Week 6 Thoughts

This week kept me very busy!  Learning about ethical responsibilities is always very interesting.  I honestly had not been very aware of ethics committees previously and feel that they are a great resource in cases where staff and patients or family members disagree about care.  The movie we watched tugged at my heartstrings as I can relate with the parents in wanting to do everything possible to save a child.  I have witnessed family members going against patient wishes in the past and can appreciate their need to feel like everything possible has been done for the patient and their extreme hesistance to let go.  It is important in these cases to take the issues to an ethics committee for a perspective that is not influenced by emotion.  There area also times when the views of staff are not in the best interest of the patient and this should be pointed out.

Our team all agreed that the patient on dialysis who was in a vegetative state should no longer receive the treatment despite family wanting the treatment to continue.  From my perspective it was the most humane decision to make for the patient.  I also agreed with the assessments of my team members of the cases that they reviewed. 

The interview I had with Steven Lake about performance appraisals was very interesting to me.  Not being a teacher I have never been involved in the style of evaluation that he uses but I thought it was a very fair system where teachers are aware of the initiatives they need to be working on and are given frequent feedback to help them achieve these prior to annual or semi-annual evaluations.


Nursing Leadership

Performance Appraisal Interview

For my performance appraisal interview I talked with Steven Lake who is the principal at Harrison Elementary School in Green River, Wyoming.

 Steven follows an evaluation tool that was developed by his school district and approved by the state.  The tool is different for teaching staff and support staff but both formats are state-approved.  The process begins with a pre-observation interview in which teachers are informed of the criteria by which they will be evaluated which is based on the current goals and initiatives being worked on in their school.  Steven asks the teachers to provide one week of lessons plans at this interview so he can review them. Steven then spends time observing the teacher in the classroom setting.  The final step is the post-observation interview.  During this Steven offers positive feedback as well as suggestions for improving performance.  The teacher also gives feedback on his leadership which he appreciates so that he can improve as well.  The post-performance interview typically lasts 30 minutes.  This process is happens twice yearly for non-tenured staff and yearly for tenured staff.

Peer evaluation is done by utilizing “power walks” where teachers are assigned to observe another classroom once per semester.  This is a tool in which teachers can offer positive feedback and suggestions to each other as well as learn from other styles of teaching.

There is not a system in place where Steven can offer bonuses or other financial incentives to staff members who are performing well.  He does make sure that public praise is given, however, in staff meetings

Steven said that it is difficult to fire teachers when they are not performing well because of factors such as tenure and teachers’ unions.  If he finds that a staff member is not performing up to standards he keeps in mind that he needs to have a good working relationship with that person and tries to help coach them to improve their performance.  If the person continues to have sub-par performance he implements a plan of assistance in which the staff member has goals and a timeline to achieve them.  This process usually takes about two years to complete.  At the end of that time if the standards have not been met he will work with the district to have the person dismissed from employment.




Nursing Leadership

Week 5 Thoughts

This week was full of team activities and I really enjoyed them.  I was surprised to see how similarly we felt about all of the questions asked.  We unanimously chose Christ as who we felt was the greatest leader of all times, making a consensus very simple.  Also, we all felt that the single mother who worked her scheduled shifts but did not pick up extra should be dealt with easily due to her circumstances.  My team was extremely compassionate with her.  I did feel that she should be expected to pick up a minimal amount of extra shifts if extra shifts are mandatory on the unit but the rest of the team just felt that she should be off the hook and I admire them for that.

It was good to think about how employees should be evaluated.  I feel that some managers evaluate very subjectively though they often don’t work directly with those they are evaluating.  Some subjectivity has to be used in evaluations but I think that a more fair way to do this is to use things that can be measured more concretely such as goals and continuing education and extra shifts worked.  Several peer evaluations are also helpful.  I am interested to see how the person I interview about evaluations this coming week feels about this process.

Nursing Leadership

Week 4 thoughts

This unit on team building was really fun and welcomed!  I enjoyed learning new things about my team and appreciated their willingness to lead as well as to compromise.  They are an easy group to work with and their views gave me new things to think about. I have learned over time that I am better when I don’t always think that I am right and that I don’t need to feel threatened by other points of view.  The positivity of my team members helped me to be more positive this week!

At work the past two days I have had teamwork on my mind.  I have a great group at work as well but I made a more concerted effort to let others share ideas with me.  I also tried to take initiative where I needed to to help the clinic run more smoothly.

I really enjoyed the hiring interview this week.  The HR rep that I talked to gave me so many things to think about and I kept thinking that everyone should talk to someone like him before applying for jobs.  I found that it is really important to make yourself stand out beginning with a great resume and then by presenting yourself well during interviews.  While you need to answer questions fully, it is also important not to talk yourself up too much.  All interesting things to consider.

Nursing Leadership

Hiring Interview

I talked to Marcus Anjewierden who is the HR representative for the Church Auditing Department of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

Marcus said that he his preferred time frame from posting a job opening to the time when a candidate is offered a position is 2-3 months but that this time frame varies on the amount of interest that a job posting generates.  He said that he currently has listings that seem to be perpetually open.  The corporation has its own internal talent recruiters that try to find that people with the right qualifications and reach out to them to generate interest in employment.  75% of applicants have been reached out to on LinkedIn by recruiters.  The other 25% are obtained through internet postings.  They post job opportunities on BYU websites as well as other universities.

The first thing that will disqualify an applicant is a resume with grammatical errors or one that is sloppy.  Marcus said that most resumes look similar so if he sees one that is really well done and stands out he will take more of an interest in looking at it.  If he is interested in an applicant’s resume the applicant will then have a video interview.  Lack of personality, arrogance an trying to negotiate salary at that point will push an applicant out of the running.

When considering applicants, the Marcus looks for those with between 3-5 years of accounting experience, preferable with a Big Four firm, though they do consider some applicants from regional firms.  They typically screen out applicants with more than 5-6 years of experience.  Applicants have to have certain certifications, CPA among them, to be considered.

Marcus likes to have a large field of interviewees.  Recently he chose 50 candidates from those who had submitted resumes to have a video interview.  The field was then narrowed to 12-15 who had on-site interviews and then hired 6 employees from that field.

There are 8 directors under a managing director in Church Auditing.  Marcus is one of these directors.  Candidates are interviewed by all the these people.  Each director gives input and then Marcus and the managing director are responsible for making the final decision of which candidate(s) are hired.

During the interview the candidates are assessed for how well they would fit the culture of the department, whether or not they have a personality that can adapt well, if they think well on their feet and if they have good experience.  Those who seem uptight, talk excessively, answer questions with only one word or have a history of changing jobs frequently will not be considered for employment.

Once finalists are chosen references are checked and background checks done.

When a decision has been made as to a candidate to be hired, the grading scale of the corporation is looked at.  All candidates are asked in the video interview what their minimum salary requirement is.  Marcus works with Human Resources and does an internal equity comparison, or compares experience and qualifications of other employees, and they put together the best possible offer for the applicant.

Marcus has had the difficult burden of having a friend apply for a position and not obtain an offer.  It was grueling for him to have to call and inform the friend that he would not be hired.

Nursing Leadership

Week 3 Thoughts

Learning about hiring from a management perspective was really fun this week.  I recently went through the hiring process as I took a new job about six months ago.  I liked thinking about the process from a different angle.

Behavior-based interview questions really do give the information a manager needs to gauge how a certain candidate will fit into their unit.  I was asked questions about how I would deal with a difficult provider.  I had several experiences to choose from and was able to demonstrate how I deal with this circumstance.  I can see how a manger would want to see into my thought processes and strategies.

I had never really thought about the importance of not dragging the hiring process on too long.  Valuable candidates could easiliy take different positions if the process is too long.  When I was interviewing, the manger informed me that the process would be longer than usual due to a vacation she already had scheduled.  In the interim, Human Resources communicated with me letting me know that I was still being considered.  I really appreciated the information.

The manager asked two nurses that work in the clinic to participate in my interview.  They asked questions of their choice and also explained what my responsibilities would be and how the clinic runs.  I knew when I was hired that they felt we would work well together and this was reassuring.


Week 2 Thoughts

It was really eye opening this week to read about different types of leadership!  I have had many managers in my career and it was interesting to think back to what types of leadership I felt were effective and made the work environment positive and exciting and which types created an environment where morale was low and employees did not feel valued.  I loved the quote from the lecture by George S. Patton, Jr., stating how important loyalty from the top down is.  I feel that is important in any environment from work to family and so on.  People perform best when they feel cared about.

I don’t think that my feelings on leadership really changed.  I have watched leaders for a long time and feel I have a pretty good idea of what is effective.  I did, however, find that I should reflect more on whether there are leadership skills that I personally should work harder on to be more effective.


DISC test

My results on the DISC test revealed that I fall into the Steady category.  I had my husband double check my answers and he largely agreed with how I scored myself.  I was very surprised to see that I fall in to this category.  I do really try to be kind and I don’t like conflict but I really hate dominant leaders and I am not submissive to them at all.  I really prefer leaders who listen.

From the description it seems that Steady people are behind the scenes types.  I actually think these traits are important in leadership so that people know that you are on their side and are willing to work alongside them but I need to use other skills I have such as independence and determination t


Characteristics of Leaders

1.       Leadership requires personal mastery –” Personal mastery is our ability in any given moment — particularly in moments of stress, conflict or challenge — to show up and respond with our best selves, with our most creative and flexible capacity and strengths.” (Hughes, 2019)

2.       Leadership is about values –”if we’re transparent we know where we’re heading, we reduce stress and have clearly defined goals and values-based rules to work and lead by.” (Sime, 2019)

3.       Leadership is about service-“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”
-John Quincy Adams

4.       Leadership is about people and relationships –”At the end of the day, the effort of a single person (you) doesn’t scale well. To achieve remarkable results, you must rely on those around you. Unfortunately, people don’t work effectively together by default. As a result, a large chunk of your effort as a leader should be spent on relationships in order to achieve the results you’re looking for. “(Greiner, 2015)

5.       Leadership is contextual –”…leaders need to figure out the position that they – and their organizations – are in and decide what’s most important for them to do, given that context.” (Douglas, 2017)

6.       Leadership is about the management of meaning –Nurse leaders see a vision of the future, plan how to accomplish that vision and inspire and motivate those around them to work toward the end goal.

7.       Leadership is about balance- “An effective leader must also be both present as well as future focused. Planning ahead too much would leave day-to-day tasks unattended to or sloppy, and focusing solely on the here and now would leave the team without a direction.” (Janes)

8.       Leadership is about continuous learning and improvement –Nurses demonstrate leaderhsip by participating in continuing education courses and by subscribing to and studying current nursing literature.

9.       Leadership is about effective decision making –Nurse leaders demonstrate good leadership when many opinions and possible circumstances are considered when making decisions.

10.   Leadership is a political process –”As a leader, the political climate of the company depends on how you treat such situations when they arise.” ( Grace Ferguson

11.   Leadership is about modeling – Nurse leaders are most effective when they are willing to do anything that would be asked of the staff, and are willing to help staff where needed.

12.   Leadership is about integrity -‘To give real service you must add something which cannot be bought or measured with money, and that is sincerity and integrity.” – Douglas Adams


Thoughts on “Ender’s Game”

In the movie “Ender’s Game” there are several leaders.  I feel that Colonel Graff, Colonel Anderson, Ender and Bonzo were all leaders.  Colonel Graff was in charge of recruiting and training cadets to fight the enemy, the Formics.  Colonel Anderson was in charge of the emotional well-being of the children that were being trained for war.  Ender was sent to command school after showing much promise of being able to help defeat the enemy and was made a leader over a group of cadets.  Bonzo was another child who was a leader of a group of cadets.

Colonel Graff was an effective leader at times.  He was given an assignment to find a cadet who could win the war against the Formics.  He took his assignment very seriously and did what was necessary to accomplish the end goal.  When he was certain that Ender was the child who could defeat the enemy he put all of his focus on training him to accomplish this.  He monitored everything that Ender did.

Colonel Anderson was a compassionate leader.  She wanted the cadets, especially Ender, to be able to learn and succeed but not at the expense of their emotional health.

Ender was a leader who understood that he did not have all of the answers.  He asked his team to offer their ideas to him as well. He was kind to those around him, even those that he didn’t like as well.

In the workplace there are times when there are tasks that have to be accomplished and it is up to the leader to make sure the correct staff and ideas are in place to accomplish this, even when the end goal may not be the vision of the staff.  The work environment is enhanced, though, when there is a degree of compassion and concern for the well-being of the staff.  I feel that people respond so much better to leadership when they know that their feelings are heard and they are cared about.  When management acknowledges that they are not the only people with ideas and the views and the ideas of the team are acknowledged and used it becomes a great work environment.

Bonzo did not like his authority to be questioned.  He did not like the fact that Ender may some ideas that were better than his.  He threatened Ender as his manager and did not want him to learn as he felt felt threatened himself by someone whose ideas may be better than his own.  Colonel Graff showed some weaknesses in leadership when his focus on the end goal became more important than the people who he was in charge of.  These types of leadership lead to poor morale and to an increase in turnover rates.

I really aspire to be the type of leader who takes into consideration the feelings and ideas of other staff in working toward goals but can be firm about everyone on the team accomplishing the tasks that have been assigned.