Ep 146: Leading Up – How CRNAs Can Lead Without Being in Charge

Being a great leader doesn’t require a person to be in a position of power. Every CRNA has the opportunity to make a difference each day by leading up. The dean of Loma Linda University’s School of Nursing, Shawn Collins, PhD, DNP, CRNA, joins the show today to talk with us about this idea of making an impact from whatever role you’re in.

Click the timestamps below to help you navigate through the many topics we discussed.

On This Episode:

Leadership comes in many forms. It’s not always the person in power that makes the biggest impact on a business. Sometimes leadership is found in places you wouldn’t expect.

That idea of ‘leading up’ is one that we want to explore more on this episode of the podcast. We asked Shawn Collins, PhD, DNP, CRNA, to be our guest this week. He became the first male dean at Loma Linda University’s School of Nursing after moving out to California a couple of years ago, but he’s been a leader through his career.

Today we’ll discuss how CRNAs can help improve and change things within our profession without being in a position of power. In a similar vain to advocacy, leading up can benefit nursing tremendously.

As you get started on the episode, keep an ear out for these topics:

  • Why he feels this topic is important for the profession.
  • The different types of power that we can have without having an official title.
  • Knowing your BATNA – Best Alternative To Negotiating an Agreement
  • What leading up means
  • What can you do to lead up and an example of how he’s done it previously.
  • Are there better ways to implement ideas?
  • What is emotional intelligence and how does it play a role in leading up?
  • What personality traits and characteristics does it take to be a good leader?

Check it out the interview at the top of the page and use the timestamps to help you navigate through the many topics we discussed.

[2:39] – Background on our guest today

[5:03] – Why this topic is important  

[6:11] – Different types of power  

[9:21] – What is leading up?  

[12:47] – Takeaways from being on hospital board

[14:34] – Tips for leading up

[18:20] – Emotional intelligence

[22:43] – Leadership is learned

[24:48] – Final thoughts from Shawn

[26:45] – Lightning Round


“It’s leading those above you, influencing those above you to make changes for the good of the organization. And it’s about getting others to follow you out of respect and commitment rather than fear and compliance.”

-Shawn Collins, PhD, DNP, CRNA

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