Former chief nursing officer explains her resignation

England’s former chief nursing officer Dame Sarah Mullally said she was surprised by reaction to her 2004 resignation to become an assistant curate in the Church of England.

She said: ‘People could not understand why a relatively young woman was giving up power, money, success and ambition.

‘However, in seeking leadership and leadership skills, are we wrongly seeking positions of so-called power or great wealth or high status socially, rather than seeking to transform and move forward a task by meeting the needs of the group and the individual to achieve the desired outcome?

‘Do we risk only truly recognising leadership if it is accompanied by status and power? Making my move in 2004 has allowed me to reflect and explore these issues, considering leadership models, motivation and ambition.’

Reverend Dame Sarah Mullally gives a lecture on this theme at Canterbury Christ Church University’s Medway campus at 6pm on 25 November.

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