Florence Nightingale was born on May 12, 1820. Born to an affluent family British family in Italy, Nightingale had the reputation of being awkward in social situations. For a family that prided itself on their social prowess in upper society, Nightingale was far from ideal.
In her youth, she found her strength and greatest value was in helping the poor in her surroundings. When she turned down a proposal from a “suitable” gentleman at age 17, she was quoted to say about their relationship, “moral, active nature, requires satisfaction, and it would not be found in that life”.
With her parents displeased by her choice, Florence left for London to become a nurse.
Within a year she had been made superintendent of nursing over the Middlesex, London hospital, experiencing mass amounts of change and opposition at a young age at the brink of the Crimean war with the Russians.
At this point I want to point out a couple things that might resonate with you. The career of medicine is seen in a much brighter light today than it was in the 1800s. However, the rigor and sacrifice exhibited by Florence Nightingale might not be too far from home for you. In my experience, people rarely go into the medical profession if they don’t sense a calling within it. Florence, like you, saw where she could add the most value. Though a bit awkward, she was a natural leader, who would eventually become a household name. A legend of nursing and reform.
My question for you today stems back to the first post of this year. How can you add value? And how are you adding value right now?
If you fall out of touch with this question, you digress as a leader. It’s vital for you to understand the value you’re adding, and how you are doing so.
We’ll revisit the results of adding value on Friday, but for now, evaluate yourself this week and see what value you add and how you do so.