Leadership traits and styles in today’s health care organizations
Leadership has been defined as the ability of a person to influence other people to do things that they would not have done without the influence. People with this ability are referred to as leaders. Leaders are found in different settings and contexts, such as in a family, a school, a government, and an organization.
Clinical nursing leadership is a new role in the paradigm of nursing developed by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) mainly to equip nurses with the necessary knowledge, skills, and competencies to operate in the contemporary health care system, which keeps on changing (Kippenberger, 2002).
One of the leadership styles adopted by nurse leaders in health care organizations is transformational leadership which involves the motivation of team members through various mechanisms. The nurse leaders connect to the follower’s sense of identity and challenge the team to take greater ownership of their work. Transformational leadership helps in realizing positive change. The transformational nurse leaders are therefore passionate, enthusiastic, energetic, concerned, involved, and focused on helping every member of the group to succeed (Ojo, 2008).
The other style of leadership in health care organizations is the situational leadership style, in which nurse leaders adopt different leadership styles with different people and at different times. The nature of the work and type of skills of the team makes nurse leaders adopt this style. In this case, therefore, the nurse leaders link their effectiveness to the prevailing situations at any given time. What this means is that for the nurse leaders to be effective, they need to adopt a leadership style that corresponds to the situation as well as on the team’s competency and commitment (Winkler, 2009).
Lastly, there is the participative leadership style in which all members of the team are involved in identifying essential goals and developing procedures for achieving those goals. The nurse leaders, therefore, facilitate the attainment of the identified goals. With this style of leadership, therefore, the team gives its suggestions freely and is involved in decision making, which leads to a good relationship between the nurse leaders and the team. The leadership style contributes to teamwork and improved employee performance due to a friendly social environment. It also enables employees to use their skills and capabilities to their fullest (Ojo, 2008).
Formal and informal power and leadership
Formal leadership and power are attained through a formal procedure and informal organizations. Formal leaders attain their leadership either through appointment, election, or nomination by someone in authority. The leaders, therefore, have certain powers as outlined in their job descriptions or scope of work. An example of a formal leader is a manager who has the power to demote or promote employees within an organization. Informal leadership, on the other hand, is found in informal organizations or situations. Informal leadership emerges depending on the situation. The informal leader is not required to have some qualifications, but he or she attains leadership majorly through charisma. Informal leaders have informal power. However, informal power is not institutionalized like formal power.
Importance of political awareness by nurse leaders
Nurse leaders must be individuals who are fully aware of their political environment. The importance of such awareness is that it enables them to understand the political issues which may interfere with leadership in nursing. Such awareness helps the nurse leaders to know the boundary between politics and nursing leadership. Without the understanding, the nurse leaders may find themselves engaging in partisan politics, which is against the ethics of the medical profession.
Kippenberger, T., (2002). Leadership Styles. New Jersey. John Wiley & Sons.
Ojo, A. (2008). Leadership Style and Leadership Power. New York, NY: ProQuest publishers.
Winkler, I.,(2009), Contemporary Leadership Theories: Enhancing the Understanding of the Complexity, Subjectivity and Dynamic of Leadership. New York, NY: Springer publishers.