1. Section Editor(s): Foster, Rhonda R. EdD, MPH, MS, RN, NEA-BC

Article Content

In our culture, sports and athletes are lauded and champions and championships are praised. There's nothing more honorable than to be considered the greatest of all time or the GOAT. It's believed that games and sports have taught us lessons about winning and losing, as well as values such as fairness, team building, resilience, grit, discipline, perseverance, and respect. These lessons have permeated our lives from childhood and our communities and corporations as adults. Yes, these same values are found in corporate mission and value statements, including healthcare organizations. We see the evidence of these values when we win a coveted award, are named as the best in class, or find ourselves in an elite and enviable position in our industry.

Figure. No caption a... - Click to enlarge in new windowFigure. No caption available.

Simone Biles is regarded by many to be one of the greatest and most dominant gymnasts of our time, with a combined total of 30 Olympic and World Championship medals. Yet, considering her accomplishments, she withdrew from the Tokyo Olympic Games. In doing so, she has taught us yet another lesson about sports and champions, as William Shakespeare wrote, "This above all: to thine own self be true."


As I reflect on the leadership lessons we've learned over the last 18 months, I think about the focus on teams and that we need each other, resilience and the need to bounce back, perseverance because we didn't know how long we would have to endure, and respect for one another because everyone was important to patient care. The Shakespeare quote illustrates another lesson-"an above all things" message that we should remember and role model-knowing what's true for you as a leader and a person and being able to stand firm in that truth is important not only for yourself, but also for anyone following and observing your actions.


Many leaders ask, "Is it just my hospital?" The answer is NO. The issues you face are bigger than a pizza party, the tea cart, or hand massages. We thank organizations that offer these things, as well as engaging a wellness officer or employee-assistance program services. As leaders you may be doing this while your own needs go unmet.


Like my colleague Rosanne Raso, I too am tired of being resilient. You deserve the right to do what revitalizes you. It isn't about being self-serving, throwing in the towel, or saying it's all about me now. It's about assessing the environment and asking questions such as, "Can I still make a valuable contribution?" "Do I need to rely on my teammates more?" "Are my instincts and intuition still sharp or am I so tired that I can't be sure I'm making the right decision?" Maybe it means having the courage to say, "This isn't a good day to decide about something so important, please allow me to invoke the 24-hour rule."


Above all else, to thine own self be true. Simone didn't just say it, she did it. She held her head high while admitting that she wasn't in a good space. To compete in that state would have jeopardized the team and potentially caused her physical harm. She realized that she was important too. My desire is that these two editorials give you the liberty and courage to be true to yourself.