Sunday, April 11, 2010

Hidden Benefit

Today was another great day at the AONE Annual Meeting; but I must be honest, there is a clandestine process afoot - something hidden.

If you have come to the Annual Meeting to attend a particular session to learn about a particular topic of interest - well you are in for a wonderful surprise! Yes, the Education Committee outperforms itself each year by providing a lineup of bright talent who deliver and share their knowledge. What you may not notice is the contagious processes outside the conference rooms.

I enjoy watching as leaders feverishly write notes during the sessions because I can see that each of them have had a spark. Ok, I know that happens with most sessions regardless of the venue; so where is the hidden benefit... wait for it...

What happens next is extraordinary. As we break between sessions or go off to the Exhibit Hall, leaders start mentoring leaders. Those notes - that spark - starts a discussion in the hallway and a network begins. Soon you will see business cards and smart phones coming out and the sharing path is opened.

The greatest attribute of Nurse Leaders is their ability to provide altruistic, open source information. I have never met some many talented individuals who are willing to freely share their information, their process, their story. This all takes place outside a structured learning process; it happens in hallways, over lunch, or at dinner. Open and honest leaders make up this great organization and I am so thankful that these meetings provide a knowledge outlet.

As you can see from the photo, tonight I was with Pam Thompson - one of the most influential leaders I have ever met. She hosts the Nurse Manager Fellowship reception every year; and each year I go back to visit with friends and colleagues. During this time we are afforded the time to mingle with past and present Nurse Manger Fellows, Board Members, and leaders. During this time we all share our sparks and our stories - a magnificent hidden benefit that you will never read in a meeting brochure.

So if you are reserved and only attend sessions, you MUST break out of your element and go to coffee, lunch, or dinner with other leaders and tell your stories! We will all benefit.

Be well.
Mark Ambler, RN
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