Evaluate yourself as a leader of a research team. Explain what you have learnt about yourself. Refer to the writers in the field to support your points.
This assignment will examine models and styles of leadership. A reflective analysis will be given of how I led a research team, the impact of Emotional Intelligence on effective leadership will also be discussed. “The word leader is derived from the Anglo Saxon ‘lede’, meaning ‘to go’. So an organisation that has a leader assumes it is going somewhere”. Adair 1970. There are many theories of what makes a good leader, and also several models of leadership. One of the experts in the field John Adair, whilst working as a lecturer in the 1960-1970s at Sandhurst Royal Military Academy, devised a simple model of “Action-centred Leadership”. It is represented by three equally sized overlapping circles. Each circle represents a core management responsibility, namely – achieving the task, managing the team and managing the individual. The three elements of Adair’s model are mutually dependent, but also separate to the overall leadership role. Working as a Research Nurse leading a team I quickly recognised that there is no single style of leadership that produces the desired results, each member of the team is individual and responds differently. The ideal approach is to use the style of leadership appropriate to the situation. A good leader will adopt several styles and is able to use them seamlessly and in different measures, it is a skill which needs mastered over time. “A skilled leader will also be able to catch the mood of the time”. Adair (1970). There are six basic leadership styles: - Coercive, authoritative, affilliative, democratic, pacesetting and coaching. The coercive style can be very effective in crisis situations, when situations need resolved speedily. It can have a negative effect on employee’s motivation and can be perceived as dictatorial. The authoritative style is useful when a team appears to be dysfunctional, though it can become problematic when steering teams of experts who maybe more experienced than the leader. The affilliative style of leadership displays, “people come first” attitude, this helps in trying to bring a team together to produce more effectively. The democratic style allows employees to have a voice in shared decisions and become involved in generating new ideas. Although it can be effective, it can also be very time consuming, and the identity of the leader may be lost. The fifth style of leadership is “the pacesetting” style – this is where the leader sets high standards and is visibly adhering to those standards. This approach can have a motivating effect, but can also produce negativity if unachievable targets are set. Finally the coaching style of leadership – this focuses more on personal development than on tasks or targets. It encourages self-awareness, allowing the leader to identify areas of weakness, and able to embrace change rather than resist it. Traits theorists like Stogdill (1974) believed that leaders were born, not made, this approach was best suited to selecting leaders rather than developing them. The people who made good leaders had the right combination of traits. Reflecting on my role as a leader, my main focus was to encourage and motivate staff. It was essential to acknowledge that nurses on the unit were already under pressure with their day to day tasks, in an ever-changing critical environment. To then request staff to participate in a research project required a tactful and supportive approach. l was conscious of the importance of being a visible team leader, and being available to support and encourage staff. Having not had any leadership training in my career, I found myself relying on my intuition in certain situations. To create a positive research culture requires commitment, determination, consistency and a high level of motivation. How do I motivate staff? Was a question I often asked myself. I...
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