As I reflect on personal blessings, I am reminded of professional blessings, and those who have influenced my career over the years. Certainly, there have been leaders who practiced punitive leadership, and controlling behaviors in a futile attempt to move the performance needle in a positive direction. Ultimately, we all know that this type of top down, authoritative leadership is not effective and alienates everyone in the path. Leaders who have positively influenced my career have shared pearls of wisdom to guide my path. A few of the pearls of wisdom I have grown to share and cherish are:
*Never be afraid to jump in and lend a hand; be a constant and active learner.
*Never let them see you sweat in the board room; only in the gym.
*Pick at least 3 people a day to positively influence and provoke a smile.
*Surround yourself by others who add value to your life, and not waste or steal your value.
*Cherish the blessing of leading others, who lead others.
*Be visible, and over communicate the why, always connecting to the heart first.
*Remember to laugh and don't take yourself too seriously.
I think we can all agree that healthcare is a tough market, and often we see leaders fall along the wayside, some relinquishing the journey all together. It is imperative that we surround ourselves with mentors who can help us grow professionally and even share leadership lessons that will help us to gracefully fail forward and pick ourselves up again to carry on the journey that is rewarding and transformative.
Recently, I lost a dear friend and colleague who dedicated her life to Nursing, and her beautiful family. She was pivotal in my career early on, helping me to develop grit and to find humor in this crazy, all encompassing healthcare vocation. She was witty and compassionate, loved by many. She allowed me to fail forward and then motivated me in a rather humorous but stern way to get off my duff and move on; lesson learned. I always thought she was invincible, somewhat of a hero in my early nursing career; she was a treasured mentor, and at times a surrogate mom. Our careers took us in different directions, however our connection in the last few years has been a cherished gift. MariEllen Sharp always knew how to shine a high beam light on a difficult situation, and brighten the day with her laughter.
In 2019, let us remember to be that beacon of light for others who are learning to lead and striving to survive and thrive in this turbulent healthcare marketplace. Also, actively create a network of colleagues and mentors who can provide a foundation for your success and sustainability for the future; people who will give you honest and candid feedback. The road is frequently traveled, and you never know, you might just find your MariEllen who can add a little spit fire to your journey, laughter, and guide you successfully along the way.
Dedicated in memory of MariEllen Sharp