Almost a month under new ownership, a newly appointed Lead Veterinary Nurse—let’s call her Brittany—shared with me how impactful the experience had been on her definition of leadership. The new owner, a long-time associate at the practice, immediately shed the shackles of authoritative leadership and asked her team, regardless of title, to be leaders in their roles.

Brittany proclaimed herself a student from the school of hard knocks and said her first instinct was to flex her leadership muscles. She did so by ensuring everyone knew their place, actively looking for mistakes, and shouldering as much responsibility as possible in order to convey her worth. The compounding result, she confessed, was resentment from her team and a constant sense of being overwhelmed.

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