Leadership and the Human Condition

There are numerous definitions for the “human condition”, both religious, philosophical and otherwise. It is people being who they are, with all their lumps, bumps and ugly stuff. One of the biggest challenges of leadership in any setting is accepting people as they are; exactly as they are, in their present human condition, no matter how snarky and frustrating.

As leaders, most of us strive to provide direction, meaning and hope to those we oversee. Helping people improve means taking where they are in their human condition. This is not always easy to accept or identify. Some folks are grateful, seek out input and accept mentoring and coaching gracefully and graciously. Many others are difficult, defensive, angry and resistant. You cannot lead someone that you do not understand or accept.

Consider your role as supervisor, manager, director, or C suite person. Do you accept folks the way they currently are; especially if they are difficult? Or, instead, do you lead who you want them to be? That never works. I have struggled in my leadership role to deal with folks that are difficult people. That means I have not accepted them in their current human condition. How are you doing with acceptance?

Posted by Susan Odegaard Turner – MentorRN


About Turner Healthcare
As CEO and founder of the consulting firm, Turner Healthcare Associates, Inc. since 1993, Dr. Turner continuously implements the skills gleaned from over thirty five years of experience in the healthcare field. She began her career as a registered nurse in a Critical Care Unit and Emergency Department. She has served in top management roles, including Chief Operating Officer and Vice President, for various hospitals throughout Southern California. Dr. Turner was also appointed the first Statewide Nursing Officer for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. Dr. Turner is an Associate Professor for the UCLA Graduate School of Nursing, Moorpark Community College, and has served as the Health Career expert for Monster.com for six years. Currently, Dr. Turner provides career coaching, planning, and advisement. She specializes in helping young adults seeking healthcare careers and individuals in transition, such as older RNs. In addition to her Bachelor's of Science degree in Nursing from Mount St. Mary's College, Los Angeles, she holds a Master's Degree in Nursing from the University of California, Los Angeles, and a Master's of Business Administration from California Lutheran University. She received her Doctorate of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Business Administration from California Southern University. Her doctoral dissertation discussed the ramifications of clinical re-engineering of nursing services in the 1990’s. Dr. Turner is the author of numerous articles in national healthcare journals as well as the “The Nurse’s Guide to Managed Care,” and “The Nursing Career Planning Guide,” both published by Jones-Bartlett.

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