Effective leadership is one of the most important foundations for excellent performance. Leaders ensure the achievement of the established organizational goals through the use of various strategies and methods aimed at effective management of teams. In nursing practice, leadership is essential as it results in proper patient health outcomes, patients’ and their families’ satisfaction, and the improvement of the entire healthcare system (Hunt, 2014). In this paper, I will explore my leadership style, compare it to other models, including servant leadership, and develop an action plan to improve it.
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My Personal Leadership Style
I believe that people can handle any problem if they have enough power to employ their creativity and realize their full potential. Therefore, I tend to use the transformational leadership style that enables me to provide the necessary amount of authority that motivates people to complete tasks. Ash, Miller, and Zaccagnini (2015) note that transformational leaders do not always have the formal authority as they can inspire and motivate employees from any position within an organization. Being a doctorally prepared advanced nurse practitioner, I can utilize this leadership style with a full understanding of its benefits and certain limitations.
Servant, Transactional, and Autocratic Leadership
It is possible to analyze several leadership models and the ways they can be implemented in order to evaluate the effectiveness of each style including the framework I utilize. Servant leadership is regarded as one of the most effective models that facilitates employees’ involvement and creativity. This style implies collective decision making, and the team members share responsibility (Huber, 2017).
The leader creates the environment where employees are empowered and make decisions after detailed discussions. The leader takes into account all team players’ needs and ideas. This model has certain aspects in common with the transformational leadership style. Both paradigms are democratic and based on interaction and collaboration. People are motivated to actively participate in various processes and explore their creativity to achieve organizational goals. The weakness is associated with the duration of the decision-making process as quick decisions are almost impossible. Moreover, it can be difficult to make a decision due to conflict of interests or different needs.
Transactional leadership is less democratic compared to the two styles mentioned above. This model involves the use of a system of rewards and punishment, which aims at motivating people to perform well (Huber, 2017).
Decisions are made quite quickly as the leader is mainly the one to decide on various issues although other employees’ opinions can be taken into account. Discussions and collaboration can also be a part of the transactional model depending on the situation. When compared to transformational and servant leadership, the transactional approach is less effective regarding employee motivation. Performance can be lower at certain periods, which can have numerous reasons including health issues. Punishment can make the person even less committed and involved, while mentoring and inspiring (transformational model) or collaboration (servant leadership) can help employees maintain morale even in the most difficult periods.
Autocratic leadership style is still widely used in many organizations, and it is still seen as an effective model by many managers. This framework is characterized by a strict hierarchy and control over people’s performance and activities. The leader rarely considers employees’ needs, and power is not shared (Huber, 2017). Decisions are made quickly or even immediately as the leader is the only person to decide.
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This approach can seem appropriate in nursing practice where decisions should be made very quickly since it can have a considerable impact on patients’ health and even life. However, when compared with the transformational and servant leadership style, the autocratic leader can hardly motivate employees to come up with creative strategies. People are not motivated if autocratic leadership is used in all situations. A transformational leader inspires people to go the extra mile and innovate, which tends to result in outstanding achievements.
It is noteworthy that servant and transformational leadership can be the most effective models to employ during the period of changes. These models imply sharing responsibility and close interaction that facilitate innovation and people’s readiness to accept and implement change (Garon, 2017). The leader encourages the discussion of the need for change and ways to implement it in the most effective mode. Transactional and autocratic leadership styles are less flexible and imply rigid control that demotivates people to innovate or even forbids any deviations from the developed plan. The leader focuses on people’s performance and compliance with the plan and established standards and terms.
My Leadership Model and Leadership Style
As far as my model of leadership is concerned, I am a team leader using democratic methods to encourage team members to achieve established goals. This model works well in conjunction with my leadership style as I always try to inspire people, help them use their potential to the fullest, and motivate them to be active. However, leadership styles can rarely be defined as completely democratic or autocratic as many traits of different leadership models tend to merge (Hunt, 2014).
For example, although I use democratic strategies, I often utilize some autocratic instruments in certain situations. One of my weaknesses is my desire to control all the processes, and in many situations, team members may feel that this supervision is excessive. At the same time, I know that I need to develop my communication skills to articulate my messages effectively especially when it comes to interactions with people pertaining to a different cultural group. In order to become an effective leader, I will need to make sure that my control is not overwhelming. I will set some SMART goals to improve my leadership style (see Table 1).
Table 1. SMART Goals to Be Less Controlling and Improve Communication Skills.
|S||I will not control team members’ performance.||I will improve my communication skills through research with the focus on cultural awareness.|
|M||I will discuss the timetables and goals as well as the amount of supervision the person would appreciate.||I will articulate my messages effectively when communicating with people of different backgrounds.|
|A||I will create a diary for the current projects and checklists.||In the diary, I will note all communication strategies that worked and did not work.|
|R||Excessive control may demotivate team members, which will negatively affect their performance.||In the highly diverse working environment, it is essential to interact with people effectively.|
|T||Within six months, I will develop a diary to supervise the processes without excessive control.||Within six months, I will identify winning communication strategies to interact with different cultural groups.|
In conclusion, it is necessary to note that leadership skills are essential for nursing practice. A nursing practitioner should be able to use an effective leadership framework to provide high-quality care and contribute to the development of the profession and the entire healthcare system. Transformational leadership is regarded as one of the most effective models to employ especially when it comes to the period of changes. I use a democratic model that involves the focus on creativity and innovation. I try to inspire and motivate people, although I often control them excessively. I also have to improve my communication skills in order to be an effective leader in a diverse working environment. The SMART goals I set will help me to become a better transformational leader.
Ash, L., Miller, C., & Zaccagnini, M. E. (2015). Interprofessional collaboration for improving patient and population health. In M. E. Zaccagnini & K. W. White (Eds.), The doctor of nursing practice essentials: A new model for advanced practice nursing (3rd ed.) (pp. 233-274). Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.
Garon, M. (2017). Change and innovation. In D. L. Huber (Ed.), Leadership and nursing care management (6th ed.) (pp. 32-48). St. Louis, MO: Elsevier Health Sciences.
Huber, D. L. (2017). Leadership and management principles. In D. L. Huber (Ed.), Leadership and nursing care management (6th ed.) (pp. 1-31). St. Louis, MO: Elsevier Health Sciences.
Hunt, D. D. (2014). The nurse professional: Leveraging your education for transition into practice. New York, NY: Springer Publishing Company.