A leader that I have seen with such behaviors and skills would be our Medical Director at our unit.
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A leader that I have seen with such behaviors and skills would be our Medical Director at our unit. Our Medical Director has great influence of creating a work environment where staff are motivated and happy to come to work for. Our Medical Director has built a positive culture and shared with staff the value that they bring in to the workplace serving the patients that we have. \”There is growing agreement on the need for better leadership in health care but little consensus or evidence regarding which specific areas of knowledge, skills, attitudes, habits, or competencies are best suited to the leaders of the next century (Baker, 2003) or how they are best acquired\” (Marshall, 2021). Some skills that I have seen from our leader is the presence he brings in to our unit and communication with the staff. It is very important to constantly show interests and involvement, as this holds value to the staff and seeing that a leader cares. From the American Nurses Association, they also shared some of the leadership qualities in nursing including, communication and collaboration, education and quality of practice, environmental health and resource utilization, ethics and professional practice evaluation, and professionalism and leadership. Our Medical Director is more on the transformational leadership style as he lead with inspiration and and has a vision for the culture of the work environment. The article on Nursing Professional Development Leadership, also shares the importance of communication, collaboration, hared decision-making, coaching and mentoring. (Bring, Bogdan, 2023) Having these qualities create an atmosphere for staff that they can be inspired from and align their vision with in a workplace.
There are so many examples of leaders and leadership styles outlined in the bible that stood out to me as I reviewed our learning resources. I thought of Samuel, David, Saul, Solomon, and most importantly, Our Servant-Leader, Jesus Christ. All these leaders modeled different leadership styles, but they all had a common goal which was to lead and guide people to a communally better place. The commonality among these rulers is that God called them to lead His people. They had an assignment and guidelines/objectives on how to be successful leaders, but they all had to choose their leadership styles. Every organization needs leaders who are authentic and competent. Whatever leadership style a leader adopts, people want to believe they can count on their leadership. The disconnect between leadership and their core staff in healthcare has been alarmingly one of the reasons nurses leave their jobs. I don’t believe one can be a transformative leader without being a servant leader as well. While our reading resources described both leadership models separately, I draw a correlation between both. Nurses are used to leaders telling them what to do and never stepping in to help when the occasion arises that they are looking for a new generation of leaders who truly have their best interest and that of the patients at heart.
Unfortunately, most elected leaders fail. They go on to become pawns doing the bidding of those in administration instead of representing the cause for which they are elected. They lose focus and forget their assignment leading to resentment, frustration, and demoralization of the staff. As a servant, a leader combines their motivation to lead with a need to serve others and after reviewing the resources and considering all the leadership models, the servant leader speaks more to my style of leadership.
I lead from a place of strength and empathy. As a leader, I have mastered the art of getting to know people in my team on an individual basis. I make meaningful connections which helps me to recognize the strengths and weaknesses of those in my team and take those into account. Before I took on the job as the Director at my current facility, I was a member of the team. They know my work ethic, beliefs, and core values that guide my practice, so it’s easy to lead them. During the pandemic, I was the night charge nurse in my ICU where 60 percent of my core staff were new grads who were sold the lofty idea of working in an ICU, lacked the emotional skills of an ICU life, and were not prepared to deal with a pandemic. Though it was rough, and tears flowed, many of them stepped up to the challenge and true leaders emerged.
El Paso was heavily affected by the second wave of COVID-19, so we experienced a shortage of PPEs and had to be prudent with what we had. Due to this shortage and fear of the unknown, my hospital passed a policy aimed at preserving PPEs and putting human lives at risk. They called a staff meeting and this policy was introduced as coming from the bosses and not open for negotiation. I was the only one who objected to this policy, gave reasons why the policy violated my core values, and informed my bosses that I would quit if the policy was mandatory. They said it was mandatory, so I quit on the spot. On my way out of the hospital to the parking lot, the CEO called wanting to know why I resigned. I told her my stance and suggestion. She told me to go back to work and lead my team while they amended the policy and incorporated some of my suggestions. The compromise was that we could use the same PPE only for the same patient and dispose of it when it becomes dirty. We were also allowed to put our IV pumps outside the patient rooms, which provided easy access to them, limiting how often we needed to go into the rooms, and limiting our use of PPEs (this idea was adopted from what we did in California). My colleagues were happy and felt relieved that they didn’t have to jeopardize other patient\’s lives.
In conclusion, I have never taken a leadership position where I did not have a firsthand experience. Competency is important in leadership, which is why I am a big advocate of choosing our leaders from within ourselves. This breeds respect, cooperation, trust, and compliance because there is an existing mutual respect and understanding for the leader since they are chosen from among their peers. I understand situations where a leader is brought from outside an organization to fill a spot, but I\’ll always advocate to find someone from within first and if no one is competent enough, then an organization can look outside of its staff for a team leader.
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