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Bold Leadership: Thinking Bravely, Leading Confidently

Posted By Connie Delaney, U of M School of Nursing, Friday, November 3, 2017
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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,
Inc., “7 Things Really Bold People Do,” 4/4/14,

Tags:  bold leaders  courageous leadership  women leaders 

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Reflections and Focus for a New TRUST Year

Posted By Connie Delaney, U of M School of Nursing, Thursday, October 19, 2017
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I am honored to serve as the Women’s Health Leadership TRUST President and join the Board of numerous strong, stellar women leaders in the health care industry: Monica Engel, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota; Theresa Pesch, Children’s Health Care Foundation/Children’s Minnesota; Chris Bent, Allina Health Group; Amy Ronneberg, National Marrow Donor Program/Be the Match; Leslie Bodell, Optum; Julie Dekker, Fulcrum Health; Amy Dewane, HealthPartners; Sharon Gabrielson, Mayo Clinic; Sheri Henck, Medtronic; Beth Honkomp, CentraCare Health System; Ellyn Hosch, Prime Therapeutics; Jana Johnson, formerly of Medica; Stefanie Lenway, Opus College of Business at the University of St. Thomas; Leslie McDonnell, 3M’s Critical & Chronic Care Solutions Division; Nancy McMorran, DeCare Dental; Allison O’Connor, Fathom Consulting; Dee Thibodeau, Charter Solutions; and Mary Welsh, UnitedHealth Group.

Join me in expressing our gratitude to Theresa Pesch, Immediate Past President of the TRUST. The TRUST was fortunate to have Theresa’s influence and strong leadership on the TRUST Board and organization. It has been a pleasure to work closely with her over the last year.

The Board of Directors met recently to define and refine our priorities for 2018 and reaffirm the TRUST’s mission “to support women leaders in health care” and vision “to be a collaborative force of dynamic women in health care, aligned to share insights, expertise and trusted knowledge to lead within the industry.”

Our full plan for the year is very detailed with priorities to empower the membership through support from each of our committees. Here are some highlights that the Board, in partnership with all members, believes will have a transformative impact and lift up the collaborative force of dynamic women in health care in the year ahead.

  • Take TRUST Programs to a higher level. We plan to expand new, edgy content, responding to member feedback valuing thought leader and other strong programming focused on our turbulent health care market environment and opportunities to foster transformation.
  • Strengthen our value proposition. We are committed to advancement of women in health care and welcome thoughts and insights to enhance our value proposition for both current and prospective members.
  • Continue to grow and retain membership. We celebrate our recent milestone of reaching 500 members! And, we welcome creative engagement of both new and veteran members to advance our mission.
  • Continue to define our core competencies. What does the TRUST do best, and how can we improve?
  • Create enduring relationships between the TRUST and our sponsors. Strong support of sponsors is a hallmark of our Forum and other events. We will continue to expand visibility of our sponsors and partners throughout the year.

I welcome engaging with current and prospective members, sponsors, and partners via the TRUST’s communication channels. Please visit our website as well as our LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter channels for more information about our inspiring and thought-provoking programs throughout the year.

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.

Tags:  future of health care  women leaders  Women's Health Leadership TRUST 

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Spring Brings Renewed Optimism and Bold Events

Posted By Theresa Pesch, RN, Hennepin Healthcare Foundation, Monday, March 6, 2017
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There’s a saying that “no matter how long the winter, spring is sure to follow.” The start of the year can be a bit chaotic; however, springtime brings a new optimism. There’s excitement in the air and people are ready to appear from their winter hiding places. Don’t believe me? In March the TRUST is hosting seven different events, including three free pop-up discussions on collaboration topics.  I think our Programming Committee knows people are ready to ramp up their professional development and networking!

March is also Women’s History Month and March 8 is International Women’s Day. This year’s Women’s Day theme is Be Bold for Change. Three of their five recommended bold actions for women include forging women’s advancement, celebrating women’s achievements and championing women’s education. Sound familiar? The TRUST is deeply rooted in those principles with our four pillars — leadership development, career advancement, education and networking — to help support the careers of women leaders in health care.

Spring also brings our signature education and networking Forum event on April 20. More than 400 women are already registered for the event and we’re anticipating more than 900 for the evening with keynote Susan Salka, CEO and President of AMN Healthcare. The Forum just gets bigger and better each year, and I hope you’ll join us. You can register as an individual or as a table of 10 — either way you’re ensured ample opportunities to connect with women leaders in health care. Remember, Forum registration rates increase after March 20 so don’t delay. Sponsorship opportunities are another great way to influence hundreds of Forum attendees and maximize your exposure in a fun atmosphere.

All TRUST spring events are ripe for networking, so make sure to freshen up your networking game. Great networking starts with a goal. Do you want to meet a specific person? Seek a mentor? Get to know casual connections better? Find out information about a particular company? Identify a program collaborator? Let people know what your goal is.

Another helpful networking tip is to connect others. Can you help someone with their networking goals by recommending a new connection? Are you helping colleagues meet new people? The Forum is an event where you may find yourself seated with people you know and some you don’t know. This is a great time to get to know your tablemates better.

I hope to see you at several of our March and April events!

Theresa currently serves as TRUST President, and President, Children’s Minnesota Foundation. Originally trained in nursing, Pesch has 25 years of health care administration experience and is a sought-after presenter for national philanthropy conferences. She was recognized as a Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal Women in Business honoree in 2012.

Tags:  International Women's Day  women leaders  Women's History Month 

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Women's Health Leadership TRUST

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