5 Indispensable Leadership Lessons I Have Learnt From Interviewing Highly Innovative African Nurses

“To become a better you, work in a team of like-minded people and learn new things you don’t know.” Israelmore Ayivor.

How We Started

In 2021, I started with my team a little interviewing adventure on Care City, where I interviewed eight African nurses who are dedicated/committed to the culture of leadership, innovation & excellence.

The lessons I learned so far from interacting with these amazing nurses are what form a large part of this article.

I enjoyed every bit of the interview process. From developing the questions to reaching out to the guest, editing, and publishing.

It was an experience that changed my life as a person & a writer.

This year, we may not be frequent with the interviews, because it takes a lot of time to actually make one interview successful.

There were times that the guests who we reached out to were not willing to give us an ear — were too busy to reply, or were just reluctant to comply. That’s a challenge, a significant one, and it has also taught me some vital lessons which I will share with you shortly.

The Power of a Good Interview

Interviews are one of the ways we can peep into the minds of people. Ask them specific questions & analyze the answers and in the process learn from them. 

It’s all about learning.

And people love to express themselves, especially if it’s an oral interview, which we might give a try this year.

With good interviews, we can enjoy the experiences of others, especially those we admire.

We want to know what makes them tick, where they are from, their backgrounds & exposures, their likes & dislikes, how they overcame certain challenges and so much more questions we want them to answer that may have the solution to our problem(s).

In selecting those who we interviewed, there were not many things that we considered. 

We only looked at their passion to change the world. Their disposition towards learning & the premium placed on leadership

These are important things to take note of. Did we look at their achievements? Well, before I answer that question, let me ask this question:

What Is An Achievement? 

Something the whole world knows about? Not necessarily the whole world. 

But an achievement is that thing you have done or which you are doing from your heart that has touched just one person.

If what you have done, or what you do as a person has helped transform the life of one fellow, then you have achieved something.

So, against this backdrop, those we interviewed were all achievers. 

Their actions, their passions have transformed the way people think. It has reminded & still reminds people that they can do more.

Now to the lessons that I have learned…

1. Start Something Now  

You have all it takes to start. The only thing stopping you is ‘YOU’. 

No one starts with all that they need, it’s as you make progress that you begin to attract what you need, as you discover, and learn and connect & interact with people.

Many are waiting for the right weather to start. 

They have allowed procrastination to steal from them the many opportunities to start. 

Stop postponing it. 

In today’s world, it’s those who dare to start that are recognized. 

If you keep your plans to yourself and keep thinking of how it’s not yet perfect or fit for outside, you will never make progress. 

Progress is made when we start.

It Takes Courage

I am always excited when I see courage. When I see a young fellow who launches out despite not having enough knowledge as to what they are doing or where they are going. 

In the world of action, it’s those who “just do it” that make any impact. 

The passive guys don’t move mountains. 

Your dream is enough for you. Once you have a vision of what you want to do, then it is sufficient energy for you. 

Take the courage & launch out, they are people waiting for you out here. 

The Nurses that I have interviewed are nurses who are always ready to move. They are adventurous & full of courage to take the next steps. 

Full of zest & life juice, you could feel it dripping from their words & the way they answer the questions. 

When I started writing, I did not know a lot of stuff. I started Care City on a free plan on WordPress.com [some of my older readers know better], why a free plan? Well, I had no cash to buy a domain, but I had to start. 

I started…

Was it perfect? No, it wasn’t, there were many hurdles to jump and a lot of challenges to wrestle with. 

But here I am today, still writing and learning and telling you how awesome you are, inspiring you to do more

[Quote on Courage] 

2. Take Learning Serious

Having a dream is good, then the next thing you must have are the tools needed to bring that dream to life; to wake it up. 

A dream will not wake its self up. It needs your conscious & deliberate efforts. 

And it’s through learning that we can acquire the necessary skills that we need. 

For anyone to survive in the school of innovation & leadership, one must embrace the spirit of learning. 

There is so much to learn I must say. 

So much to master. 

The more we dedicate to learning, the better we become, and the better are the things that we produce for the benefit of our world. 

Never Stop

fab lentz mRMQwK513hY unsplash
Photo by Fab Lentz on Unsplash

Masters are learners who have discovered the beauty of improving on what they already know. The master is the one more committed to learning. 

They have discovered that the more they learn, the more relevant they are. 

Those who stopped learning will soon find out that they are becoming obsolete; the ideas that they hold dear become useless. 

I have discovered that the only thing that distinguishes the great from the crowd is their appetite for learning. 

They stay curious & empty. 

They never want to get to the point where they no longer have the desire to learn. 

This is one common element that I discovered from all the nurses that I interviewed last year. They are committed to the culture of learning. 

Knowledge applied has a beautiful way of pulling you out of the crowd. 

It is what you know that makes you special, and not just what you know, but how you apply that knowledge and your willingness to keep improving. 

You are not greater than your wisdom.

Have you stopped learning? Or are you tired of it? If you are, I am here to encourage you. Don’t stop learning. Keep at it. 

 Writing taught me a lot about the culture of learning. I discovered that to stand out among the crowd of writers out there, I must keep the fire within burning by learning. 

And that spirit has kept me. 

As I approach a new day, I am excited, ready to learn something new. 

3. Connect & Build a Network

“Find a group of people who challenge and inspire you, spend a lot of time with them, and it will change your life.”

Amy Poehler

This is so important, we can’t overemphasize this truth, my friends. 

Relationships play vital roles in our development as people. Without them, we will never be able to go far in the fulfillment of our purposes in life. 

One tree can not make a forest.

One Lion does not make up the pride. 

You need to constantly relate with people who share your ideas, believe in you, are interested in you, care about you, understand you, and are willing to grow with you. 

Close Enough

Now, these are not mentors or people you admire from afar. 

These are people who you can see “face to face”. You don’t have to book an appointment to see them. You can call them, text them, send them a message on Twitter or Whatsapp and they answer you [not the big guys who don’t answer messages or who wait for a year before they answer your 200-word message with a two-word reply].

I am talking of real people who occupy significant positions in your life. 

You can run to them when things go sour, and they can run to you when they need you — yes, real people. 

These are the people that make up your network. 

I learned from these nurses that they understand the importance of nurturing networks. 

No great leader is made without a robust & solid network. 

You won’t go far if your network is weak, I don’t just refer to connections, I mean — as I explained earlier — people close enough to you. 

Do you have people like that? 

Or, are you the lone wolf? The guy who doesn’t need anybody? 

Come on, people are not perfect. If we keep looking at the imperfections of people, we will never be able to see the greatness in them. And if you can’t see the greatness in them, you will not be able to connect to it. 

It’s a mystery. We were all made for each other. 

So, I saw this piece online, and I felt you should take a look at it [ignore the funny words].

Assume the worst. About everybody. But don’t let this poisoned outlook affect your job performance. Let it all roll off your back. Ignore it. Be amused by what you see and suspect. Just because someone you work with is a miserable, treacherous, self-serving, capricious and corrupt asshole shouldn’t prevent you from enjoying their company, working with them or finding them entertaining.” — Anthony Bourdain.

Because people are bad, does not mean there isn’t something they can do for you. Do you get it? 

Your network will be made up of all sorts of human beings. The good, the bad, and the ugly. It’s a cocktail.

But on the other hand, like I always write, be wary of those who get into your inner circle. Those who can influence your decisions on major life issues. 

4. Be Humble

Without humility, you will find it difficult out there in the world. 

People run away from proud people. 

When I see a proud fellow, I deliberately distance myself from them. Not because I hate them. No, I love them. I know that there are not going to go that far in life. 

Pride always goes before a fall. 

The nurses I interviewed are al humble professionals. I must confess. I enjoyed them. 

You know, sometimes, being available, no matter what is a sign that you are a healthy leader. 

I know, that a time might come when you may not be able to honor every invitation. 

That’s normal, but your disposition is what matters. 

How you react to the people & things you can’t just give your attention to because of normal things happening around & to you. 

When You Get Big

When you were small, you looked for platforms that will announce you. 

Now that you are big, you become nasty, naughty, ugly, and impossible. 

May I ask you why? 

Humility rests in the bosom of the mighty. 

A humble achiever will make more progress. Such a fellow will attract more people who care about what they are doing. 

The proud folks tend to attract people who look like them. 

The gist? Stay humble my friends. 

Always remember where you came from. And be guided that you still have a lot to do. 

Don’t allow the ugliness of pride to slow you down or at worse stop you from moving. 

5. Find Real Mentors

Because you need them.

A mentor might be close to you or far away. 

What matters most is that you can learn from them, and they are people who have made a considerable degree of progress in certain areas of their life that you admire and would love to replicate in your own life. 

A mentor can not give you what they don’t have. Wisdom is transferable, and the only way we transfer wisdom is through accurate mentorship. 

All the nurses we interviewed made references to their mentors. 

We intentionally included the “mentor questions” because we also wanted to understand the importance of mentorship in nursing, which is one culture the nursing ecosystem lacks. 

I have written a couple of essays on mentorship. You can check them out. 

My Definition of Who A Mentor Should Be…

We can be mentored by the books, tapes, and online programs of people we admire. 

But I find it more effective if you have a direct connection with the people you call mentors. 

You are asking, how do I connect with that BIG fellow who I so much admire? 

Now, that’s the problem we have as human beings. 

You don’t have to run to the biggest mountain.

The big guys will not have the time to interact and commune with you. 

Look for people who have what you need and who have the time to interact and communicate with you. 

You keep growing until you are tall enough to hold hands with that fellow or those people you have so much admired. 

Let your focus be on your growth. 

I will catch you soon…

Have you picked one or two things from this piece? If you have, I congratulate you. 

If something does not add to my life I don’t waste my time interacting with it. 

If this piece has added something to you, why not share it with your friends, so that they will also enjoy what you have enjoyed.  

You can read all the interviews here

I have a personal newsletter on Substack. You can subscribe here. I feature all of my works there, you don’t want to miss out. 

And I also guest blog. If you want to feature me on your Website or Blog, kindly send me a mail, I would be more than excited to contribute to the great work that you are doing. 

Remain Inspired. 



Leave a Reply