Finding the leader within is something many strive toward but not all find. I think most of us who have known good leaders would agree with the often-quoted saying, “Leaders are not born; they’re made.” Leadership takes time, hard work and like most things in life, education and experience.
Organizations spend a good deal of time and money providing learning opportunities for employees to develop leadership skills. They also often provide orientations, internships, apprenticeships and residencies because they know leadership isn’t a quality that comes naturally.
We’ve all known good managers and admired their traits and qualities. They are critical thinkers with can-do attitudes who want to make things better for those they manage. They don’t just listen; they truly hear what staff members say. They think clearly and act decisively. They understand that leading often begins by following, and they try to walk in the shoes of those they lead.
Leaders don’t have to be managers; leaders can emerge at all levels and in many different ways. We lead when we help others be the best they can be. I believe we all can be leaders. We all have leadership abilities; we just need to figure out how to tap into them.
Follow your heart as you work to move your career forward. I know you will find the leader within.
For the April 2016 Nurse.com Special Edition, readers in various leadership roles participated in a study. You can see some results in this issue: “Leadership Nursing Profile. Are you ready to lead?”
A few of the other features in this issue: “Taking charge – Nurses share their top leadership principles,” “Tips for nurses leading the move toward population health management” and “What makes a good nurse leader?”