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My personal transformation year

Many of us reflect on the past as we prepare for the year ahead. I’ve always found New Year both exciting and yet melancholic in equal proportions.  2015 has been a year I will remember for lots of reasons, but most of all it has been about the personal transformation, both personally and as a nurse leader. By being on the Florence Nightingale Foundation Leaders Scholarship, has allowed me to self explore the sort of person I am, and importantly, how that influences me as a leader.

For those who are not familiar with the Scholarship, and I wasn’t until I commenced it; it is for leaders in healthcare. I was fortunate to share the scholarship with very recognised leaders in nursing as well as those in pharmacy, therapy and academic leaders. We came together at the beginning of the Scholarship having done a series of assessments. From this we then set out off on a personal programme based on our learning and personal outcomes. The richness of this experience will stay with me forever as I have forged both great friends and a wealth of knowledge second to none. I can highly endorse this Scholarship, and want to thank the Foundation for the opportunity it has given me.

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Picture courtesy of www.picabay.com

Two things happened to me last year. Firstly, I reconnected with my ‘family’ in a way I had not expected. The background to this was briefly; I was fostered as a child from birth, and have tried to connect with my original ‘blood’ family for a log time. This happened this year and I’ve met two of my siblings. Despite being separated for a long time it was really interesting understand their lives and what we have in common. You may ask, what has this got to do with being a leader? Well, it had lots to do with this because you have to be comfortable in your own skin to be a truly effective leader.

The second thing that happened was what the Scholarship enabled, and because it is a personal programme, it allows you to take the path you want to take, with guidance of course. For me, I took the Cranfield Personal Transformation for Leaders Programme. It was one of the most unusual and personally transforming courses because I got to understand who I am and why I am the way I am, but also how you can make those adjustments to make you a better person, father, family member as well as a leader. While I won’t go into the programme in detail, I have already blogged on aspects of it and how you make an impression and seeing yourself as others see you.

So what has it done for me, it’s made me be less critical of how I see myself. I have been my own worst critic. This stems from my personal background, and now having all the pieces I now can see what I have to do as an even stronger, strategic leader. I also accept the personal mantra that I and my colleagues felt was right for me:

I accept the loving man I am

How am I taking this further in 2016?

Firstly, I am ‘removing myself out of the room’ more; I have potentially allowed myself to become indispensable and because of this, I have been overwhelmed with the level of detail that others can deal with but come to me when there is a problem, seek advice or resolve issues.

I intend to drive the agenda for nursing more and how we can use technology to be a safe and successful enabler, and to do that I need to take my colleagues on a journey, some of which may be both interesting, but also challenging because the digital agenda is making information more transparent and with that is the discovery of practice and aspects that people didn’t know about. Information is a tool that we choose how to use, both for transformation change and better patient safer care.

For my family, I have made a commitment to spend improved quality time with them. For the first time in years, I have planned my annual leave for the year and already know when I will be away. Having ‘family goal time’ set right through means I will make sure I have something planned at home,  but also make sure I have ‘R&R’ built in. I’m discovering yoga as a way of both creating equilibrium within. It is both energetic and creates a connection to my core.

So reflecting on 2015, If one doesn’t look after one’s self, then how can we be in a role to look after and lead others?

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