Nursing is one of the world’s most crucial professions and this has never been more evident than during the pandemic of the past two years. While their worth has often been overlooked by some, Neil Haynes is making sure that today’s nurses and those of the future receive all the support they need.
Compassion lies at the heart of Haynes’s career and as the Australian College of Nursing’s Chief Operating Officer and Company Secretary, he’s still got much more of it to offer. "I believe the qualities that make an exceptional leader are found in a person’s passion," he tells The CEO Magazine after winning the COO of the Year accolade at the 2021 Executive of the Year Awards.
"I am passionate about achieving success, I revel in the challenge to solve problems and care about what I do, and the staff under my leadership."
Over the past nine years, Haynes has worked tirelessly leading the Australian College of Nursing team to diversify income and expand and develop services for its members. More importantly, Haynes’s strategic financial acumen has been pivotal in fostering leadership opportunities and education across the Pacific Region to ensure the industry continues to thrive. His career has spanned across both profit and not-for-profit sectors in Australia and the UK.
With his passion for exceptional customer service and desire to get involved through leading by example, Haynes eventually scored the role of Executive Manager of Finance at the Australian College of Nursing and the rest is history. Today he continues to thrive by working closely with all arms of the organisation, to ensure they are empowered and equipped to deliver high quality services to members, stakeholders and the wider nursing profession.
The evidence is in his own motivations.
"Tell me I cannot do, be or have something – and that is the surest way to inspire me into action. I am motivated by tackling a complex problem and not giving up, no matter how challenging," he says.
Speaking about his receivership of the COO of the Year, Haynes believes these awards form an important avenue to help celebrate and model the leaders of the community while being an aspiration for others.
"The saying goes, you can’t be what you can’t see, and this is the purpose that drives my work to change the perception of nursing in the community," he says.
"Personally, I believe events like the Executive of the Year Awards are important to showcase the many and varied ways professionals can contribute. I want to be able to show the corporate world, and those within, that a challenging, rewarding and fulfilling career can be found in the for-purpose sector, and that there are many opportunities for people to do so.
"I’ve been on both sides of the business community and am able to cross-fertilise ideas and ways of working for both. I believe we need more professionals to walk across the aisle to see life from another perspective, and these awards can champion this vital experience.
"Having a trusted source of information angled at my level of seniority, means I get exposed to a wide variety of topics and issues that are helpful in my role."