For the purposes of this assignment, I completed a short eighteen-question quiz that helped me to recognize my leadership style. The results of the quiz reveal that I lean towards a democratic style of leadership. Democratic leaders or participative leaders value the collaboration of a group and engage it with the decision-making process; however, after careful consideration of a group’s inputs, they are the ones that come up with a final decision (Cherry, 2016). Taking into consideration the fact that no person can have expert knowledge in all subjects, it could be said that participative management that is encouraged by a democratic leader is an extremely effective style of leadership.
Democratic Style of Leadership
I believe that I have many character qualities that every democratic leader should possess: honesty, intelligence, creativity, empathy, competence, and fairness (Cherry, 2016). It should be noted that effective democratic leaders could easily inspire trust and reciprocity among their followers. They base all their decisions on the principles of honesty and morality. I strongly believe that without empowering group members, it is impossible to maintain a respectful work environment. Therefore, democratic leaders behave in a way that facilitates equal participation of all members of their team in order to provide them with the best opportunities for accomplishment. The dynamic environment of health care setting requires a style of leadership that would be conducive to the active distribution of information between all members of a group in order to adequately respond to rapidly-changing circumstances (Cherry, 2016). I believe that my leadership style is suitable for the creation of a cohesive workforce that is enthusiastic about sharing their knowledge and is taking active participation in the decision-making process.
Attributes of Leadership
It could be argued that effective leadership is the cornerstone of a functional and productive work environment. In order to be a good leader, one must have a clear understanding of attributes and characteristics that are conducive to the creation of an atmosphere that would allow a workforce to utilize their clinical practice skills with the utmost efficiency. A recent article titled “Attributes of clinical leadership in contemporary nursing: an integrative review” by Mannix, Wilkes, and Daly (2013) summarizes the findings of an integrative review aimed at the exploration of the concept of contemporary leadership in nursing. The authors argue that effective leadership is associated with “the provision of quality patient care services, building healthy workplaces, and ensuring optimal levels of job satisfaction and wellbeing among colleagues” (Mannix et al., 2013, p.11).
The study revealed that the majority of peer-reviewed papers on the role of leadership in nursing identify specific clinical practice skills as the main prerequisite for a successful leader. Moreover, eight out of ten articles reviewed for the study recognized “being supportive of colleagues” (Mannix et al., 2013, p.12) as another important attribute of leadership that is necessary for graduate-level nurses. Furthermore, effective communication skills, clarity in decision-making, bargaining skills, emotional maturity were listed as central elements of empowering a team in seven out of ten reviewed articles (Mannix et al., 2013). The study also suggests that the following leader characteristics are essential for nursing practice: actively listen, directing and helping, creativity, engagement in reflective practice, integrity, clinical management skills, consistency, and enthusiasm, among others (Mannix et al., 2013). Taking into consideration the fact that the main attributes of a leader can be linked with the behaviors of nurses, it is necessary to make sure that nursing leadership positions are filled with people who can become a great example to others.
Nobody would deny that leadership is a privilege, albeit an extremely costly one. It has to do with the fact that leadership in an advanced nursing role is associated with a high degree of workplace adversity that requires a fair amount of courage and inspiration. I believe that the most important leadership attribute that I already possess is the desire to overcome adversity. I am able to focus on a challenging situation without losing my composure, which is extremely important for crisis management and resolution of work-based interpersonal conflicts. It is important to remember that a truly resilient leader should be able to manage sensitive situations while displaying a high level of competence and confidence.
Although I lack experience, I am confident in my ability to be guided by principles of fairness and justice when dealing with a team of nursing professionals. I understand that complexity of the nursing environment does not always allow us to exercise full impartiality; therefore, it is necessary to work on the ability to effectively resolve moral distress that might come as a result of value conflicts. Another attribute that I would like to develop is an emotional insight or ability to adequately read slightest changes in the emotions of other people (Jackson & Daly, 2011). It would allow me to better understand emotional factors influencing a team in order to maximize its workplace performance. It would also help me to respond more appropriately to people’s emotions as well as their emotional needs.
In order to become a successful nursing leader, I have to enhance my natural emotional insight, which would help me better understand the way constituents of a team experience adversity and adjust to it. It would allow me to provide them with an inspiration necessary for overcoming numerous workplace challenges. After all, “an inspirational leader is motivational, sensitive, determined, and able to convey the organization’s vision and encourage pride within the organization” (Smith, 2011).
Cherry, K. (2016). What’s your leadership style? Web.
Jackson, D., & Daly, J. (2011). All things to all people: adversity and resilience in leadership. Nurse Leader, 9(3), 21-30.
Mannix, J., Wilkes, L., & Daly, J. (2013). Attributes of clinical leadership in contemporary nursing: An integrative review. Contemporary Nurse, 45(1), 10-21.
Smith, M. (2011). Are you a transformational leader? Nursing Management, 42(9), 44-50.