My first post talked about my personal code which I describe using the acronym, HIGHER, as in a HIGHER Education. My acronym “HIGHER”, is taken directly from the HBU slogan, “A Higher Education.” Each letter has a special meaning for me, and I will discuss a different letter each time. HIGHER stands for humility, integrity, glorify, Him, encouragement, and respect.
Humility can be described as considering other people to be better than you, putting someone else’s needs in front of your own needs, and putting someone else first. Putting yourself last out of love for the others, whether you know them or not. It can be serving another person in the same way you would like others to serve you, but with no expectations of actually being served. Humility does not mean you think of yourself as a doormat to be walked on, it means you have enough self confidence that you feel free to put others first out of love. When Jesus washed His disciples’ feet at the last supper, He was serving them with humility, not because He was less important than everyone else in the room, but out of love for them. He considered them more important.
The example of Jesus washing feet is very significant for nursing and healthcare providers. Our patients are very sick, and caring for them is increasingly more complicated. Many hospitalized or home-bound patients are too sick to wash or feed themselves. Nurses are skilled and well educated and could consider themselves better than everyone else, especially the patients in their care. But nurses put aside their egos, and provide care which could be considered humiliating for both patients and nurses. They do the things for their patients that most people could never think of asking another person to do for them, cleaning body parts and wounds that lesser people could not manage. But nurses can manage, and with humility and love, they put their patients needs above their own needs.
Leadership can be the same. As the Dean of the Nursing School, I lead the faculty and students through the day-to-day processes of higher education in nursing. I am The Chief Nurse. The Chief Nursing Executive for the school. That title could go to my head. I make sure to check my own ego at the door each day. As I said in my first post, these HIGHER behaviors are so important to me that I ask my faculty and staff to remind me if I’m not practicing each of them, including humility. I seek leadership and management advise from my faculty, because they have the expertise, and I often accept and act on the sound advice they give. After all, they are the teachers, the advisors, the ones who take care of the students each day. They are the important ones in this arrangement. The faculty and the students make this a school, not me. I am humbled by what each group does out of love. Asking for advice from anyone requires the humility to admit that I do not know everything, and following it requires the self-confidence to know that it is okay to admit it.
A short blog post is not enough to cover in-depth each of the letters which represent my personal code, but each writing helps me know a little bit more about myself. I like that, and I hope you do, too. Next post will talk about Integrity. More later!