1. Drake, Kirsten DNP, RN, NEA-BC, OCN

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Brave Boundaries: Strategies to Say No, Stand Strong, and Take Control of Your Time (Shillcutt, 2022)


If you're the person who can't say "no," this is the book for you. First, I'll disclose that this book is geared to the professional female reader. Dr. Shillcutt describes the expectation that women "are supposed to be part Marine, part Mary Poppins and part Florence Nightingale," implying that we try to be all things to all people. This assessment is made because many women don't demonstrate clear boundaries. As nurse leaders, we may believe we know what boundaries are and report that we have them, but if we take a deeper look, this may not be the case.


In this book, the author provides the reader with facts and myths about boundaries. Dr. Shillcutt gives clear examples of her personal experiences leading to how she overcommitted in her personal and professional life. She describes the Brave Boundary model, which helps you identify if you need a boundary and how to reinforce old boundaries. Using this model, you ask yourself a series of questions: 1. What do I know to be true? 2. What can I control? 3. How can I set a boundary? 4. With whom do I need to share the boundary? Again there are examples for specific categories, such as family, electronics (I am guilty here), and personal, to help guide readers in setting boundaries for themselves. The main premise of this self-help book can be summed up as: No boundaries = burnout! As leaders, we must remember to set boundaries to remain effective for our teams and to prevent our own burnout.


Helping Hope Make a Comeback in Healthcare (No Ego with Cy Wakeman, November 17, 2022:


CY Wakeman, the author of Reality-Based Leadership (2010) and host of the No Ego podcast, is joined in this episode by Tad Worku, a songwriter, singer, NP, ED/trauma nurse, and mission coach at Inland Empire Health Plan. As the face of healthcare changed postpandemic, many leaders lost hope. Cy and Tad converse about the concept of hope, touching on humility, loss, and optimism. This podcast is a refreshing look at being part of the solution in the next chapter of healthcare after we've grieved the recent past. Change is good, and we have to make the best of the situation. Tapping into your strengths and your past situations can promote an optimistic outlook. A pleasant reminder to take things one moment at a time will prevent you from losing yourself. They also discussed that we can't do this alone; we must work together to make the change we want to see. The final point of the podcast was that love wins and there's always hope. At the end of the podcast, Tad performs an original song called "Peace of Mind" that he wrote at the beginning of the pandemic.


The First 90 Days: Proven Strategies for Getting Up to Speed Faster and Smarter (Watkins, 2013)


This updated and expanded version of the 2003 book The First 90 Days: Critical Success Strategies for New Leaders at All Levels is also available as an audiobook. If you're starting a new position within your current company or at a new organization, this book sets a game plan for your transition, which will set the course for your tenure in your new position. The author uses the STARS model to guide you through your journey. The STARS model is acronym that stands for start-up, turnaround, accelerated growth, realignment, and sustaining success. Throughout the book, there are tips and tools to build relationships with your new boss, peers, and your team. The focus is on being successful in the first 90 days. Most times, you weren't hired into a new position because everything is perfect and running smoothly. Watkins provides guidance on negotiation success and securing early wins. Again, there are tools to assist in these areas, with guidance on how to manage the changes you identify.


One suggested tool is the SWOT (strength, weakness, opportunity, threat) analysis, but Watkins offers a twist and recommends changing the order from SWOT to TOWS as you look at your environment. This mental shift allows you to evaluate your strengths and weaknesses compared with the threats and opportunities. I applied this to a situation and was surprised I derived different strengths and weaknesses. The book concludes with a discussion on the use of self-evaluation to create a supportive environment, preventing early burnout.