It’s been a busy start to the year here at SOMAHEALTH where we are gearing up for our March 21st launch of the SOMA HEALTH MAGAZINE 1ST EDITION FOR 2023! We’ve got so many articles and focus groups that we’re discussing for the commencement of Spring. Check out our highlight page HERE where you can get the full low down. It’s a FANTASTIC and jam packed edition!

Anyway, all this work we’ve been focusing on and one of the main factors of this coming year 2023, is that of POSITIVE LEADERSHIP and what that looks like. We know too well coming from our background in veterinary that leadership is one of the main categories that raises its head in our research insights focus group polls. MANY people will put at the top of their list reasons for discontentment in practice / work is due to poor management, bullyish bosses and poor leadership. Now, come on, we’ve gone through some stuff recently that really highlights how we are done with the bullies and the overlord hierarchy attitude. People have spent far too long now working crazy hours for minimal return, little respect and appreciation and a general sense of US V THEM which when you’re the one putting in the frontline work, is only going to push you further to the bounds of ‘Ready to quit and not look back’.

Now, we all know. We get it. Money makes the world go round therefore those that own Businesses are all about the money but, with the cost of living rises, the overtime, the burn out, the pandemic, the stress and overwhelm and why not throw in BREXIT too, the money isn’t the point anymore. People need to know that what they’re spending ALL their time doing is worth something more that bloody money, especially money that they never get to see. That it has a deeper meaning and value and that the part they play in this isn’t taken for granted. They don’t want to hear about cost cuts anymore. They want to hear about pay rises, time off, CONTINUOUS PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT, Bonuses, longer lunch breaks, 4 day work weeks, time to spend with family, delegated responsibilities and split rotas. THEY WANT THEIR POWER BACK and they want those that lead to come from a place of integrity and transparency where they can meet them on their level and the P*SS taking can be a thing of the past.

And maybe there you are in management having a laugh at us saying this but, let me tell you joke will be on you when your staff end up either joining in with the trending movements such as ‘lay down‘ or the similar likes of or, they’ll just end up diversifying in to other fields or full on quitting, which will only put pressure on the rest of the existing team as there’s already a recruitment crisis so, PLEASE start to treat your staff well. They’re the only reason you’re in Business in the first place

We’ve looked at the whole angle of emotions and feelings in the work place. A place that is centered around a very male driven structure and although Veterinary is very diverse in its gender roles, it has over the last decade become a predominantly female focused industry with a far higher percentage of new graduates and those in training being women. And with that comes the inevitable maternity leave and the later down the line menopause. Circumstances that unless you’re of an extreme leftist mindset, aren’t concerns that men need to deal with. I’m sure there are plenty of women that might read this and cringe, proclaiming that they only ever took the bare minimum maternity and haven’t endured the suffering of the ghastly changes but for those that longed for a longer maternity and time to raise children and have had a tough time with the menopause they might be reading this gasping THANK GOD that someone has the guts to speak out about this because for so long, we’ve not been allowed to mention these ‘frail, fragile vulnerabilities’ us women have to put up with out of fear that they’ll cost us our jobs because we are in a mans world, ran by men, with male rules and there is no time for feelings, families and fragile nonsense as such.

So it is with sadness that we have seen the polls. That so many, men and women are now not just hardened by the brutality they have had to put up with in the workplace by bullish management, restrictions and limitations put on consult times to drive in more profit and add extra burnout and stress to employee workloads and for no more money and possibly less of a lunch break. And add to the mix the amount of people that have left practice and how difficult it is to replace them so now we’re working other peoples shifts on top of the mad ones we already see to. And Management wouldn’t bat an eyelid if it were to be addressed to them the discontent of their team. They probably couldn’t even get a word with the management in the 1st place so for many, it is what it is

EXCEPT IT’S NOT – Because time has ran out now for the bullish team on top. The script has flipped. People want better leaders and working conditions and unless you’re going to provide that, they will leave


So, what then is the difference between a good leader and a bad leader?

We said it in our THE POSITIVE LEAD intro on our website:

Isn’t the term ‘BOSS’ pretty ugly? It’s so outdated, right? It sort of suggests that there’s a hierarchical order that stems from pressure and fear. A ‘boss’ motivates using these base principles.


A leader knows that their team is there to be lead towards the end goal and that goal is what’s important. There is no ‘hierarchy’ as the operations of everyone involved are what will see the goal is reached, therefore everyone is of equal importance. The goal is what matters, not the order or sequential layers of ego ‘importance’ and that within a team, making sure the team is happy, healthy and functional is what will see the goals are reached

A good leader will use their ‘power’ and knowledge to inspire rather than influence, motivate rather than manage and will encourage their team when they FEEL down, lost, unsure etc. So you see, feelings do count because how we operate on the day to day is down to how we are feeling. If we’re tired, we may need a lift. If we’re stressed, we may need a break. There is nothing wrong with having these feelings. There is EVERYTHING wrong with not acknowledging them, as if we just ignore them and try to sweep them under the rug, that is when things spiral out of control and the team starts to collapse.

Everyone seems to think it’s only women that ‘feel’ things. Men apparently don’t! haha so it’s been long accepted in the workplace and encouraged by those that ‘lead’ us to not show emotions and leave the feelings at home with the nanny….Except wait a minute, we know of 3 suicides committed in the past 2 years in the industry by men that have taken their own lives because they didn’t have support from leadership and didn’t feel able to show how they were feeling. WE ARE SENTIENT BEINGS! WE ALL HAVE EMOTIONS! Just like the animals we spend all day healing, we have feelings too! We are not robots or machines and if anyone, male or female wants to have a cry or needs to take a break, they TAKE A BREAK! No questions asked

When did we become so cold? When all that mattered was money and the fast turning wheel? Well the wheel has gone rouge now hasn’t it! What we need now are proper leaders that can enter the workforce and put the people first. There will always be profit. It’s a huge booming Business this animal care for goodness sake they will always make their fat share but now is the time for those on the front-line to get some empathy, recognition and respect from proper leadership. Leaders that are placed there specifically to ask they how they’re doing. How can things be better? What can be done to make next week better than this week? What do you need to streamline your job so that you can get out that 10 mins early? How can the team perform better? What is really needed to make the damn difference…..

Jenny says, ‘Jeez, I think I’m struggling with long covid and I really need an extra few days to rest’ but is worried she can’t cos she’s had ‘too much time off’ when her son was sick and noone to cover her rota. Brian says he’s feeling depressed and is contemplating leaving or at least cutting back to part time hours. Emma is neurodivergient, has adhd and bipolar and doesn’t get on with Maria. The tension is dreadful and felt by everyone. She’s tried to set her up a number of times for various theft scenarios in an attempt to get her fired but to date, it hasn’t worked. Maria has been having a terrible time with perimenopause and can’t quite feel her normal self. Can’t get it regulated and it’s effecting her work performance. Everyone’s on burn out. The locum, Patricia isn’t able to cover this month cos her dad had a heart attack in Portugal and she’s got to go home to her family. No one else is available to cover other than the overpriced Vet, Ramon, that no one likes so they’ve shoved him on the night shift but that means that Jenny has to come in extra early to relieve him of duties and she’s already on late’s so that’s some really long days for someone who isn’t feeling well and won’t get paid the overtime. Guess who’s not stressed though? MANAGEMENT! Ha, yeah. So who’s going to come in and lead this team? Could you put up with the mental health issues? The rota nightmares? The constant need to encourage, motivate, persuade, inspire, support and rise up these tired folk that more than anything need a month in bed and a very big hug? Could you do it? And if so, given that workload, who would look out for you?

It takes a village!

It’s not a one person job anymore and this is precisely why we say, the hierarchy is dead. GOOD LEADERS DON’T LEAD – They teach others how to rise up and not need leaders. It takes the whole team to play their part and for everyone involved to look out for each other.

What do you think the future looks like? The polls are in! We’re running our surveys now on THE FOCUS GROUPS and you absolutely should get involved and have your say! You can post comments on the form below and we’d love your feedback.

Have you got a great management team? What are your leaders like in practice? How could things improve? What stories can you share? You can remain anonymous but we’d love to hear your feedback and thoughts on this one!

AND FOR ALL YOU LEADERS OUT THERE that come from a place of heart, honesty and good intention, HOW CAN WE HELP YOU? What can be done to make your life easier?

We thank you all so much and yes, we get the tone of this is heavy and tired. Aren’t we all but, we believe there is so much to look forward to and better days ahead. We will get there!

So we have set up THE POSITIVE LEAD program, designed to help encourage and support the leaders that are encouraging and supporting us! Please share and get as many on board as you can so that we can help turn the tables and get some really good vibes on the rise here! We have so much to stand for and we’ve come so far so let’s not give up or lose hope! It’s just about changing perspective and looking at things from a different angle.

Will leave it here but until next time, and please let us know your stories as and when you can. We really do want some good, hopeful ones in the mix too!

Sending everyone positive vibes and wishing you ALL the best

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