The 3 P’s of “Legacy” Leadership!

How to Succeed as a Nursing Leader Today!

Real Talk for Today’s Nursing Leaders

I have been in nursing for over 35 years with more than 20 years in management. Throughout my career, I have come to know, that everyone in a leadership position doesn't belong there.

There are those who get into leadership positions and find out that it’s not for them and get out. Then there are those who stay but shouldn't. They may stay for the bump in salary or may feel ashamed to leave because others may think that they "couldn't hack it".

Most of us decided to stay in our positions because we know, leadership is more about helping others reach their potential than it is about us. “It’s all about you but it’s not all about you!”

As nurses in leadership positions, we step into the role desiring to make a bigger impact in our organizations and in our spheres of influence. God placed you here to invest your life in others. That’s why nursing is a calling for most of us. When you understand your purpose and how it gives you control over your legacy, you will be effective and enjoy the role you have as a nursing leader.

What is “Legacy” of Leadership?

The essence of legacy is when you believe that your position has a purpose that is bigger than yourself as an individual. It’s a compelling way of living forward — a way of intentionally influencing people to move toward positive outcomes which will extend beyond a generation. It is all about you making a difference!

The essence of leadership is to live our lives in service to each other, unselfishly, for the greater good. It’s about having a passionate desire to positively impact people, who will then impact other people. It’s about nurses who find a way to lead and light the way for others. In that sense, all nurses are leaders in the lives of our patients regardless of job titles.

Some assumptions need to be challenged though. Unselfish doesn’t mean you cannot care about yourself. The greater good of others does not mean that you have no right to benefit from the good that you do. The greater good includes you! Living life in service does not mean that you are a doormat! Leadership doesn’t have to hurt!

Knowing your purpose as a leader helps to focus on why you want to lead. The next step of the process, is understanding that leadership is a privilege. You are in a position of influence! You have the authority and access to influence any situation, however small or large. You have the privilege to interact with the lives of others at a level that most others don’t.

You have power to make other people’s lives difficult or easier, chaotic or peaceful. You make things happen! By bringing all of your resources: vision, fortitude, patience, integrity and compassion to your position within an organization, you will be strengthened, making it easier for you to advocate for yourself and others. The power you have in leadership needs to be tempered with the reminder that it is also a privilege and that you have a purpose for being here.

How do you balance the purpose, privilege and power of leadership? By balancing your mind, body, soul and spirit. When they are in alignment, you will say to yourself "This is why I'm in leadership!”

You have a choice in how you will be remembered. It will be based on the decisions you make today and the motivations you use to make them. Make a difference in your life and career! Use your personal power to ‘Embrace your “Legacy” of Leadership Right Now!’

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If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader. - John Quincy Adams

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