Sometimes, even as confident or sure as you can be in your vision and goals, you can have moments of doubt, which lead you to question: am I making an impact? am I doing enough? are my efforts truly encouraging others to reach their highest potential? And just when that doubt tries to push you to quit, you're humbly reminded that, if you're pursuing what you're passionate about, regardless of what others think or say, you will and always are influencing others to do the same. That is exactly what I experienced just a few days ago, when I received a completely unexpected, timely, and much appreciated message from a nursing colleague who I hadn't spoken to for years:
"Hi Antonette! Congratulations on your book! I just read your profile summary and wanted to say how amazed/impressed I am with your vision! That is such important work, and it's not easy. I'm just getting through my first year as a CNS and one thing that has struck me is how much good nursing leadership matters. I could do all the quality improvement/process change work in the world but it won't matter unless there are courageous, confident nurses to carry it out! I actually ended up changing my focus to leadership development, as all roads lead back it. Once we've convinced nurses of their inherent and important leadership roles, THEN I can start focusing on SSI reduction, CAUTI reduction, CLABSI reduction, etc. Anyways, just wanted to reach out and say Great Work!"
Not only did it remind me that there are others out there with a visionary desire to make change, but also, my unique passions are ultimatley influencing the unique passions of others. That, in its most humble of terms, is all you can hope and ask for. But what is most important here is that my colleague took the time to time to share how I had inspired her, and ultimately ended up inspiring me to keep moving forward as well.
These interactions, not comparison or competition, truly are the mark of a visionary leadership. And at the end of the day, what you do to uplift another, regardless of where they appear to be headed, or what has been perceive to be accomplished, creates a culture of support that influentially spans titles and positions. So, thank you (you know who you are!), for being a true leader through your encouragement to me.
May we all use this as a lesson to pause from our striving, and use our own visionary influence to uplift and motivate someone else. Be inspired! Be visionary!