Posts Tagged Stephanie Conners

Simplicity in Leadership by Stephanie D. Conners, MBA, RN, BSN

 Leadership – a key attribute of everyone’s personality to a lesser or greater degree – is most often a learned behavior. Over the course of your life, you are faced with many options on whom to follow, and whom to lead. Starting from a very young age, your experiences begin to build upon the foundation of who you will become as an adult – one block at a time. Your personality is innately shaped, and the result determines what side of the leadership fence you are on. As a professional, you practice that same behavior and the subsequent impact to an organization is critical.

There are three sides to a fence – right, middle and left:

The right side is comprised of individuals who are considered high performers or “STARS”, most often our positive formal or informal leaders. They excel often (in all they do) through actions and results. High performers exist at every level of the organization and in every discipline. Just because an individual may have a management title does not make them a successful leader. Actions, results, accountability, compassion, humility, integrity, vision and candor, just to name a few, are all key attributes to being a right fence sitter.
The middle side is comprised of those who watch, assess and are unsure how to act on an issue – we call them our followers.

The left side includes those who are loud and unhappy. This unhappiness pervades both their personal and professional lives. Their loud collective voices have a profound impact and can influence – they are the “negative informal leaders” within the organization. They are the same people who come to Thanksgiving and tell you that your food is too hot and too cold, or they just do not like the choices. Consider the impact when you realize that the loud and unhappy people are working your schedule, and you say to yourself, “this is going to be a rough day”. And finally, those who state a problem without a solution simply add to the problem. Do you know anyone with these traits? Unfortunately, if tolerated, those who sit in the middle sometimes only hear the left side. Needless to say, this middle of the road stance damages even the strongest organization.

So again, what side of the fence do you want to be on, and how do you lead others away from the middle to the right side? We need to drive our teams to lead at every level of our organization. Those in the middle will most likely choose a side of the fence. Both formal and informal positive leaders need to have a louder voice, intolerant of mediocrity, and be willing to step up and address an issue with candor!

The drivers of successful organizations are the people who lead, and the people need to own the business, as well as, their individual behaviors.

Stephanie D. Conners, MBA, RN, BSN
Senior Vice President/Chief Nursing Officer
Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital