Chamberlain College of Nursing
Transition to Professional Nursing NR351
Summer B 2010
Leadership Styles in Professional Nursing
There are several leadership styles in professional nursing being implemented on a daily bases that can either enhance or diminish the standards of practice. For example, the style of leadership chosen affects personal performance and patient outcomes. Leadership is a method of modeling accountable behavior to followers. In an article on leadership effectiveness by Maureen C. Trott and Kim Windsor, the article states, for the present and the future of healthcare, having the talent to lead is crucial to the success of the organizations (Trott & Windsor, 1999). Basic leadership styles include authoritarian which is when the leader takes full control; democratic is when the leader involves a team approach; and laissez-faire where the leader provides little to no direction (Hood, 2010). Another form of leadership is transformational. Transformational leadership is defined as, “one who inspires and empowers everyone with the vision of what could be possible” (Hood 2010, p.460). The paramount leader is one who makes adjustments as needed in order to achieve the best possible outcomes for all involved parties in a range of dynamic situations. Leadership Styles
When thinking of leadership styles one thing to consider is what defines a good leader. Hood (2010) suggests that an effective leader influences and encourages others to achieve goal setting and goal attainment. A good leader recognizes that there is always something new to learn. Effective leaders set direction, build commitment and confront challenges through clear communication and soliciting staff feedback. Authoritarian leaders remain in control, they are task oriented, and are effective in crisis conditions. An authoritarian leader makes decisions and addresses all problems single-handedly. This type of leadership style is not as successful and will have a difficult time motivating staff and developing a team approach. Democratic leaders are incredibly successful in the work place. Democratic leaders accentuate on effective group functioning by allowing communication to be open and heard. A democratic leader acts primarily as a facilitator and resource person and shows concern for each team member. This type of leadership includes shared governence and is flexible in adapting to the ever changing roles of a nurse and the healthcare environment. On the other end of the spectrum of leadship is laissez-faire which is a leader who is permissive and provides little direction. Decision making is sololy up to the team with minimal guideance, support, or feedback from the leader. This type of leadership is effective usually if the staff is highly self motivated and displays strong autonomy skills. In today’s diverse healthcare settings, this leadership style is unproductive. (Claborn & Zerwekh, 2009). “Clinical environments that are task-orientated and do not encourage continual reflection and feedback about their practice from their staff are inconsistent” (Henderson & Winch, 2008 p.95). Transformational leaders (TF) tend to have the most successful outcomes. Studies have shown that the staff nurses prefers the transformational leadership approach and that it alleviates job stressors (Trott & Windsor, 1999). This type of leader is extremly motivational, acquires trust from others and produces dedication from the employees. TF leaders ustilize a combination of styles based on the current circumstances. This type of leadersship focuses on the needs of the team and tasks to be accomplished. Transformational leadership benefits both the organization and staff goals. Applying leadership in the nursing practice
Effective leaders, both transformational and democratic, have the superior characteristics that are implemented on a daily basis to meet the...