The Women’s Health Leadership TRUST’s mission is to support women leaders in health care, and we continually aim to support our members grow as the most transformative leaders they can be. Recently, we’ve heard members tell us they want the TRUST to support them to not only become leaders, but BOLD leaders. We’ve listened and are taking action by adding related topics to our strong programming line-up and honoring courageous women in health care at the 2018 Forum.
What does it mean to be a bold leader? A bold person is defined as taking risks; being brave, confident and courageous. A leader who is bold, confident and courageous chooses to act in a situation that involves risk or fear, and yes, vulnerability. She follows the integrated heart and mind to lift up health, and radiates fortitude as well as vulnerability to persevere in the face of challenges even when she can’t control the outcome. A bold leader thinks bravely and acts confidently to expand horizons, move beyond the familiar, and envision a future of health and well-being.
Sometimes boldness and confidence come naturally, other times it is a skill to be enhanced through increased mindfulness, intentionality and action. So, how can women move forward as bold leaders, even if it doesn’t come naturally? Here are a few suggestions no matter where you are on your journey.
- Lead Authentically from Your True North. Determine who you are based on your values and sources of insight and satisfaction in your life. Your leadership will be authentic and confident when you’re true to your True North.
- Take Confident Action. Share your insights even if they differ from the views of others. Get involved with projects outside of your comfort zone. Talk/listen to a stranger at a networking event. Practice creates more confidence, so aim to take one confident action a week.
- Talk with Bold Leaders. Bold leaders are seldom shy about sharing their experiences with others. Talk to women you view as courageous and confident, and ask them to share their insights for growing as a bold leader.
- Share Information. The most confident leaders share information and wisdom with others rather than amass it and use it in a short-sighted attempt for power.
- Tell Stories. Confident leaders tell stories with impact and they weave these into their meetings, presentations and day-to-day conversations. Sharing and listening to stories are a bold way to engage with your audiences and help drive home messages.
- Be Present; Demonstrate Confident Body Language. Body language can instantly demonstrate confidence, or a lack thereof. Engage through authentic eye contact and expressions with others.
- Use Your Voice. Be mindful of the way you communicate verbally. Allow your energy to flow.
- Prepare Comments. There is almost always an opportunity to prepare comments even in situations that may seem spontaneous. Think about what you want to say, then say it and stop. Allow silence to speak.
We all have something to share and to learn about being transformative leaders. Live your boldness daily. The Women’s Health Leadership TRUST is here to support you on your bold journey!
Connie currently serves as TRUST President, and Professor and Dean at the School of Nursing at the University of Minnesota. Delaney holds degrees in nursing and mathematics, adult health nursing, educational administration, and informatics. Delaney’s work is expanding connections, collaborations, integrative informatics, and social structures which advance co-discovery of solutions that transform health and education systems.
Forbes, “How to Communicate Like a Confident Leader,” 5/10/17, http://bit.ly/2xbevq7
Inc., “7 Things Really Bold People Do,” 4/4/14,