Characteristics of Leaders

The assignment for the day is to identify examples of Nursing Role Activities for 12 different characteristics of leaders. Here we go:

1.       Leadership requires personal mastery – Nurses demonstrate leadership when they show competence and mastery in the tasks they perform. Nurses are deemed competent by means of a license to practice nursing (NLN 2010).

2.       Leadership is about values – Nurses demonstrate leadership when they hold strong to their values and cannot be swayed to push their values to the side. My current place of employment has outlined core values of clinical excellence, integrity, compassion, ownership, and teamwork. A nurse leader will always hold those values as being most important.

3.       Leadership is about service – Nurses demonstrate leadership when they serve those around them, including their superiors, their team-members, their subordinates and their patients. Service rendered allows others to feel important and loved by the leader and strengthens those leader-follower bonds. 

4.       Leadership is about people and relationships – A nurse is a leader when they show that they care about the people on their team and others around them. A nurse leader will listen to and value each member of the team and make efforts to build their relationships with team members and between team members.

5.       Leadership is contextual – A good nurse leader knows that leadership is contextual. There are times when you must lead, and other times when you must follow, depending on the context of the situation. When given instruction from upper management, a good nurse leader is okay becoming the follower. When given charge in other areas, a good nurse leader is then ready to take charge and become the leader.

6.       Leadership is about the management of meaning – Nurses demonstrate leadership by motivating others to find meaning in the work they do. A nurse leader can do this by discussing the important reasons behind the things that nurses are asked to do and answering questions to help employees understand why there are asked to perform certain jobs or tasks.

7.       Leadership is about balance – Nurses demonstrate leadership by being able to balance many different aspects of their job as well as balancing their job with their personal life. Nurses balance their load by placing sufficient focus and each an every important element without placing too much or too little focus on any one thing.

8.       Leadership is about continuous learning and improvement – Nurses demonstrate leadership when they recognize their need to always strive to learn and improve and move forward to do just that. By staying up-to-date on certifications, licenses, continuing education and by simply welcoming new and updated information, a nurse leader can demonstrate this leadership characteristic.

9.       Leadership is about effective decision making – A nurse leader makes effective decision that will benefit her team. Even when a leader is under stress or pressure, she can make effective decisions by staying calm and level headed and viewing the whole scenario.

10.   Leadership is a political process – A nurse leader understands that leadership is often a political process. In understanding this, the nurse realizes that making connections and moving your way up if often how leadership positions are obtained. Therefore, a nurse leader will get to know and listen to managers and directors above her.

11.   Leadership is about modeling – Nurses demonstrate leadership when they model the behaviors they expect from others. The nurse leader teaches by example, not just word. If she expects her team to talk to and about patients with respect, then she herself will also talk to and about patients with respect.

12.   Leadership is about integrity – A nurse leader is true to herself, no matter the scenario and who is or isn’t watching. She charts what she did, not what she intended to do; she treats patients with respect, even if no one is watching; she is honest about mistakes she makes.

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