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Book review - Health & Living - Leadership in action

Following the success of Leadership in Action, which focused on the careers of female nurses who have made their mark in both the profession and society at large, its companion title Leadership in Action II profiles 19 Irish men in leadership positions who set out on their careers as nurses.

The editors believe that highlighting these stories of success will help not only students in nursing and midwifery, but also future leaders in other disciplines, to chart new courses in their life’s work.

The book is made up of a series of essays on each of the 19 leaders. Each of the profiles includes the early influences and major events that shaped these leaders; their vision for their careers; their strengths and values; the significant challenges that they faced; opportunities that enhanced their success; their perspectives on the characteristics of leaders; and their advice to aspiring leaders.

Those who are featured in the book include Seamus Cowman, professor of nursing and head of department at the RCSI; Peter McLoone, former secretary general of IMPACT; Barry O’Brien, national director of human resources at the HSE; and our very own Liam Doran, general secretary of the INMO.

In the chapter on Liam we learn that before starting his training in mental handicap nursing (as it was called at the time), he spent 18 months making his living as a professional golfer and that his first role in the then INO was in 1983 as a student officer.

On the characteristics of leadership, Liam refers to self-belief and integrity. One needs to be confident and honest with oneself and believe that nursing and midwifery can make a difference.

His advice to aspiring leaders is the same as he received from Catherine Shine, assistant director of nursing in St Mary’s, Drumcar, where he trained: “You can – you have great potential – you can make a difference. Now, go and get on with your journey.”

- Alison Moore

Book review - Health & Living - Leadership in action
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