The Karen Morin Pinnacle Lecture Series took place on November 15, 2011 in the Yawkey Center Murray Function Room. Those in attendance included undergraduate nursing students, graduate nursing students, Sigma Theta Tau members of all ages, nursing professors, nursing professionals, and faculty of the William F. Connell School of Nursing. Karen Morin is the former president of the Honor Society of Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau. She is also the Director of the PhD program for nursing at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, and her areas of interest include the effects of obesity on pregnancy, gender issues in health care, and issues concerning faculty development. Karen Morin came to Boston College to speak about the necessary qualities global leaders must have.
This lecture was very valuable to me because I am very interested in global health care and see it as a field that I may enter after I graduate. She discussed eight leadership qualities necessary. The one that I found most meaningful to my development as a nursing professional was to be sensitive to other cultures in a particular manner. As Americans, we often see our language and culture as superior to those that are foreign. For example, we attend lectures that are in the language of a particular country, and become sour because we believe that the lecture should be in English. In addition, we tend to perform lectures in English when demonstrated in America, even if the majority of the audience is of another language. Understanding a lecture in which medical terms are thrown around is hard enough, but when it is in a completely different language it is nearly impossible. In an effort to fix this problem, Morin instructed her listeners to think globally. She means learning different languages and different cultures, and observing global trends frequently. Leaders must have an open mind towards other cultures, and must be accepting and knowledgeable of other languages.
The second topic I found most meaningful to my development as a nursing professional was to be assertive. It is very common that individuals sit back and wait for opportunities to come to them, or are fearful to demonstrate what they are capable of. Exceptional leaders take risks, and this is what makes them good examples to others. By taking risks and seeking new opportunities, one will discover what matters most to him/her. Morin stated that it is important for leaders to be committed to what fits for them. This was very meaningful to me because it emphasizes the importance of what an individual truly values, and I liked how Morin stressed the importance of being aware of one’s values because they are what drive one’s passion and commitment as a leader.
This event provided a new understanding of leadership for me. The same leadership qualities are often repeated time and time again, but Karen Morin provided her own take on leadership qualities that she has acquired from her experience. Morin emphasized bringing an individual’s best qualities out, and bringing the best qualities of one’s peers out. She stated that by believing in oneself and one’s capacity to lead, one can open oneself up to hearing the call to make a difference in the world. This statement provided me with a new understanding of the necessary mindset to be an outstanding leader. I believe that if nursing professionals follow the qualities that Karen Morin lectured about it will not only foster influential global leaders, but help expand diversity in the nursing field.