Dr. Michelle Nelson on Leadership
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About a year and a half ago, I got a phone call from a friend who said to me, Michelle, you would never believe I was having a conversation from someone that knows you, who called me to say, you know, Michelle was good, but is she really the person that we need? Is she really the leader that nursing needs right now? Because she's not what people are used to. And I'm not really quite sure if she has what it takes. Now, that's a very broad statement, and I really did not know how to take it. And I just said to myself, could it be that they said, is it Michelle, the Black woman who doesn't have what it takes? Is it Michelle? The Black chubby girl who doesn't have what it takes? Is it Michelle, the Black chubby girl with the big mouth from Brooklyn, New York, because she doesn't talk like a Georgia Peach. Sometimes it's stunning when you hear things like that. And I had to take a moment and say, yes, Michelle is the person for the job, because I know who I am. And I know that being a servant leader, a transformational leader is one that can get the job done, who does things with pure intentions to make sure that people get optimal health.
I know that my job as a leader is to build leaders around me. If you are finished in a leadership capacity and you cannot look to the left and the right of you and point out a bunch of people that you have helped to deliver as leaders, people that you have reached back and pulled forward with you because someone did it for you. Well, then you really not doing anything at all, but I know that that's some of the principles that I stand on and that I'm going to continue to fight. I understand what leaders look like before me genteel, white, females, males. I'm none of that, but how far did that get us? I am the leader for now until something else is needed.
I have the best of intentions for Georgians and you cannot lose. And you can't be the wrong leader for any time when you are moving forward boldly, you are moving forward with best of intentions and with love in your heart. I make sure that I understand what the issues are, that I'm speaking from evidence-based practice. And that I am preaching that to the people around me, that we be educated, and we move forward boldly and assert to others that we mean business when it comes to increasing the healthcare rankings here in Georgia.