Western Governors University
Leadership is defined as “a process whereby an individual influences a group of individuals to achieve a common goal” (Northouse, 2007). Managers, supervisors, and team leads are given the authority to accomplish certain tasks and objectives, however this power does not make a person a leader. This assigned authority only means that this person is “the boss.” Leadership differs in that it makes the followers want to achieve goals rather than bossing people around (Rowe, 2007). In other words, one can be assigned to a leadership position but one without such designated title can be a leader by influencing others to do great things.
One of the two strategies that enable a nurse on an interdisciplinary team to exert leadership without occupying a formal leadership position is being a role model. The American Heritage Dictionary defines a role model as, “a person who serves as a model in a particular behavior or social role for another person to emulate” (American Heritage Dictionary, 2000). Usually people follow by example. Staff members observing someone on the interdisciplinary team striving to do better can be inspired to do the same. For one to become a role model he or she must strive for excellence and exert a positive attitude.
Another strategy that a nurse can take to exert leadership is being a proactive problem solver. Others want to know if they have issues or questions that the leader can answer them or at least help them find the answer. If the leader goes out of their way to help them find the answer or help them, that this person (the leader) is someone that can be trusted and relied on. One should also anticipate problems or issues and start looking for solutions or answers as soon as possible as they arise.
It is important for nurses to be involved in an interdisciplinary team. Nurses are advocates at the forefront of...