Authentic leaders and authentic leadership is a critical component of our professional practice model that is embodied by nurses, clinicians, inter-professional colleagues and staff in all roles across BWH. Leadership is embedded in the work of every professional and team member, whatever their title. We witness authentic leadership every day from the bedside to the boardroom.
We witness authentic leadership when clinicians and team members bring the best of themselves to the point of care to serve our patients, families and communities.
We witness authentic leadership when a team member has the courage to bring forward an evidence-informed, divergent perspective in a respectful way, with a tone and manner that can truly be heard by others.
We witness authentic leadership when clinicians have the courage to step to their peers’ side, to truly listen to a divergent perspective with the humility and openness to having their own perspective changed.
We witness authentic leadership when we engage in truly collaborative decision making. Collaboration moves us beyond compromise, which yields a short term solution, to a willingness to merge insights from divergent perspectives in order to find an integrative solution that moves a group from compliance to commitment.
Otto Sharmer, founder of the Presencing Institute at MIT, states: “Successful leadership depends on the quality of attention and intention that the leader brings to any situation.” The name Presencing comes from his consciously combining the words presence and sensing, two skills he learned that successful leaders practice every day.
As authentic leaders, let us commit to be present to all who cross our paths and to the belief that if we truly listen to our peers, we will be able to hold space for and discover novel solutions that will emerge from the innate capacity of each other.
As leaders, let us also remember our colleagues in Paris who are suffering and hold their pain in our hearts. May the example of our city’s resilience and strength after the Marathon bombing bring them hope.
Jackie Somerville, PhD, RN, FAAN
Chief Nursing Officer and Senior Vice President of Patient Care Services