To inspire and influence others, a leader must possess many skills and abilities. As motivational speaker Peter Northouse, states, “a leader should be strong, but not rude; be kind, but not weak; be bold, but not bully; be thoughtful, but not lazy; be humble, but not timid; be proud, but not arrogant” (Northouse, 2013) Moving an entire group of individuals toward a singular goal is a considerable undertaking. Without effective communication skills and a clear vision of what needs to be accomplished, one will feel like they are trying to herd cats rather than leading.
During my interview with Regina Martinez, BS RN and currently an Assistant Director of a home health agency, I discovered her leadership style matched the above quote. Martinez had extensive experience in management prior to joining the medical field. As a single working mother, she worked her way up from waitress to manger of a popular seafood restaurant. However, her dream had always been to become a nurse and she began her medical career as a certified nurse’s aide (CNA), while working through college. She graduated from nursing school with a Bachelor’s degree in Science and has been a Registered Nurse (RN) for more than two decades. She quickly earned the respect of doctors and fellow nurses, becoming a Charge Nurse on the floors she worked. She has worked as Medical Surgery nurse, emergency room, and as Director of Nursing for home health and long-term care facilities where she was responsible for over 150 employees.
In her current position, she is responsible for six RN’s, three licensed practical nurses (LPN), five CNA’s and two support staff members. They are currently looking to add several more positions to the payroll. Martinez joined this agency two years ago, and since that time has turned the business from one headed to closure, to one that has increased its staff, tripled its profits and for the first time, was able to give employees a Christmas bonus based upon their past years earnings. The success the company now enjoys is credited to Martinez’s leadership, motivation, caring, and attention to detail. Delivering the medical care to a patient, in the comfort of their own home, by professional, caring medical staff is a much needed service in rural northeast Colorado.
Martinez stated that in her past and current position, her goal has been to always lead by example. Martinez adamantly stated she would never ask an employee to do anything she herself was not willing to do. She stated she did not follow a particular leadership style, but has read several leadership and management books, articles and studies to become more effective. Martinez stated the book she references the most is Carl E. Larson and Frank M.J. LaFasto’s Teamwork: What Must Go Right/What Can Go Wrong. Through their research they explored the eight properties of successful teams: a clear, elevating goal; a results-driven structure; competent team members; unified commitment; collaborative...