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A new leader's “trust barometer”

Cohen, Shelley MSN, RN, CEN

Nursing Management (Springhouse): September 2014 - Volume 45 - Issue 9 - p 17–19
doi: 10.1097/01.NUMA.0000453279.26500.82
Department: Manager matters
Free

Shelley Cohen is the founder and educator for Health Resources Unlimited, LLC, in Hohenwald, Tenn.

The author has disclosed that she has no financial relationships related to this article.

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In April of 2014, Fortune magazine identified the world's 50 greatest leaders. The author called attention to our yearning for the attributes of an ethical and moral decision maker in our leaders, which is necessary on what's described as a “trust barometer.” Starting out as a new manager provides you an opportunity to set your own trust barometer by clarifying your expectations of staff members. This trusting relationship develops over time and grows as you acquire more experience and skill in your new role.

The Fortune article concludes with thoughts from General George W. Casey Jr., U.S. Army (Retired). With leadership experiences in Bosnia, Kosovo, and Iraq, he expresses the challenges of leadership in environments in a “VUCA world.” Originated by the U.S. Army, the acronym stands for: volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity. Can you think of an acronym that better defines the current challenges of nurse managers?

Your ability to direct staff members and processes toward the future of healthcare delivery in a VUCA world will define your effectiveness as a leader. You must be able to clearly define what needs to be accomplished in these types of work environments, which means that clarity and your ability to articulate goals are essential.

Review the following sample categories related to leadership and identify your top two goals for each. Then, determine if these goals clearly communicate your message to staff. One way you can assess this is to share one or two of these with a staff member or a peer for their feedback. Make adjustments as needed and then share with your manager to ensure alignment with organizational focus.

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The Fortune article on VUCA clearly demonstrates the value of expanding your networking and resource base. This will not only elevate your confidence as a leader, but also position you as a leader who instills trust. Be prepared for the ongoing volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity of healthcare delivery—it's a VUCA world out there!

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RESOURCES

Colvin G. The world's 50 greatest leaders. Fortune. 2014;169(5):63–67.
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