As the Leadership Succession Committee, our role is to identify active members who are ready and willing to serve the Sigma organization at the international level. We also recruit and mentor potential candidates in the nominating process, select nominees for a diverse international biennial ballot, and oversee the election process. This year, as we virtually met to take the first steps toward preparing the ballot for the 46th Biennial Convention in 2021, we shared stories of our personal leadership journeys.
Just as climbers can reach a mountain summit on different routes or travelers can meet at the same destination from different locations and modes of travel, we found that our personal paths to leadership were all different. What we had in common, though, was this: Each of us began by taking that first step.
Consider the personal stories of two of our Leadership Succession Committee members:
My path to leadership started in 1990 when, as a student leader, I volunteered to organize free health services for underserved rural and urban communities and victims of disasters in the Philippines. This experience provided me intangible rewards of joy, connectedness, and the desire to help more people. As a result, I became a community nurse leader involved in advocacy for equity and for better health services for poor communities.
My decade-long advocacy work was recognized by award-giving bodies and I was subsequently invited to teach at the University of the Philippines. Here I developed my research and scholarship skills. I was introduced to Sigma through a research conference in Hong Kong and became a Pi Iota Chapter member in 2010.
I moved to New Zealand that same year, and the succeeding years were characterized by exciting cultural experiences as my scholarly work was consistently selected for oral presentation in Sigma’s International Nursing Research Congresses. Sigma helped me hone my public speaking skills and confidence. Sigma also provided opportunities to moderate research sessions which facilitated networking that is vital in leadership roles. My perseverance paved the way for me to be trusted by Sigma members and elected to a four-year leadership term.
Deciding to take the step to become part of leadership is oftentimes daunting. Yet, Sigma’s persistence with email reminders and guidance helped me to make up my mind. Daunting yes, but with my colleague’s encouragement, I completed the first step—an online application on The Circle. I questioned who could possibly suggest my name! I wondered how I would fit in amongst all the brilliant leaders in Sigma. I realized Sigma’s demonstration of their commitment to include leaders in their leadership structure from across the globe. I reflected on what drives me, my thoughts on leadership, my aspirations, and the leadership challenges for my region. Elated to be up for nomination, I was energized to complete all my university and family responsibilities with enough time to commit to the development of the nursing profession. I appreciated the clarity of steps that Sigma outlined from start to finish for the nomination and election process. I am now on the inside looking out and I am convinced that this leadership team will make significant steps towards achieving Sigma’s global mission. Thanks to Sigma for unearthing what lied buried.
As you can see from these personal reflections, every leadership journey is different. Monina and Pauline found that Sigma provided opportunities to step into leadership in different ways.
You’re a nurse. You’re a Sigma member. You already lead by inspiring, educating, and advocating for patients, families, communities, student nurses, and colleagues. If you have been considering the next step on your leadership journey, why not use the leadership skills that you have or are developing to make a global impact by volunteering as a Sigma leader? We need nurses to serve as leaders and help achieve the Sigma mission of developing nurse leaders anywhere to improve healthcare everywhere.
The following positions are on the ballot for the 46th Biennial Convention in 2021:
- Vice President
- Directors-at-Large (two)
- Regional Chapters Coordinating Committee Chair
- Governance Committee (three for two years; two for four years)
- Leadership Succession Committee (four for two years; three for four years)
- Regional Chapters Coordinating Committee Chair
Are you ready to take a step toward Sigma leadership?
The call for nominations is open through 30 November 2020. Start here. Take another step on the path to leadership now!
Members of the Leadership Succession Committee contributing to this article were:
- Devita T. Stallings, PhD, RN, an associate professor at Saint Louis University Trudy Busch Valentine School of Nursing in St. Louis, Missouri, USA
- Peggy Jenkins, PhD, RN, CNE, an assistant professor at the University of Colorado College of Nursing in Aurora, Colorado, USA
- Beverly S. Reigle, PhD, RN, an associate professor, emerita at the University of Cincinnati College of Nursing in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
- Monina Hernandez, BSN, RN, PhD Candidate, a lecturer at the Massey University School of Nursing-Albany in Albany, New Zealand
- Pauline Anderson-Johnson, MSc, BSN, RN, a lecturer at the University of the West Indies UWI School of Nursing in Mona, Jamaica