Discussion 1: Leadership Theories in Practice
A walk through the Business section of any bookstore or a quick Internet search on the topic will reveal a seemingly endless supply of writings on leadership. Formal research literature is also teeming with volumes on the subject.
However, your own observation and experiences may suggest these theories are not always so easily found in practice. Not that the potential isn’t there; current evidence suggests that leadership factors such as emotional intelligence and transformational leadership behaviors, for example, can be highly effective for leading nurses and organizations.
Yet, how well are these theories put to practice? In this Discussion, you will examine formal leadership theories. You will compare these theories to behaviors you have observed firsthand and discuss their effectiveness in impacting your organization.
Respond to at least two of your colleagues post by explaining how the leadership skills they described may impact your organization or your personal leadership, or by identifying challenges you see in applying the skills described.
It is not a title which defines a leader, but the person who defines the title of leader. It was just today I was apologizing to staff nurse for my team member’s poor, condescending, and unprofessional attitude. This individual enjoys taking charge, and she behaves poorly because of her mentality that she “can and will”. However, a good leader has respect for him or herself, for those around him, always behaves professionally, and is able to maintain his or her temper even in the most stressful of times. As you assume the role of a leader, “you become a citizen of the larger discipline of healthcare leadership and a leader among leaders. The world awaits your ideas, skills, and the unique contributions you will make. If you have the courage to use your voice, experience, and expertise you will claim membership among thoughtful, committed people who can make a difference” (Broome, et. al, 2020, p.155). As I like to remind new members of our team, we are the team the nurses throughout the entire organization seek when their patients are not doing well. We are there to support them, to help to stabilize their patients, and we are there to lead by example. A good leader is easy to approach, honest, willing to help the staff when rounding, and always does their best to assist the staff in any way they can. Several nurses on our team define these true leadership skills daily. Hence, when the nurses on the floors activate a rapid response or require our help, they specifically will ask for myself or a look or relief passes over their faces when they need our help and see the solid leaders on our team show up.
The prime example of a good leader is my manager. She is not only knowledgeable, but she is also supportive of her staff in many ways, be it encouraging us to continue in school, to maintain open and honest communication with her, maintaining a “safe” environment when we want to disclose things with her, ensuring the most optimal care of our patients, backing us up when we have done right by the patient and are meeting resistance from the higher medical team, and much more. She is honest and very open with us on all levels, and she truly has our best interests as hand. She treats her team members with the utmost respect, and she in turn highly respected by her staff and everyone who knows her. “Both philosophy and social science recognize a dual core of good leadership, as either character and competence (Hannah & Avolio, 2011a, 2011b), or ethics and effectiveness (Ciulla, 2004, 2014). Good leadership implies people being motivated by the right reasons, relating and influencing each other in ethical and effective ways, and moving towards ethical and effective ends” (Dawkins et, al, 2021, p.2). An effective leader motivates his or her staff in putting their best foot forward, advancing in their careers, coming forth with new suggestions and ideas, and in feeling appreciated. An effective leader creates union between their staff, therefore making the unit a much stronger and effective one.
Impact of Leadership Behavior
What is leadership? It is a process of social influence which promote someone’s effort to achieve a certain goal. Leader is not about how much you paid in a certain organization or the certain years that you’ve been working. Peter Drucker defined leadership as “Leadership is the lifting of man’s vision to higher sights, the raising of a man’s performance to a higher standard, the building of a man’s personality beyond its normal limitations”. Having a good leader in healthcare setting is essential to ensure that healthcare system is efficient. There are different types of leadership theories can be applied in healthcare setting in every different situation (Xu, 2017). Acute care setting iv complex which needs leaders who can effectively manage their team members to have a positive outcome and productive at work especially during crisis. It is also important that the leaders have the knowledge and skills which help their teams for example there’s a sudden change in patients’ medical condition to make appropriate decisions based on care needed.
One of the behavioral trait theories for leadership is all about adaptation and personalization (Xu, 2017). It is when the leader easily adapts on any circumstances and knows how to deal with it. In healthcare there will always be inevitable situation that leaders need to be flexible to succeed. For example, COVID 19 pandemic, leaders have a big role on how to address the problems such as massive demands of PPE and especially short staffing issues. Another insight that leadership is leaders that can serve. Marshall and Broome define leadership as, “the discipline and art of guiding, directing, motivating, and inspiring a group or organization towards the achievement of common goals”. It is about leader who uplifts other and brings change not only for his own sake but for the team, as a leader you goal is to lift the team and transform the organization as a whole (Marshall & Broome, 2017).
Once of the person that demonstrated leadership traits mentioned is my Charge Nurse in Med-Surg floor. He is very approachable, with positive vibes and helpful. He always makes sure all our questions and concerns were addressed. He always listens to the staff and allows let our voices be heard. He always makes ways that his staff is not burnout on their shift because he said if his staff is stressed, we can pass it on the patient which leads to medical errors and decrease patient satisfaction. He is the type of leader that will boost out confidence as a nurse. He is our nurse advocate, if we have issues on the floor especially during pandemic surge, he will pass it on the Director and find some solutions to our concerns. Another scenario is if the patient has sudden change in condition, he always manage things smoothly and calmly. He said that he can’t be nervous so that his nurses would still be confident and focus on things that need to do. He always makes sure that things were under control.
Through this characteristic and traits, it has a huge positive impact in workplace. Staff are happy to work, and team will accomplish a lot such as increase patient satisfaction and the efficacy of care. As a positive leader it builds trust and teamwork which led to positive outlook, better staff well-being and morale.
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