Cynthia Leonard, RN, BSN
February 5, 2012
Marie Holley, NP, RN, PhD
Leadership in health care
Leadership is a unique position and can be seen as the capability to motivate and encourage confidence and support among followers. A competent leader possesses many abilities. A central ability that a leader possesses is influencing others. Leaders guide, directs, teaches, and motivates people to accomplish goals. Leadership is essential for nursing as a profession. Leaders set goals for the future and set the pace for achieving the goals. Leadership is a “…process of influencing others to understand and agree about what needs to be done and how to do it, and the process of facilitating individual and collective efforts to accomplish shared objectives” (Yukl, 2006, p. 8). Leaders know how to convey the vision, encourage their followers, and empower their staff to create change in an organization or department. Leadership skills should be present in nurses from those providing patient care to those in management positions. Effective leaders achieve outcomes and are good examples for his or her staff. This paper will enlighten the reader on different types of leadership styles that leaders can possess to be effective. The details on how leaders adapt to modifying his or her leadership styles will be highlighted along with challenges that leader’s face in his or her role. Nurse leader’s use different types of power depending on his and her objectives. This paper will spotlight the formal and informal power of leadership. An explanation of the effects of formal and informal power will be apparent to the reader. Leadership Styles
Leadership styles are the approach leaders uses to achieve goals. Each leader has a basic general working style that stems from his or her character, experience, and understanding of leadership. Leadership styles are classified as “…different combinations of task and relationship behaviors used to influence others to accomplish goals” (Huber, 2006, p. 13). The different types of leadership styles evoke a particular reaction to different situations. Leadership styles should create a healthy working environment that facilitates nurses to perform at high-levels in different types of situations and circumstances in an effective manner. Many leadership styles exist. Two noteworthy styles brought up in class were transformational and transactional styles of leadership. A nurse leader who uses the transformational leadership style tends to involve his or her nurses in the decision-making process. This style of leadership involves an open and honest relationship with staff where trust and respect can grow. In transformational leadership decisions-making involves collaboration. Transformational leaders reach objectives by empowering, motivating, influencing, stimulating, and inspiring. The goal of transformational leadership is to transform people by giving staff autonomy. Transformational leadership is linked to greater satisfaction among staff. Transactional leadership style is another approach leaders use to lead. The main concept of this style is on structure, role expectations, and reward. Transactional leadership relies on three processes, which consist of moving staff, rewarding staff for meeting goal or completing desired work, monitoring work performance and correcting followers when a problem occurs or waiting until a problem occurs and dealing with the issue later (Huber, 2006). In transactional leadership there is no collaboration the leader establishes the goals for the staff. Transactional leadership is “…a competitive, task-focused approach that takes place in a hierarchy” (Tomey, 2009, p. 186). The interview with one nurse leader revealed that her leadership style is mostly participative. The participative leadership style permits staff to participate in decision-making. This leader believes that including the staff...