Jacqueline Aguiar is the Manager of Workforce development at Armadale Health Service. Jacqueline has worked as a nurse since the 1980’s within the public and private sectors, making the transition to nursing education in 2002, and corporate education in 2009. Jacqueline has completed post graduate studies in nursing education and Masters in Health Quality, Management and Leadership
Spending time with.... Jacqui Aguiar
What are the most important traits that every leader should possess?
There are so many traits exhibited by good leaders, but I believe an effective leader should possess at least the following:
- Excellent communication skills – the ability to have others understand what you need or what you are saying; you should never be underestimated. This also means providing pathways for open and honest two way communication, keeping others in the loop and empowering them to speak up also.
- Ability to inspire others – self motivation, with commitment to the cause and staff.
- Honesty and integrity – displaying ethical behaviour that you would expect from others.
Moments in time
What are the two most pivotal moments in your career that you either learned from or got you where you are today?
When I was working as a nurse educator – a graduate nurse and her parents paid me an unscheduled visit, bringing flowers and a card. She brought her parents along who wished to thank me for nurturing her through her first year of nursing and went on to say that it was because of me that she survived her first year and stayed in the career. This was when I realised that education was also about nurturing and support and that I had the ability to make a positive difference to someone’s life. This nurse is now the manager of a large unit in the WA Public Health System.
The second moment was completing my Master’s Program – I realised, (sadly, perhaps) that this was not to be the end of my formal education – we never stop learning and if we dare, we become stagnant.
Creativity and Motivation
How do you encourage creative thinking within your organisation?
I encourage my staff to speak out, to make decisions and to come up with and trial solutions. My ideas might not be the best, and I am sure my staff would attest to that! .
HOW DO YOU motivate your team?
I recognise and reward my team at various intervals throughout the year, for example, last year we went on a picnic off site, catered for by myself. I also allow them down time when they need it – I recognise that they have commitments other than work which are important to them.
What advice would you give someone going into a leadership position for the first time?
Communicate, communicate, communicate. You must keep everyone informed and engaged. In ALL projects, use the principles of stakeholder engagement.
Stakeholders can be grouped into 4 categories.:
- engage the high interest/high power stakeholders;
- inform the high power/low interest group;
- consult with the low interest/high power group and
- monitor the low interest/low influence group.
What are you doing to ensure you continue to grow and develop as a leader?
Funny you should ask me this. I am about to enrol in yet more formal education programs – I truly believe that we never stop learning. I also seek advice from my mentor.
Do you have a mentor? If so, what traits are you seeking in a mentor and why?
Yes, I have a mentor, through an informal relationship. I think a mentor needs to be honest, have integrity and enthusiasm with a desire to share and impart knowledge. Trust is a common factor.
HOW DO YOU START AND END YOUR DAY?
I am so predictable - I start my day with coffee – I must have a coffee to get me up and running. I end my day with some quiet time with my husband. I always have 30 minutes or so without technology prior to retiring.
What's the most exciting thing you have done over the past year?
Spend time with family. I have grandchildren. They keep me grounded and focussed – children are so honest and innocent – they remind me that the world is always about them, being present and having fun.
WHAT's left on your bucket list that you are dying to do?
I would love a trip on the Ghan through the centre of Australia, to see Uluru at sunset/daybreak. I would also like to walk the Bibbulmun track – end to end….. one day…..