery.

I thank you”.


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