Consider running for an STTI office.
Nursing abounds with leadership opportunities, yet too often we think these opportunities are for others and not ourselves. As we approach the end of the current biennium, the Leadership Succession Committee (LSC) of the Honor Society of Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau International (STTI), charged with fostering leadership development and preparing a diverse international ballot, will be preparing the slate of candidates for various STTI committees and the board of directors. All these positions offer exciting opportunities for members to build networks, contribute skills and knowledge, and learn and grow professionally.
On behalf of the LSC, I urge you to devote some thought to the exciting STTI leadership opportunities available and how you can champion your personal and professional leadership by pursuing an STTI elected position.
I’ll admit the prospect may seem intimidating. Indeed, running for office in any organization forces you to move out of your comfort zone. To be a candidate for office, you must declare your interest, showcase your abilities to do the job, and, in essence, take a risk. But leaders quickly realize that only when they take risks do they learn and grow.
Reflect on your own leadership behaviors, skills, and experiences. Most STTI members demonstrate amazing leadership abilities and have had many opportunities to lead where they are—even though that may not mean a formal management position or leadership title. This is what is so invigorating about STTI membership! It provides opportunities for nurses in all roles, settings, and global regions to share in the leadership behaviors that enable STTI to achieve its mandate locally, regionally, and globally.
We LSC members often find ourselves debunking a number of myths that STTI members have about running for office, many of which relate to the education level, position, or STTI experience needed to be an eligible candidate. The descriptions and links above may help you understand which opportunity might best fit your professional background; just remember that virtually all positions are open to all members.
Another set of myths concerns the funds and time necessary to campaign for office or committee membership. STTI has worked hard to support access and equity throughout the organization and has instituted specific policies to minimize cost and campaign time. However, there are costs associated with attending the convention to interact with delegates.
A final set of myths concerns how many times you can run for office, whether you need chapter endorsement, and how seasoned you must be. STTI encourages members to run as many times as they wish and urges candidates to see the campaign as an opportunity for growth and building broader networks. While chapter endorsements are helpful and supportive in a variety of ways, they are not required.
If you are a current, active STTI member, the Leadership Succession Committee urges you to reflect on your personal and professional vision and determine whether now is the time for you to step into your leadership potential.
The call for nominations is now open. Nominate yourself or others at LSC@stti.org
. The deadline is 6 January 2017.
Irmajean Bajnok, PhD, RN, is director, International Affairs and Best Practice Guidelines Centre, Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO).