Mindful Leadership: A Guide for the Health Care Professions

Book review

3 stars

Mindful Leadership: A Guide for the Health Care ProfessionsMuch of the critical reflection in this book comes from front line healthcare professionals. As such, it will appeal to nurses, especially those who are new to leadership.

The book is timely, given the enormous challenges facing health and social care, and is cognisant of how front line staff feel disempowered.

It demystifies the notion that leadership ‘happens elsewhere’ and is thought provoking about how nurses can develop their own leadership journeys by being aware of their circumstances and changing their behaviours through ‘mindfulness’.

Leadership is often seen as something that happens at the top of an organisation, but the many personal reflections presented in this book demonstrate that staff at all levels can be leaders.

The book provides examples of staff critically analysing their situations and changing their behaviours. The author reveals the tensions of becoming a leader and discusses how understanding and working towards resolving them is essential.

It will prompt people to think about how they have handled similar situations and, by reflecting on them, how they could have managed them differently.

This is a long book and some of it is laborious to read. It is probably better suited to libraries rather than an individual purchase, but will be found useful by nurses who seek professional development and who want to learn from the experiences of colleagues.

Christopher Johns | Palgrave Macmillan 240pp | £24.99 | ISBN: 9781137540997

Reviewed by Helen Barlow, deputy director of nursing (quality and safety), NHS England, Lancashire and Greater Manchester

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