Light bulb moment: Graham Hodgkin of London's Air Ambulance

An insight into the working life of the chief executive at the emergency charity

Graham Hodgkin
Graham Hodgkin

In the days when I worked at a bank, I was two hours into a meeting with other managing directors and we were ostensibly there to talk about a client. But at no point did we discuss what the client wanted - instead we talked about internal policies, politics and profits. It struck me very clearly that this organisation had lost its way, forgotten what it was there for and neglected to behave in a client-centric way.

While working in the financial sector, I spent time sitting on charity committees and working with social sector organisations. I felt there had to be something more clearly aligned to affect and solve problems rather than conversations about internal agendas, personal success and what was right for the organisation rather than what beneficiaries needed. That meeting was the final straw for me and I knew that I had to find a career in which I had more impact on the end users.

When I left I started my own consultancy business, which was about using my skills to create impact in a very direct way, providing a range of advisory, coaching, training and leadership services.

During my time at the bank, I helped to set up a social impact fund (the first of its kind in the UK) and coached some businesses and charity chief executives. At London's Air Ambulance our client is the patient, and heading an organisation where I can now confidently say that everything we do is for them, and we give them the best possible advanced trauma care on scene, is incredibly tangible and rewarding.

Topics:
Management

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