Business, Consulting, Jenny Jackson, Leadership

Staying Kind

Recently a friend and I talked via Zoom (is there any other way these days?!) and she coined the phrase “Staying Kind” and I love it (thanks friend xxx).

It’s kind people who inspire me to “Stay Kind” and this blog is about Leaning in to Kindness” and “Staying Kind” regardless of what others do. Often easier said than done, so “Staying Kind” requires a clear intention, it takes determination and it takes a tribe who “have your back”.

It’s pretty difficult not to be overwhelmed with sadness, infuriation, and fatigue by the divisive, negative and often outright nastiness that circulates around the world. But it is also possible to feel immense gratitude and optimism by the resistance of so many, to this way of being. The recent election of Jacinda Ardern as NZ Prime Minister is, to me, cause for optimism and gratitude. A strong and kind leader – who is achieving so much, not by force or nastiness, but through intelligence, policy, humanity and kindness.

Kindness is a willingness to full-heartedly celebrate someone else’s successes. Kindness is about telling the truth in a gentle way. Kindness includes being kind to yourself. 

Kindness in leadership is often seen as weak or naïve but I see it as a huge strength, an act of humanness, decency and one that requires courage. Unfortunately, women who are kind in their work are all too often seen as weak, “will never make it” or as naïve. On the other hand, men who display kindness at work are often regarded as “inspiring” and “compassionate”. Achieving gender equity is a long and tiring quest but one that makes sense for people of any gender. Kindness should be revered and something that we all aspire to, regardless of gender.

My tips for “Staying Kind” in leadership:

  • Walk softly with people;
  • Be kind and lead with intention and determination;
  • Leave people with a feeling of kindness having met / spoken / dealt with you;
  • Keep kindness in your heart and give freely;
  • Lead with courage, kindness, respect and self-worth;
  • Care for others and treat them with kindness; even if they might not care for you;
  • Remember that we can accomplish things with kindness which we cannot achieve by force;
  • Lean in with others when you see them leading with kindness;
  • Celebrate with all kind leaders; regardless of gender;
  • Expect and acknowledge kindness from others;
  • Be like Elsa and “let it go”; just because others don’t behave in a way that shows kindness doesn’t mean we have to repeatedly ‘go there’;
  • Having said be like Elsa… call out acts of unkindness (kindly!) – whether it is at work, in the media or on social media. If not you then who?;
  • Remember that being kind is not the same as being weak. It is possible to have difficult conversations and yet still be kind;
  • Be kind to yourself and surround yourself with people who are kind.

In my workshops “Conversations With The Curious”, kindness is an absolute expectation and is always shared in bucket-loads. It fills our tanks and makes us feel lighter and optimistic. If you are seeking more kindness in your life, your work and your performance, we would love you to join us for the next workshop or email me on for more information.

Aged Care, Business, Health Care, Jenny Jackson, Leadership, Nurses

Nursing: Reflections on the delights and disappointments

It’s been a long time since I have been so close to the front line of healthcare in Australia. Throughout my time in senior leadership roles in hospitals, community health, women’s health and family violence, my nursing qualifications, knowledge and experience have been invaluable. They’ve helped me articulate evidence based arguments for funding, change of policy and new programs. They’ve helped me provide compassionate care in crisis situations – at work and in my personal life. They’ve provided a well-rounded view of health and wellbeing and a commitment to forever learning. I have never lost my love of the profession and my deep respect for those working in the multitude of roles within it.

Working in a leadership role as part of the COVID-19 response in Aged Care, I have been both delighted and disappointed.

Delighted by the generosity of nurses and health workers in their resident and patient care, often in the face of personal risk and potential harm.

Delighted by the “roll your sleeves up and lean in” kind of team work not often seen elsewhere.

Delighted by the understanding, gratitude and acceptance of those so heavily impacted – the residents, patients and their loved ones.

Disappointed that it is not unusual (in fact, it is very common) for nurses to go entire shifts without a toilet, water or meal break and to work unpaid overtime without having a choice in the matter. Balm for cracked dry lips, electrolytes replacement and headaches – all part of the dehydration they’re experiencing. Not for one or two shifts, but for all. For the “love” of it? No. Because they care. Because there is often no other alternative. Because nurses choose to care for another before themselves.

Disappointed that there are still not enough qualified and experienced staff to support those less experienced or qualified.

Disappointed with the fragmentation of the system despite the Royal Commission in to Aged Care and what we in the field have known for too long.

Disappointed that while nurses are rated as one of, if not “the” most respected profession, that the rate of pay for nurses is appalling.

Disappointed that what nursing is and isn’t is still not well understood by many. It’s certainly not all bedpans and baths, although this is, of course a component of overall care. The requirements for nurses to have finely tuned patient assessment and management skills are immense. The critical thinking that nurses do, always working with medical staff to develop a plan of care, not just blindly following orders. In fact, experienced nurses frequently guide junior doctors and help them make decisions based on their assessments and monitoring of the patient. Nurses are with the patient 24-hours a day. The knowledge of medications – and the consequences of administration and use are exceptional and have the potential to save or take lives.

Disappointed that there is little genuine recognition that nurses are with us as we take our first breath. And our last. There is great responsibility in this privilege.

Disappointed that the connection between how hard (albeit rewarding) the job is and the loss of expertise from the profession with the rates of pay, are still not being directly linked and addressed. A nurse should not “have” to work regular weekend, evening shifts or night shifts just to make a decent wage. Other than nurses, who else with minimum 3-year degrees (and often further degrees and qualifications after that) would do this job for $30-$36 p/hour? Back in the late 1980’s we had a slogan… “A nurses dedication doesn’t pay the rent”. Sadly, it’s just as true today.

Disappointed that nurse : patient ratios are not mandated in all sectors. It is not enough to leave it up to private providers to “do the right thing” because while many do the right thing, there are many who don’t.

EVERYONE I have spoken to says what an amazing job nurses do. It is absolutely time for us to reward nurses for a fair days work with a fair days pay. We will all benefit from this in one way or another. It is the right thing to do, so let’s do it.

Privacy Settings
We use cookies to enhance your experience while using our website. If you are using our Services via a browser you can restrict, block or remove cookies through your web browser settings. We also use content and scripts from third parties that may use tracking technologies. You can selectively provide your consent below to allow such third party embeds. For complete information about the cookies we use, data we collect and how we process them, please check our Privacy Policy
Consent to display content from - Youtube
Consent to display content from - Vimeo
Google Maps
Consent to display content from - Google
Consent to display content from - Spotify
Sound Cloud
Consent to display content from - Sound