Dr Clare Kambamettu is a clinical psychologist and in 2010 was selected as the International Rose of Tralee, something she remains very proud of. Despite currently living and working in Galway, Clare still calls Kildare ‘home’. Clare now works as a clinical psychologist in the HSE Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services and in 2015 she founded her own business providing psychological assessment and intervention to adults.
Clare’s work as a psychologist has been featured on the RTE documentary ‘Bressie’s Ironmind’ and on the website alustforlife.com
Can leadership be taught? If so, how?
I think that leadership can be taught. As a psychologist, I think having good self-esteem is essential to becoming a leader as it enables us to know what we get right and what skills we find a bit more challenging. In order to be a leader you have to believe in yourself at least a little bit and believe that you have something to offer but I think to be a good leader you have to know what you don’t know and be strong enough to admit it. We can all learn to improve our self-esteem. I also think watching those that we admire is really helpful for learning how to be a leader. There are so many role models and strong leaders that I admire, men and women; I try to figure out what I admire in them and then emulate that if it fits with who I am as an individual.
If you had to leave your organisation for 1 year what would you ask of your team and what advice would you give them?
I trust the people that I work with and nobody is indispensable! I would ask that they look after each other, be empathic and work together. When problems or conflict arises it is much easier to resolve if you feel like you are at least on the same side, trying to achieve the same things.
What are you doing today to make sure your organisation will be relevant in 10 years time?
Keeping up to speed with best practice and the latest relevant policies in the field of mental health. I am also trying to think innovatively about how to reduce the incidence of mental health problems in our community. In an ideal world, we wouldn’t need psychologists so I am actively trying to make myself and my business less relevant! If that happens I will find plenty of other things to occupy me!
What leaders outside your own organisation do you admire and why?
My mum! She is now retired but spent a long time working in healthcare; she taught me how to do the best I can even when resources are tight. She also taught me how to say no and to trust other people enough to do a great job.
If you could wind back the clock to when you were starting your career what advice would you give yourself?
Every step along the way, everything you learn will someday be useful. You need it all. Slow down and enjoy the absence of responsibility while you can make the most of it!
What are a few resources (books, blogs, podcasts, courses etc) you would recommend to someone looking to gain insight into becoming a better leader?
Anything about boosting your self-esteem and self-compassion, (Brene Brown’s Ted Talk the Power of Vulnerability, or the book the Chimp Paradox) when we are plugged into ourselves and other people, we are happier. When we are happier we are more at ease and when we are more at ease we make better decisions. Besides, knowing how to be kind to ourselves when we fail lets us fly in the first place.