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The Golden Key

January 17, 2012 Leave a comment

I had never aspired to be a Nurse Manager because I felt it was a no-win position. Had seen co-workers move ‘up’ to this position and change. Everyone seemed to stop liking them as they turned cranky…sqeezed tightly between the bedside nurse as advocate and upper management who had pre-existing agendas.

Funny how we view things before having lived similar experiences. Most in healthcare are thrust into these roles without any support – whether PD, mentorship, or experience outside of “the institution”.

Don’t wait for your organization to hand you the golden key. Read, ask questions, then read some more. Do some volunteer work around your own unit, your child’s school, or another local organization where expectations are not as great or time-sensitive. This work will eventually pay off in spades!

Let us never be betrayed into saying we have finished our education; because that would mean we had stopped growing. – Julia H. Gulliver

Leader? Manager?

December 4, 2011 Leave a comment

What does it really mean to be a leader? After many years of not paying attention to what this word truly meant, I’ve realized that being a leader or becoming one is one of the toughest things to do.

A leader is someone that everyone wants to follow – because they have a clear vision and know how to communicate it. Leaders make us feel secure, they renew our energy, and they LISTEN. Although they may not always take action, or even be in the position to take action, they still acknowledge.

A manager is not necessarily a leader and a leader is not necessarily in a management role. That is an important distinction to make. You can be on the lowest ‘rung’ of any organizational ladder and still be an effective leader. Even in my children’s cliques, a leader can always be identified. We heard a lot about self-actualization in nursing school and indeed, that is critical to becoming a leader. One has to eliminate ego, be a good listener, and be non-judgemental. You have to be self-assured and comfortable in your own skin.

Generally, this is only achieved as a child or teen (because they are too ignorant to know that they don’t know everything), which is why peer pressure is so huge in this population. The other, is after life experience. Some get this sooner than others and some will never get it.

Bottom line, the sign of a good leader is the person who has many willing followers. When you look behind you, are there people there?

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