Leadership Essay

2084 words - 8 pages

When talking about leadership, one cannot help but wonder how it relates to nursing. If the focus of nursing should be caring for patients who are either well or ill, then why is there a need to tackle leadership? Unlike before, today’s health care environment is complex, rapid and continuously changing. This development prompts an upcoming danger to the nurse’s skills, identity and ability to coordinate with other health care professionals. On the other hand, this also makes nurses challenge their own into taking the lead, developing goals, consolidating a purpose and moving towards an attainable vision. A nurse leader then needs to combine clinical, administrative, financial and operational skills to effectively solve various clinical challenges. These challenges are the rationale behind tackling the need for leadership in nursing.

Leadership is a human engagement activity. It connotes the idea of someone being superior to the other. Leadership can be seen as the practice of small actions that can engage or alienate, nourish or deplete those around us. Others often mistake a leader to have the same title as a “manager.” The difference between the two terms is evident in the popular statement. A leader deals with people while a manager deals with paper. Leadership is considered a unique function also. It can be especially delegated or it can simply arise in a certain group. In the nursing context, the leader is a visionary with a concentration of time and effort who looks outward to how the unit, organization, or profession can go forward (Daly, et. al., 2004). Leadership is also considered a natural element in nursing practice because majority of nurses work in group or units. When an individual receives the license of an RN, possession of leadership skills are already implied. Three of the most essential skills include the ability to communicate visions and goals to individuals and groups, ability to discipline self regarding time management, and ability to deal with stress well. There are three known styles of leadership namely autocratic, democratic and laissez faire. In simple terms, autocratic means that only the leader makes the decision. In democratic the people most of the time has a say on the decision. And in laissez faire the decision making is given to the members directly, the leader is minimally involve in the process.

The relationship of leadership to power is unmistakable. Power is the key component in leadership (Feldman, 2008). It is the ability to influence the other party’s behavior. The formal aspect of power is authority. One aspect of power in leadership is the distinction made between the exercise of power to advance a collective purpose and power to self advancement. True power is shared and given freely. Even the most memorable leaders are empowering in a sense that their power is about influence, confluence and synergy versus domination, control or willfulness (Feldman, 2008). Empowerment is one of the many...

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