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In This Issue:
The Thomson Leaders and the Compassionate Care Scholars have a profound impact on the institution. Compassionate Care Scholars are recognized for their compassionate spirit and are given the opportunity to learn more about how they can improve warmth and emotional support at the bedside in their respective areas. The Thomson Leaders are given the opportunity to improve their skills to enhance their ability to further motivate their staff toward BWH’s mission—read on to learn more about the three recipients of the Thomson Leadership Award.
The Thomson Leadership and Compassionate Care Scholarship programs help to celebrate leadership and compassion at BWH and allow us to publicly applaud exceptional individuals.
What characteristics define leadership? The three Thomson Leadership Awardees at BWH—Maria Damiano, Nancy Hickey and Mary Lou Moore—provide their insights into this trait.
Commitment to Leadership:These three individuals have a clear sense of what needs to be done to meet the hospital’s mission and are quite effective in inspiring their teams to get it done. Why are these three BWHers so driven to lead others?DAMIANO: A sense of stewardship. All my life, I have felt the need to take care of people and have often been thrown into situations which mandated leadership qualities. As a leader, I see myself as one who maximizes the capabilities of others. It never occurred to me not to lead.MOORE: From as early as I can remember, I wanted to make things better by improving a given situation. I knew I couldn’t always do it single-handedly, but I was always inspired to take an analytic look at the support system and processes affecting the situation. The bottom line is that I am a proactive person.
The Essence of Coaching and Mentorship:Along their personal and professional journeys, other colleagues and acquaintances have impacted the careers of Damiano, Hickey and Moore. How important were those individuals who helped them get to where they are today?HICKEY: Throughout my entire life, I am lucky to have been surrounded by people who have invested in my future and provided support. My parents, for one, were exceptionally supportive and worked extremely hard to send me to college. I’ve also been fortunate to maintain close reciprocal relationships with my professional mentors and often still ask their advice today.
Finding Inspiration Through the Character of Others:Leaders need inspiration and Bulletin was curious to find out what are the best attributes of mentors—qualities that our leaders strive to emulate. MOORE: Effective leaders need to be good listeners. To start a meeting or conversation without preconceived notions and to treat me with the same respect I give them, is admirable. I thrive on the knowledge of others, and my leaders are often better able to determine a root cause of a problem I am struggling with. The highest level of leadership in an organization sets the tone for the entire institution. Just as I try to instill autonomy in my staff, I love working autonomously on projects that I feel impact my team’s area.
HICKEY: Fortunately, many of my colleagues have the ability to engage all levels of staff. It is a valuable skill to be able to relate to senior management as well as front-line staff. To be able to feel comfortable having a hallway conversation with all levels of staff makes you more credible as a leader.
Caring for People: The actions of Damiano, Hickey and Moore set the tone of respect for the people who work for and with them. They make it a point to connect with all members of their team and work to help them become better professionals. DAMIANO: I hope my team sees me striving to draw upon all their strengths to build a cohesive team. I appreciate their accomplishments and care about their job satisfaction. I hope they see me as adding a little fun along the way to reaching our lofty goals. When given the responsibility of leading a new department, effective leadership was critical to start off on the right foot.
MOORE: I think staff see me as one who treats them with respect. I believe relationships are characterized by mutuality. As I continue in my current position, my title does not change, but my job does on a daily basis as my team of nurses, PCAs and unit coordinators continually evolves.
Creating Opportunity Through Demonstrated Competence:As a national leader, BWH is constantly working toward multi-disciplinary improvement. According to Damiano, Hickey and Moore, BWH allows for a wealth of opportunity in innovation, discovery and entrepreneurial spirit.DAMIANO: We are doing amazing things that have never been done before. I love that members of my team are considered "experts" nationwide. I hope they feel a sense of accomplishment and amazement of what they make happen in medicine,
as I do. Although we sometimes take it for granted, we are extremely fortunate to be part
of an organization that fosters risk-taking and innovation. Being a leader in such a dynamic environment is highly rewarding. HICKEY:: Creativity and diversity is encouraged at BWH. I feel that is communicated from the hospital’s top leadership and I make it point to pass that on to my teamMOORE: It is my responsibility as a nurse manager to both advocate for and practice with an entrepreneurial spirit. I’ve met my counterparts across the country, and my discussions with them reiterate how fortunate my staff and I are to have the autonomy to initiate new programs and procedures that are going to make an improvement in our area.