I believe in servant leadership, which is not only knowing and going the way but humbly showing the way. The Visiting Nurse Association of Greater St. Louis (VNA) has provided healthcare services in the St. Louis region for over 110 years. In a highly competitive environment, let me briefly spell out the top five ingredients that I have come to believe in regarding the role of a servant leader.
First, a strong belief in the mission and vision of the organization is essential. It is key to moving the organization strategically to continuously be relevant and helps keep a check on past, present and future activities.
Second, early in my career, I learned from my mentors that integrity in leadership is fundamental in thoughts, words, and deeds. It establishes trust at all levels.
Third, thinking through and planning before acting is important when confronted with issues, challenges and problems. This has the effect of being thoughtful and efficient.
Fourth, as a leader, it is important to accept failure as a step towards success. If failure is used efficiently, it becomes the steps of the ladder towards reaching and achieving goals.
Fifth and finally, it is very important to acknowledge and give credit to employees and colleagues for all the successes and achievements using the “we” word rather than the “I” word.
The above servant leadership qualities are always a work and effort in progress, and I continue to keep myself rooted and aware of how they are woven together.
In closing, thank you to the community for your support and belief in the services that VNA provides to those most vulnerable. We are honored to be chosen and will do our best to continue to be servant leaders.