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Leadership

Nurses Article   (7,885 Views 3 Replies 714 Words)

madwife2002 has 26 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in RN, BSN, CHDN.

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What is leadership? A question that is asked and debated daily on every level of management. We all have our own thoughts and opinions on what constitutes a great leader, also what defines a poor leader. I am sure in you everyday life you meet examples every day.

Leadership

Leadership can be defined as process by which an individual influences and motivates others to get involved with a particular task.

Effective, memorable leaders often have something unique about them looking back in history reveals many men and women who have made a mark in our lives. Examples of great leaders are Churchill, Martin Luther King, Emmerline Pankhurst, JFK, Lincoln and George Washington.

Not all leaders are remembered in a favorable light yet they influenced masses, we cannot talk about leadership without mentioning Hitler, who swayed so many followers that he almost invaded the world. It could be stated that his powerful leadership intoxicated people in Germany.

Lots of research has been carried out on the many qualities that an effective leader should process, a search on the Internet found 419,000,000 by just typing Leadership in the search bar. Motivates and Inspires are the words which stand out in many of the articles on effective leadership.

Healthcare Leaders should possess certain qualities; which include integrity, honesty, the ability to adapt and change easily, flexibility and a desire to improve quality of care delivered to patients. It is easy to become disenchanted with leadership when we perceive them as dishonest and abusive of their power.

If we don't respect our managers or leaders we will 'Feed the Hog' a workplace phenomenon that is discussed in detail by David Maxwell and Kerry Patterson in their book 'Crucial Conversations'.

Feeding the hog is about disengagement, lack of enthusiasm, spending time talking negatively and not doing their job. Feeding the hog affects productivity, resulting in unfavorable outcomes, not something we want to encourage in healthcare.

Expectations of healthcare leaders has evolved over the years, no longer do we expect to be dictated to when performing our job, we expect to be coached, encouraged and developed. The job of leadership is multifaceted, evolving day-by-day, situation-by-situation. Leadership is an art that is practiced well by some and not so well by others. Leadership can be a difficult balancing act between what is expected by 'the powers that be' and the employees being managed.

I don't believe we all have the ability to lead; however I do believe in a strong team we can lead together. The key to strong effective leadership has to be the team that is put together to support the vision and expectations of the leader.

One bad apple in the barrel has the potential to spoil the rest of the team, so it is important as a leader to be able quickly identify problem teammates and work out issues.

Teams are constantly changing and evolving as goals within companies move; it is important that leaders are change agents and are able facilitate their team in the right direction.

A solid leader accepts and acknowledges their vulnerability in some areas and works with others to improve and enhance their leadership qualities. Leaders have to continue to grow and develop as experiences change and mold them daily. Turning negative experiences into learning opportunities is the only way; learning by mistakes can help others to become more effective.

I do acknowledge that over the years I have been in healthcare, I have seen lots of changes in leadership and I do see improvement where we work with our teams to develop them and the more they are developed the stronger the team and the greater the leadership.

Do not despair leadership is no longer seen as one size fits all, if you do not fit in and complete a team doesn't mean you will never find your ideal fit. Move on, until you find your ideal team-it is out there.

A Great Leader needs a Great Team, a Great Team needs a Great Leader!

Reflect on your leadership daily, acknowledge the good and the bad. Then analyze what you did well and what you could have done better. There is always room for improvement our learning never stops! Reflect daily on whether you were a team player or were you feeding the hog!


Acknowledgement

Kerry Patterson "The Law of the Hog"

RN with 26 years of experience many of those years spent in dialysis. I have worked in acute care, home, ICHD as a CN, FA, and currently a director.

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Rose_Queen is a BSN, MSN, RN and specializes in OR, education.

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Just want to point out that not all great leaders are in management, and that not all those in management are great leaders. I know the terms get used interchangeable a lot, but I think there are times they are done so incorrectly.

If we don't respect our managers or leaders we will ‘Feed the Hog' a workplace phenomenon that is discussed in detail by David Maxwell and Kerry Patterson in their book ‘Crucial Conversations'

Feeding the hog is about disengagement, lack of enthusiasm, spending time talking negatively and not doing their job. Feeding the hog affects productivity, resulting in unfavorable outcomes, not something we want to encourage in healthcare.

I think that this can be a double edged sword, though. Leaders need to earn the respect of their staff- it isn't a given that they should receive it simply for holding the position. My direct supervisor? Respect the heck out of her. When there's no help for lunch relief, she's right there giving people lunches. When there's an emergency, she's right there to help out. That makes her worthy of my respect.

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joanna73 is a BSN, RN and specializes in geriatrics.

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Effective leaders also realize when it is appropriate to accept the role of follower and let others lead.

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I will tell you from personal experience what makes a good leader; screwing everything up majorly.

My first management job (as an assistant manager), I had all my employees ready to walk out the door in 2 weeks. What I learned is that leadership is learned through experience. Six months later, I was a top manager and my company was sending me to under-performing locations to rehab them. Thankfully this was during my 2nd year of college and my post-grad employer.

I also learned to work for myself. I am now damaged goods, can never work for someone else again because I will not put up with BS. Last management job where I worked for someone, I told them they could not micro manage me, that I would make mistakes and take full responsibility for them. When I turned the business around and started to grow it, I was micromanaged. I walked out.

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