September 2022

It’s a new academic year and there are new beginnings for almost everyone! For my wife and I this fall will see our continued commitment to visit our kids and their families in Vancouver and Victoria, with our new beginning being ownership of a new condo in Calgary. On a more sombre note, this fall also sees huge changes in leadership. Two overarching changes include being ruled by a new monarch since September 9th 2022; and a new dean of Medicine started his job at the Cummings School of Medicine (CSM) in July 2022. If you expanded your scanning horizon, you would also see a new prime minister in Great Britain, new heads of several political parties in Canada, and great social change in Eastern Europe.

New beginnings are so exciting! Although it would be so easy to simply move into these new beginnings and give little thought to what has gone before, I’d like to spend a little time focussing on a few of the leadership changes we have seen recently. I’d like to focus more specifically on two of the individuals who have “ended” their careers and whose leadership many of us have admired. I am referring to the late Queen Elizabeth II and Dr Jon Meddings. For those outside of Calgary, Jon just completed his second term as dean at CSM.

Rather than wax eloquent separately about each of these individuals, let me try and distill how I experienced their magnificent leadership with a few general comments:

  1. They both played pivotal roles in my life, providing stability and consistency in my maturation as a leader and human being. To think they are no longer in their roles saddens me.
  2. They both knew how to communicate, when to do this, and when to apply the personal touch. I know little of the inner conversations between the royal family, but the outward persona of QEII was always that people mattered more than the moral failures that her family have had to deal with.
  3. They cared deeply about their constituents, and demonstrated this regularly.
  4. They made brave, bold decisions that enabled the organizations/ countries they led to enjoy prosperity and success.
  5. They both knew how to deal with conflict, often using the soft word or light touch to reassure and direct attention to the real problems.

So it is with these reminders that I wish all of us a great new academic year, one where success is proudly celebrated, and one where the above values continue to be seen. I salute two absolutely splendid human beings; one who recently left this earth with grace and dignity. The other will enjoy the fruits of his labour after countless years in senior healthcare leadership; where he made an indelible mark on the success of our medical school in Calgary.

Hats off to you both,

Peter Craighead

2 thoughts on “September 2022

  1. Hello Peter,

    A note to say thank you for your ongoing postings in your Journeys Academy! I read all of them and enjoy your wisdom, insights and encouraging comments for your readers.

    The messages through the pandemic were so helpful. So nicely done Peter. I love the personal reflections.

    Great commentary about the Queen (we have been watching a lot of the TV coverage from BBC). And thank you for your comments on Jon Meddings. For me, I have good memories of working with him.

    I am pleased to hear you have decided to stay in Calgary. Moving into your new condo is once again a new venture for you.

    If you are open to meeting up for coffee, I would love to reconnect. Leah and I are still interested in pursuing more direction in supporting physicians through coaching and leadership development and would highly value your perspective on this. I know you shared some ideas shortly after you retired but thought if you are interested it would be good to talk again.

    All the best with your move.

    Kind Regards, Carol

    Carol Gray, MN, CEC, PCC Vice President & Co-founder T: 778-363-7389 E.

    In the spirit of respect, reciprocity and truth, I acknowledge the many First Nations, Metis and Inuit whose footsteps have marked these lands for generations including Treaty 7 territory and the ancestral and traditional territory of the Blackfoot Confederacy, the Tsuu T’ina First Nation, the Stoney Nakoda First Nation and Métis Nation of Alberta, Region 3. I recognize the land as an act of reconciliation and gratitude to those whose territory we reside on and are visiting.

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