I’m feeling frustrated today. Nope. Angry. I’m angry.

A nurse friend shared with me yesterday that she was told to not be “too nice” with her “staff” because they would “take advantage” of her. She was angry and I wonder if you would be to? I’m angry because it’s this kind of advice to our nurse and physician leaders that keep us from leading effective teams. She’s pissed off and thinks it’s terrible advice because she is a love-led leader and doesn’t want to lead from a place of fear.

We’ve been discouraged as nurses, doctors and healthcare leaders from saying we love our patients, our work, our colleagues and our teams. Our systems and organizations have taken the love out of our work by insisting on efficiency and risk management instead – telling us that doing more with less, working faster and being less engaged with our patients and colleagues is somehow “better” or “safer”.


You know what’s happened?

We’ve ended up frustrated, burned out, tired, longing, angry, sad….(insert your own emotion here). This culture of distrust and fear limits our creativity and our ability to practice safely. It limits our productivity. We suffer and so do our patients and our teams. And when they suffer, we suffer and then they suffer and on and on and on the circuit goes.


So, how do we interrupt this cycle?

IMHO – we use love. We use love-led leadership to insist on relationship-centred teams and health care. Bringing love to your leadership isn’t new. What is new is bravely and publicly proclaiming it as your leadership philosophy.

I define love-led leadership as a philosophy of engaging in leadership practices guided by feelings of concern for others that promote strong affection between people and give rise to a dedication to others’ wellbeing and the maintenance of their dignity.  Simply put, you are guided by love to inspire your personal and professional leadership. And you know what happens? People want to work with you and with one another and they are invested in caring for people and making sure they are respected.


How do you know if you are a love-led leader?

There are 6 characteristics that belong to love-led leaders, help us identify one another and help us to show up as love-led leaders. The next few posts will be about them.

Join the conversation and get social with other love-led leaders on FacebookTwitterInstagram and LinkedIn!

PS: My nurse friend? She used the love-led leadership characteristics of accountability and authenticity to push back against the advice and her team is launching a new quality improvement initiative. What might’ve happened if she didn’t? Who would have missed out?




Sheena is a proud positive deviant, status quo questioner and change agent. Sheena uses love-led leadership and the be LOVE-LED™ Framework in mentoring, coaching, and consulting emerging or existing leaders to move themselves, their teams and their organizations toward positive change. She has seen love-led leadership actions reduce and reverse the cycle of fear, shame, blame, and guilt that create burnout and imposter syndrome.  Sheena has witnessed the devastating effects when love-led leadership isn’t used by leaders and never wants to see that again. She is the Founder of The Global Love-Led Leadership Movement which strives to share love-led leadership around the world and connect other love-led leaders with each other for networking and mentorship.