1. Section Editor(s): Raso, Rosanne DNP, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN, FAONL

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So many of our customary, and valued, professional development activities have fallen by the wayside during the past couple of years or have been replaced with a virtual version that's generally perceived as not as personally fulfilling. I'll save my rant on pining for in-person activities for another month. What can still happen, up front and personal, is mentoring. As leaders, we owe our staff real, in-person, dyad mentoring, which is critically necessary for succession planning.

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When it comes to future leaders, our focus might be on millennials, as frequently seen in the literature. We should note that many are in formal leadership roles already and you may be one of them; if so, my wholehearted thanks goes out to you for your courage and commitment. There's fine leadership coming from the millennial generation, and honestly, it's a breath of fresh air. Some traits I've noticed include that the elephant in the room doesn't remain hidden and inclusivity rises to a whole new level. These cultural shifts are good for all of us.


Relationship-based mentoring can advance the mentee's courage to take that leap into leadership or pursue any other career goal. You probably didn't make it alone but had support and a push along the way. Mentors help others see themselves more clearly or discover paths they haven't appreciated. As consultant Bob Proctor says, "a mentor is someone who sees more talent and ability within you than you see in yourself and helps bring it out of you." I've had that experience and wish it for all of you and everyone you lead.


Many have noted that millennials don't want a boss, they want a coach. That's in the context of desire for ongoing growth and development. Lack of career growth is one of the main reasons for the "great resignation," and we can improve engagement by prioritizing development. Mentoring is a huge part of professional growth and could be as simple as saying "you're ready to apply for a clinical ladder promotion; how can I help you?" That can even be done on a peer-to-peer level, which is expected in Magnet(R)-designated organizations. Speaking of peer-to-peer, that includes you and your colleagues too.


No matter where we are in our career cycle, we should always be looking to mentor and support others on their journeys, and this is an ideal time to be particularly sensitive to diversity and inclusivity. Organizational support with structured programs is, of course, a plus. Nevertheless, you can be a mentor, promote mentoring among your own staff, and be mentored without it. One idea is "shadow days," which can be informally organized and very effective. There's an empirical body of knowledge supporting mentoring in professional growth, succession planning, leadership development, and job satisfaction. There are also well-known success factors, such as matching interests, empowering leadership styles, and personal connections.


I would be remiss as editor-in-chief if I didn't mention mentoring for writing! We should be urging each other to publish, with experienced writers helping new authors to build a path to publication. I wouldn't have written my first paper for a journal without a push and help...a.k.a. mentoring.


Meaningful mentoring relationships have more purpose than defined career achievements. The resultant professional fulfillment helps bring both mentor and mentee to the highest level of Maslow's hierarchy-self-actualization. It's a few steps along the route to well-being, and we could all use some well-being right about now.



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