Courageous Leadership: A Construct Important for Nursing Educators

By Susan Sportsman, PhD, RN, ANEF, FAAN and Cathy Converse

We recently had the opportunity to give a presentation about our work on Courageous Leadership at the 2019 National League for Nurses (NLN) Summit.  Stimulated by our interest in helping nurses and others effectively navigate the organizations in which they work, we explored the health care and business literature to evaluate others’ ideas of the relationship between courage and leadership. Continue reading “Courageous Leadership: A Construct Important for Nursing Educators”

Empowerment

By Cathy Converse

I am one of the lucky ones. Very early in my career when I had a relatively low-level job, my boss gave me responsibility for all sorts of things that were well beyond my “pay-grade.” Assigned to the most important products in our division, I was making decisions and managing resources and timelines that had a big impact on our success or failure. Being given this kind of authority was exhilarating—and a bit terrifying: I was 23 and just one year out of college. It was stressful, but it made a big difference in my career and I am forever grateful for the opportunity. Continue reading “Empowerment”

Risk-taking: The Heart of Courageous Leadership

By Susan Sportsman, PhD, RN, ANEF, FAAN

Collaborative Momentum Consulting defines courageous leadership as “the heart to step up front and transform vision into reality.” Courage is required for us to “step up” to lead—often in uncomfortable or risky situations. Addressing these situations requires the leader to be a calculated risk-taker—someone who not only takes risks, but encourages others to walk a similar path. The risk-taker accepts the possibility of failure and despite this potential, encourages innovation, creativity, and change in themselves and others. Continue reading “Risk-taking: The Heart of Courageous Leadership”

Communication

By Cathy Converse

Consider two organizations, each with a new president. The first one came in at a time of serious upheaval in the organization and the industry, with multiple issues that required her immediate attention. Many changes were needed to put the company back on course, which put employees on edge. Morale was already low, and this president could reasonably have expected to have a tough time accomplishing all that needed to be done. But she clarified her vision and shared it with all employees in both large and small groups. In fact, the employees would often laugh about often she brought up mission and priorities, which by now they could recite from memory. Continue reading “Communication”

Self-Awareness

By Susan Sportsman, PhD, RN, ANEF, FAAN

 We have all had one of “those” days. Your spouse suggests you forgot to pay a bill for which you were responsible just as you are leaving to take the kids to school on your way to work. Your drive included several major traffic jams which made you late for your first meeting of the day.  Your kid left her homework in your car and phoned to ask you to bring it to her school. (Why does she think you can leave work in the middle of the day?)  Now you are in a planning meeting and your team is resistant to a new idea that you believe will improve everyone’s work productivity. As the leader, what is your reaction to the negative input of most of your team? Continue reading “Self-Awareness”

Persistence

By Cathy Converse

Several years ago I was tasked with launching an initiative at work. This initiative was completely new for our company, and because there was really nothing like it in our industry, I didn’t have anything to model it after. Launching this initiative required recruiting people for new positions, setting up new systems for operation, creating new products and services, defining and measuring success, and much more. It also required interaction with multiple stakeholders throughout the company. In short, it was complex, and more than a little bit daunting. Continue reading “Persistence”

The Hard Truth About Soft Skills

by Susan Sportsman, PhD, RN, ANEF, FAAN and Cathy Converse

Business and professional literature is replete with discussions of skills and competencies necessary to be a good leader. The discussion frequently includes both “hard” and “soft” skills and the relative importance of each. Hard skills, often obtained through formal education, are particularly helpful in an environment where the rules for using these skills are constant.  Conversely, soft skills, often self-taught, may vary depending upon the environment in which they are practiced. Continue reading “The Hard Truth About Soft Skills”