What are the Characteristics of a Good Leader? RNFM Radio EPS 231


Episode 231 of RNFM Radio is all about leadership. You know, you don’t need an official title to be a leader. How do you lead in your life and career?


Some people naturally position themselves as leaders; it’s not about the title, it’s about mindset. Leaders develop those around them through inspiration, encouragement, motivation, and just being who they are. You can be a cheerleader for others at any moment!

Elizabeth has played and coached on many sports teams, so she has direct experience in assuming leadership in non-clinical environments. Meanwhile, Kevin has owned many businesses and leads in his own idiosyncratic way, and Keith most recently served as a Chief Nursing Officer and Director of Nursing of a home health agency. But again, a title isn’t what’s important—it’s you!

A truly effective leader chooses to lead from behind and allow the flock to find its way with his or her support. At the same time, a powerful leader knows when to lean in and make things happen, especially in times of crisis when leading from the front is paramount. Nelson Mandela relates leadership to being a shepherd, and this Harvard Business Review article illustrates the concept well. Mandela was quoted as saying:

“[A great leader] stays behind the flock, letting the most nimble go out ahead, whereupon the others follow, not realizing that all along they are being directed from behind.”

Some characteristics of great leaders that we identified are:

  • Listen more than talk  (We one have mouth and two ears for a reason!)
  • Situational awareness
  • Sense of humor
  • Emotional intelligence and sensitivity
  • Approachable
  • Solution-oriented
  • Enthusiasm
  • Being optimistic (a glass-half-full person)
  • Presence
  • Commitment
  • Team orientation
  • Creativity, being open to change
  • Flexibility, readiness to pivot

RNFM Radio sponsored by American Sentinel UniversityThis episode of RNFM Radio is sponsored by the good folks at American Sentinel University. As a fully accredited online university, American Sentinel offers a variety of courses related to healthcare and nursing, including RN to BSN, and five MSN programs: Informatics, Case Management, Nursing Education, Nursing Management, and Infection Prevention and Control. They offer an RN to BSN/MSN, a program, as well as two tracks for those wishing to pursue a Doctorate of Nursing Practice. American Sentinel also offers a certificate in Prevention and Control that assists clinicians in acquiring the knowledge they need to develop best practices for infection prevention and control. Please visit RNFMEducation.com for more information.

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