We hear much about the entitlement of the generation that is entering our work force. We question their discipline, work ethic, and leadership potential...
Allow me to introduce you to Ashley. She is a twenty-something millennial who serves as a charge nurse for a local hospital. When she is on duty, she leads her entire floor staff that takes care of over forty patients, most of whom are critically ill. She is responsible for life and death decisions while supervising a team that is made up of experienced, and many times inexperienced, nurses and aids. She is incredibly busy from the time she arrives and often cannot even take an uninterrupted restroom break.
Recently, Ashley realized that a patient on her floor was designated "hospice" care and that she did not have much time left to live. Ashley went into her room and instead of simply "doing her job" she connected with the patient and asked her if there was anything that she needed. The woman responded, "I really would like to have my toenails painted pink before I die."
Ashley searched to no avail for some pink nail polish. She then called her husband and asked him to quickly make a trip to the local retailer for the polish. Once he delivered it to her, Ashley stopped the busyness of the day and painted her patient's toe nails. Because of this act of kindness, this woman left this world with a little bit of dignity and grace.
There may be a lot of negative hype about millennials, but as I think about this young leader, I am optimistic. Respect and valuing others are the cornerstone ingredients to strong and effective leadership.
I know that in our world, Ashley, and other young leaders like her, will certainly make a positive difference.