My Leadership Story: Reflections of a Health Leaders’ Institute Alumni, Tracey DasGupta, Director of Interprofessional Practice at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

It was a watershed moment both personally and professionally. Had I not been there and been exposed to those ‘nuggets’ (people and ideas), I might not have gone back for my PhD and would have had a different journey. Getting out of your own ‘house’ and connecting with other leaders, recognizing how similar the issues were, realizing how important/easy/necessary it is to network with others, not always trying to fix things on your own…the automatic sense of community that occurred in the room helped people to come together, take risks… it was very powerful. The Institute is not a conference, not a workshop, not a certificate program … it is an experience and it is the combination of all of the elements that allow those potential watershed moments for participants. Sara Lankshear, President Releve Consulting.

Overall it had a huge impact; the timing was perfect. I was exposed to some fantastic literature and frameworks. I liked the mentoring dyad concept (appreciated attending with my mentor). The feeling when you meet another person who is a DW graduate, you know what kind of person they are because you don’t come out of that kind of experience unaffected. Jana Jeffrey, Clinical Leader/Manager Coronary ICU and Cath Lab, St Michael’s Hospital

The DW – how you put it on, the topics, etc. -has changed my life. It was very inspiring for me. I’m not sure where I would be if I had not attended. Now I know what I want to do with my leadership (I want to help staff nurses become the best they can be). The DW taught us the things we never learned in school. I wish more people could go to it. Angela Banjar, Charge Nurse ICU, Hamilton Health Sciences Centre.

It opened up my world (not that I was sheltered before) ; it gave me a much broader perspective. Meeting people from all roles and all over the country enhanced my experience and growth. The presentations and discussions would have been worthwhile on their own, but the practical applications and time to work with my colleague on our project were extraordinary. The hands-on project enabled all of what we were learning to be actually applied. But it was not until I prepared the portfolio to apply for my Masters that I realized how impactful and what a turning point the HLI actually was in my career and development. Kim de Haan, Manager Rehab Services, Chatham-Kent Health Alliance.

I found the whole experience very inspiring; I would not have pursued a more formal leadership experience if I had not attended. I knew that I was a leader with new nurses; I was always happy to answer their questions, but I had not thought of formalizing that. I found the DW leaders and speakers very positive and very inspirational. Nancy Cleary, Interim Professional Practice Leader, Wellington Health Care Alliance.

I really think that the formal theory about leadership (that it was a field of study) was impactful. e.g. I had never read HBR before attending. It undergirded my thinking, and expanded me to realize that it was more than you either were or were not a leader. Learning that it was OK to have a different perspective and to communicate it, without being aggressive was very good for me ( to realize that I did not have to go to a place of conflict to move an idea forward). Lorraine Sunstrum-Mann, Executive Director, Grandview Children’s Centre.

I had read the Leadership Challenge previously, but listening to Barry Posner speak, the 5 practices became the things about which I wanted to become more conscious and purposeful. It’s about letting people do their job, and figuring out what I need to/can do to help. The gift of meeting people in similar jobs was the gift that has kept on giving (have stayed connected). I really liked the experiential learning, and seeing other leaders present (and knowing that they were facing similar challenges). The change project was a concrete outcome (both for myself and for the organization). I attended with 4-5 others from organization (especially with two reports) and particularly valued the synergy of attending with others. Carole Moore, Vice President Human Resources, Markham Stouffville Hospital.

Going there and feeling valued and that I belonged ‘with the leaders’ built my confidence, stimulated and encouraged me to pursue more formal learning… The room was filled with people from all places, all organizations, and I came to feel ‘I belong’ with this group and I can do things. Karla Faig, Manager Community Health Program – Horizon Health Network, NB.)
I really appreciated that there was a focus on the whole patient-first approach to health care leadership. Going over complexity theory and similar topics also helped my understanding of what is going on. I also appreciated it that we had to apply to attend, and that I was chosen. I ran into people from across the country that I knew; the networking was great. I really valued the opportunity to stop and focus and think about your career, your goals, yourself. Asha Pereira, CNS Trauma, Health Sciences Centre, Winnipeg.

It probably pushed me 10 years ahead of where I would have been. Having the wide range of people in the room (and the mixed tables) – the informal conversations with people, sharing paths, challenging one another – was very positive and inspirational. Because it happened so early on in my career, it got me started. Often when I go somewhere, I reconnect with peers from my cohort. Susan Barnes, Project Coordinator, Children’s Hospital Eastern Ontario.

I learned that I have the power and the energy to make positive changes; I need to be the driver and now have the tools to do that. Erin Finlayson, Manager, ALC and Rehab, Markham Stouffville Hospital.

I became invigorated, stimulated, passionate and regained my optimism. Sally Spence, Manager, Children’s Treatment Centre, Sudbury Regional Hospital

The new materials I acquired, the variety of different perspectives on leadership, the opportunity to meet and work with people from other disciplines were wonderful. Karen Lue-Kim, Supervisor, Community Health Programs, Department of Health and Social Services, Qikiqtarjuak Region, Nunavut.

An excellent environment and opportunity to reflect inwardly and grow outwardly. Geoff Piers, Organizational Health Coordinator, Annapolis Valley Health.

I learned that leadership is a journey with ups and downs, that skills can be improved with practice and that leadership matters. Wonderful experience overall! Fidelma Serediuk, Chief of Physiotherapy Practice, Hamilton Health Sciences Centre.

This has been the ultimate learning experience in my career. Sandra Biesheuvel, Director, Cardio Respiratory Services, Seven Oaks General Hospital.

I really appreciated that others shared their experiences and that collaboration is very much on everyone’s mind. Gloria Letendre, Associate Regional Director, First Nations and Inuit Health Branch, Health Canada

I now have a deeper understanding of leadership and emotional intelligence, new ideas and methodologies to try out. Best workshop! Michele Durrant, Nurse and Educator, Hospital for Sick Children.

I realized that to be an effective leader much more time needs to be spent in being pro-active, visionary, developing others and not just managing. Laury Jasper, Patient Care Team Manager, Seven Oaks General Hospital, Winnipeg

The hands-on opportunity to learn and the immense opportunity to network were great. Pierrette Lefebvre, Infant Development, Sudbury Regional Hospital

I valued the sense of connectivity that developed over the course of the sessions. I feel inspired to continue to foster good relationships in my workplace.  Melanie Nguyen, Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences

A great opportunity for focused leadership learning.  Elaine Howarth, Manager, Palliative and Complex Care, Markham Stouffville Hospital

I learned that leadership can be learned and nurtured, and that leadership done well can make great improvements for patients. Fiona Campbell, Professional Practice Leader, Physiotherapy, St Joseph’s Health Centre

Wonderful learning environment! I look forward to returning for the follow-up spring session. Suzanne Vanderlip, Professional Practice Leader, Markham Stouffville Hospital.

The Leadership Institute is a retreat for the nurse leader’s soul. It allows time for self reflection, refocusing, networking and rejuvenation. I feel a sense of clarity energy and empowerment to head back to my organization. Melissa Dougherty, Professional Practice, Queensway Carleton Hospital, Ottawa.

This has been an amazing ride, I can’t thank you enough for the knowledge and encouragement I took away from the Leadership Institute. Over the last year I have grown so much from the experience, it has simply been terrific. Janet MacIntyre RN