Leadership development is a continuous process, that overtime, can impact your organization as well as your colleagues on many levels. While the history of nursing leadership does not often hone the value of personal growth, I believe that as an individual grows personally, through ethics and integrity, they begin to create space for the next emerging leader.
“There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior
to your former self.” ―Ernest Hemingway
The necessity of personal growth in the emerging leader can't be overstated. Integrity is key to promotion, respect and recognition, ultimately the only way to sustain a great reputation and career. Nurses often spend a lot of time acquiring degrees, seeking validation or building a social media brand to the point of exhaustion. All of which can be done, but how much time do you spend on raising your level of consciousness? More than likely, not as much as the forementioned tasks.
Being intentional about leading with integrity can create a metamorphosis unlike any other process of development. Being able to recognize failures as well as successes, being open to diverse people and thoughts, and honoring veracity and loyalty are paramount for executive presence, something most nurses do not have.
Planting Seeds of Integrity
Now with the looming effects of a global pandemic, nursing shortage, and ethnic tensions, the profession of nursing is faced with personal and professional challenges. So, with the inevitable, the emerging leader must put on the armor of courage, justice, morality, decency, all which are key seeds that lead to a fulfilled and impactful life. Here are a few examples of how to implement:
1. Courage. Courageous leadership will challenge the ways things are done without stamping out creativity. Commitment is a fundamental example of a courageous leader. Commitment inspires faith in your abilities and promotes a culture of excellence.
2. Justice. Justice-based leadership is on the pulse of social and political impact. The emerging nurse leader who exhibits competency in these areas can transform an entire generation of advocacy. The state of nursing requires leadership to not only be relevant in public policy but be able to articulate how it affects nursing.
3. Morality. Conduct is important has you move up the ladder of leadership. One of the most significant characteristics of morality is emotional intelligence. Being able to recognize and influence emotions in yourself and the people around you is an indicator of the ability to adept to resolving conflicts. Nursing has a reputation of bullying and privilege, which has placed our ability to lead from the front in the shadows.
4. Decency. DQ (decency quotient) comes with the ability to have empathy. Empathy is being able to place yourself in another's position. This can only come from a place of genuineness on the leaders part. I content that decency is the healing force for the brokenness currently in nursing. And when it is recognized as an essential part of leadership the profession wins.