Compassionate living Healthcare experiences

Leadership thoughts

This post has been inspired by my completion of the second week in my new role as Head of Nursing for Specialist Medicine and Support Services and finding myself in a reflective mood. 

I have decided to share a few thoughts on leadership as I reflect on my journey to this point in my personal and professional life story. 

Having a tendency towards introspection, I have been reminding myself of the  experiences that have brought me here. I am mindful not to over analyse after being advised of the pitfalls of over-reflection a few years ago because it can lead to feelings of inadequacy or becoming overly self-conscious. So getting the balance right is very important. 

During my first two weeks, I have enjoyed  meeting staff, learning about policies and systems while quietly attending a range of meetings. During these meetings, I find myself being less talkative than usual and spending my time listening to the discussions, observing behaviours, body language, the tone of the discussions and the agreed actions. 

While observing, I have been thinking to myself, “so, this is what I’ll be expected to know and be prepared to be challenged on in the not too distant future.” I’m rapidly learning about the culture of the organisation by immersing myself in activities while engaging in what could be described as a participant observation exercise. I find it quite reassuring that after week 2, I’m already feeling increasingly confident that I’ll fit in and be an asset to the organisation. 

My feelings of increasing confidence in the organisation, could be due to me being older, wiser and having a range of previous experiences to draw on. I know that I’ve earned my place at the table.

It really does fill you with confiedence when you have a solid foundation to build upon. For me, there’s great value in being patient, disciplined and dedicated while   building a career over a period of time, rather than rising too quickly and feeling ill-equipped to mange at that level 

That’s the mark of a mature leader. A great leader does not want to be the centre of attention. Instead, a great leader creates more leaders. That’s one of my goals – to support and develop many more future leaders. Talent management and succession planning is vital. 

As the quote above states: “Leadership is about making others better as a result of your presence and making sure that impact lasts in your absence.” I’ve started working on the former in the firm belief that the latter will be achieved too. 

I think it is safe to say that the real test of my leadership will be when standards of care are maintained in my teams regardless of where I am. To this end,  I will continue to lead by example and ensure I am a positive role model. Over time, with consistency and clear articulation of expectations, this inspirational leadership style will transform the attiudes, behaviours and ultimately the culture of the teams. 

This will result in an improved and more positive staff experience. It has been proven that happy staff make happy patients and that’s our ultimate goal. 

Onwards and upwards, I say!

Join me and follow my blog as I’ll share more of my journey to inspire others and as a reminder that we are all learning each day. Lifelong learning is key to leadership for me.

Photo credit:


By Nichole McIntosh FRSA

I am a Jamaican-born British nurse, poet, blogger:, vlogger, podcaster, motivational speaker, Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and Editorial Advisor of the Royal College of Nursing Institute’s Nursing Management Journal.

I am also the Founder and Director of Maroon Mindset Unlimited Ltd, a consultancy company that works with the NHS and other systems to learn, think and behave differently.

Follow me on Twitter: @McIntoshNichole
Instagram: @tyrese876 or @maroon.mindset
Facebook Page: @NicholeMcIntoshFRSA
LinkedIn: Maroon Mindset

4 replies on “Leadership thoughts”

Congrats on your new role. Reading about your journey is really refreshing and encouranging.

As operational manager I have faced discrimination on so many levels and still faced them now in my new role. Why is it so difficult for BME to reach the white peak of senior management. Why are there so few
BME on boards or general management but you see so many talented BME in the NHS, your right about building your career rather than rising to quickly and being less equip. Seeing so many graduate scheme manager reaching senior position quicker than Lewis Hamilton is really sad to see,

I will continue my journey to reach the peaks and encourage my children to have confidence and the words ‘you can’t’ is ignored.

Liked by 1 person

Thank you Shannon,
It is so good to read your comment. I agree that it is a difficult but not impossible task to get ahead. It will only improve if there is a will to change and be more inclusive. I’m not sure if there is enough will at present. There are too many people who have similar experiences of discrimination.
It is sad that in 2016, we still experience such discrimination. We must stick together because we are ‘stronger together’. Networking and peer support is vital.
I agree that we must instil in our children the confidence and self-belief to aspire to greatness through dedication and education. There are no limits to what we can achieve if we are given opportunities.
Keep in touch.


Whew very very inspiring.
And congratulations on your new leadership season. I pray it is a blessing for you and those you are building up toward greatness. This post reflects your wisdom, insight, observation, passion, and calmness. It’s a cool inhale and powerful motivation. Keep us posted on your success. Salute

Liked by 1 person

Thank you very much. I’m honoured that you took the time to comment. It means a lot. I’ll stay focused and humble as I journey on and leading others.
I’ll keep you posted. Salute to you too 👍


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