growth mindset

Don’t spoil a good story by telling the truth

I often wondered where the quote “don’t let the truth, spoil a good story” came from. The quote comes from a lady called Isabelle Stewart Gardener. She was a millionaire Boston Bohemienne” described by a reporter as “She is the leader of the smart set, but she often leads where none dare follow… She imitates nobody; everything she does is novel and original.” Isabella began collecting rare books and manuscripts, beginning with early editions of Dante’s works. In 1899 she began building an arts museum.

“Years ago, I decided the greatest need in our country was art. So, I determined to make it my life’s work if I could.”

For 20 years, Isabella spent her time acquiring work of art and get dedicating her time to building a museum. She died in 1924, leaving a museum “for the education and enjoyment of the public forever.” She provided an endowment to operate the museum, stipulating in her will that nothing in the galleries should be changed, and no items be acquired or sold from the collection.

It is interesting that as a leader of her time and probably one of the most authentic,it was Isabella who came up with the quote above.

So what is authentic leadership?

Authentic leadership is a style of leadership that emphasizes being genuine and transparent in order to build trust and collaboration with those you lead. It involves having self-awareness and understanding of your own motivations, strengths, and weaknesses, as well as the ability to recognize the same in others. An authentic leader is someone who takes responsibility for their own actions and decisions, while also demonstrating an openness to new ideas and diverse perspectives. They have a clear vision for the future that they’re able to communicate effectively to those around them.

To be an effective authentic leader, it’s important to first focus on developing your own sense of self-awareness. This means taking time to understand how you think and feel about yourself both internally and externally. What are your values? How do you want people to perceive you? What drives your decisions? Answering these questions can help you better determine what type of leader you want to be by giving yourself an opportunity to reflect on what makes you unique.

It’s also important that an authentic leader foster an environment of open communication between themselves and their followers or team members. When everyone feels comfortable sharing their thoughts and opinions, it allows for creativity and innovation within the group which in turn leads to better results overall. Additionally, by being consistent in their behavior an authenticity leader can demonstrate consistency which further builds trust among their followers.

When it comes down to it, being an authentic leader requires courage because it requires leaders step outside of their comfort zones from time-to-time when faced with difficult decisions or situations that aren’t popular with everyone involved. Authenticity also allows leaders to stay true to themselves even when faced with adversity – something that’s essential for effective leadership over time.

The importance lies in how authenticity can help foster collaboration amongst teams as well as inspire others through example; it helps create a more united front against challenges instead of one where each individual is competing against each other for power or recognition. By being genuine about one’s motives and intentions, leaders are also more likely gain respect from their team members leading them towards greater success in achieving goals together rather than separately.

Isabella is certainly a leader of her time and authentic though for the time she was described as eccentric,” “original,” the “leader of the smart set,” and “one of the seven wonders of Boston” — not at all what was expected of a proper Victorian Boston lady. She stepped out of her comfort zone.

She had a very clear vision bring art to Boston. She dedicated her own time to developing a legacy for the people of Boston.

Her motto through life, which appears above the central portal of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, was “C’est mon plaisir” (it is my pleasure). and indeed it has been my pleasure to read about this fascinating female leader and share with you this blog.

Author: Ciara Moore

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NHS

The Accidental NHS Leader – Women Behind The Network-Julie Fulea – Female Leaders at 50

I am reflecting on my leadership experience writing this blog for @femaleleadersat50andbeyond a network of woman with wonderful experiences, skills and knowledge that I appreciate being part of. 

I think of myself as an accidental leader in fact most meaningful events in life are accidental or happenstance. I came into nursing over 30 years ago based on a bet, I ended up working in Romania instead of Albania because of a civil war and met my husband. I took a job in Oxford because a church nearby had a tenuous link to somewhere, I had lived in the North East, obviously a done deal then! 

I think it is more than fair to say I am not naturally aplanner with clear goals and actions to get there, assuming I know where there is. 

Today I am a senior matron supporting staff and those who use our services for older adult mental health. In a year tested us all in so many different ways here a few if things I have learnt about myself or have held on to throughout 2020.

1. “What is it like to be on the receiving end of me?”  

A lecturer on a course said this on one or our first sessions. He shared many other valuable nuggets of learning but it is this that has reasonated with me most. 

I am may not see myself as important or special but for some of those I work with I am THE SENIOR MATRON. That can be scary to some people and to be honest there are times that is not always a bad thing but it does mean the impact of what you say or do can for some affect them hugely.  The smallest interaction and acknowledgement really do matter and if I get it right I see the positive benefit. Those moments when I have not been on form, perhaps sharper than intended If I catch it I say Sorry, say sorry there and then or as soon as I can. I make sure they know its not their fault or problem and definitely no excuses.  No one cares that at the time you were contemplating inflicting pain on your husband for eating your packed lunch as a midnight snack and made you late. If someone is hurt or worried by your interaction that us all they can focus on, that is their experience and should be the centre of your apology.

2. My leadership Skills 

Over the last few months of things I have learnt about myself is I make people feel safe and this has been a year to excel at this ability. I think at times I have been the safety net that has allowed my colleagues to be the high wire artists knowing there is something soft to land on and keep them grounded. Its a part of my role that I love seeing people develop and be bold knowing that I have had a part to play in their development and success.

I notice their relief when you make a tough decision reminding them they had the answer all along and just needed support to get there. Or simply saying “I don’t know let’s see if we can work it out”.  I love all our dynamic and energetic leaders I need their challenge and drive it inspires me. We do need to celebrate those whose talent is to be the steadying hand encouraging those to believe that their “not good enough” is actually often verging on brilliant dedication and care. 

3. Find your Joy

Lastly find time for fun, be silly and enjoy bring silly. One of our housekeepers has a joke of the day. They are always silly make me laugh, set me up for the day and I appreciate it. I miss it when she’s not around. 

I probably irritate most of my colleagues but I can find something funny in most situations. I have used humour to take the heat out of difficult meetings and get them back into a more civil arena, to make my point about issues that are completely exasperating to me and to be honest it probably has prevented me from having high blood pressure. My latest drive is to have musical anthems to end meetings I chair. I like to laugh at work and if they create a matron for finding joy at work I’m applying.