AONL 2021: Goodwin entertains, inspires

A conversation with Pulitzer Prize-winning presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin kicked off the AONL 2021 Virtual Conference on Tuesday. Drawing on her studies of four U.S. presidents—Lincoln, both Roosevelts, and Lyndon Johnson—Goodwin assured attendees the nation has come through very tough times before, thanks in part to leaders who were able to bring people together. Goodwin discussed essential leadership traits that include humility, empathy, adaptability, resilience and ambition for something that's larger than one's self. She noted each of the presidents she's studied came through tremendous adversity, which set the stage for their remarkable achievements. “All the [nurse] leaders who've been through this pandemic this year . . . somehow it’s going to steel you,” she said. The younger sister of two nurses closed her talk by calling AONL members front-line soldiers in the pandemic and added, “We need to learn from you!”