JAN FLAWN CBE
Jan had no qualifications but used business acumen and a nursing background to transform the lives of those with neurological conditions providing commitment and care. She is also the founder of Women Leaders UK.
Jan Flawn left school at age fifteen with no qualifications.
She became a compassionate and gifted nurse and exceptional business leader, who combined these talents in her award-winning company, PJ Care, a specialised and incredibly effective provider of neurological care and neuro-rehabilitation.
Jan was first inspired to train as a nurse when her daughter was born with a disability. Then, following many years as a clinical nurse specialist, she became a senior manager in the Department of Health, shaping UK policy and strategy.
After seeing the struggles of young people with neurological conditions living in inappropriate accommodation designed for older people, Jan became convinced there had to be a better way – PJ Care, which now owns several care units, employing around five hundred staff and caring for nearly two hundred people.
Jan chairs CBM UK, an international Disability charity focused on the health and social needs of people in some of the poorest communities in the world.
Jan is also passionate about encouraging and supporting women into business, entrepreneurship, and leadership. She is the founder of Women Leaders UK and works with the national CBI First Woman Awards.
Jan has won numerous accolades, most recently named Outstanding Contribution to Healthcare, Outstanding Female Entrepreneur, Outstanding Personal Achievement, Best Employer and Best Large Business and Business Women of the Year.
Jan has also been awarded the CBE.
Jan, Welcome to the Leadership Interview.
How do you start your day?
Check diary with PA and plan day. Prioritise and deal with urgent emails.
What was your first job and what is the worst job you’ve ever done?
Clerk Typist for the Sun Alliance Insurance at the age of 15. This was also my worst job – I hated typing
What advice would you give to others about furthering their careers?
Be very clear about what you want to achieve and plan how to achieve this, whether it be gaining further skills or education and never, never give up or give in to negative communication.
If you want to achieve something believe in yourself and you will achieve it.
Who inspires you and why?
Morella Kayman MBE Founder of the Alzheimer’s Association because against all the odds she persevered and started a fantastic charity that helps so many people and is known worldwide.
Do you think a talent to lead is nature or nurture?
Talent is within us all we just need to believe and find what our talent is. This may not always be the leader but may be one of the important talents to make a team and leader successful.
How can a leader fail? Do you have a personal example?
A leader will fail if they do not listen to their team and communicate with clarity. Leaders delegate effectively and give positive feedback.
Personally, I failed when I trusted a very senior director and did not follow my instinct that something was wrong with their behaviour/performance and if I had followed my instincts or the messages that their behaviour was sending me it would not have cost my Company hundreds of thousands of pounds.
What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses?
I believe that my greatest strengths are my values of care compassion and commitment to employees and colleagues. My weaknesses are sometimes too trusting.
What do you find most challenging about being a leader?
Finding the time to listen and observe when speaking with people to ensure clarity of the communication. Sometimes I am so busy that I have to check myself to concentrate on the person talking whether it be in a meeting or a one to one situation.
What are you most proud of?
My son as he takes over the full running of the business and we work so well together. Also receiving the CBE from Prince William for all the Lobbying and charity work I do.
What’s your biggest self- indulgence?
Chocolate!!!!! And spending time with my family and friends.
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