Cracking the Leadership Enigma

In conversation with an Executive Director of Nursing recently I had commented on a trip to one of the health libraries. I was researching contemporary healthcare leaders. Unfortunately on this occasion the assistant couldn’t point me to the section on contemporary leaders. This rather peaked my curiosity. The really obvious ones were there, but they weren’t actually alive.

I started to ask colleagues of mine who they though the current leaders in healthcare were, the living ones. A few names came up, but not many. This started to really peak my interest. I followed this up whilst continuing my research into leadership.   After all, there are a plethora of books written on the subject, you can even have a master’s degree in leadership.

Whilst pondering this, something new occurred to me. Did people need to know who you were in order for you to be a leader?   Then I began to notice around me, everyday leaders. Their acts were in some cases small and others somewhat warrior like. I wondered if, in a world that is slightly celebrity obsessed we somehow expect the leaders to be high profile and if they weren’t splashed across the media they didn’t exist. That celebrity and riches was the societal reward for achievement. The irony, a truth that revealed a paradox.

Therefore, if you want to find a healthcare leader, you don’t need to go to the library, switch on the TV or Radio. You won’t necessarily find them studying an MSc in Leadership Studies. They work at all levels of the organisation and most work without the need for recognition.

Now that we know that leadership isn’t some enigmatic, charismatic, phenomenon there really is no reason not to begin. We get to make a choice are we a leader or are we a follower? Start today, nobody needs to know…show up when you’re ready.


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