Good Reflections: Personal Leadership In Nursing Research Paper Example
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It is extremely important to periodically review the individual state of knowledge and understanding regarding job responsibilities assigned with one’s profession, since that is the main way to identify and rectify individual shortcomings. I consider myself fortunate as this essay provides me a scope to introspect and frame my reflections on personal leadership in nursing, which is the core area of my operation.
Where I Stand
My basic values and beliefs can be described in three short sentences – one, I should honestly try my best and enjoy my work; two I will derive satisfaction by virtue of my performance that can be read from the satisfaction of the patients; and three, my organization will facilitate the occurrence of the above cycle of events on a regular basis with appropriate infrastructure and policies. While the above statement depicts what I cherish to achieve each day at my workplace, there are certain intrinsic and extrinsic factors that combine together to create a gap between my desire and reality. For example, I find it is becoming increasingly difficult to adopt a detailed, patient-centric approach amid a stiff competitive business environment that is gradually engulfing the organizations, where the workplace ambience is commanding more transaction-oriented professionalism while reducing the space for any emotional engagement with the patients. Therefore, it appears a bit confusing to me when I learn that nurse leaders should maintain a high ethical standard in the area of decision-making (Beauchamp & Childress, 2001), since my perception of ethics often prompts me to think that the patients are not getting appropriate emotional support as they deserve. Some of the expert views in this regard only heightens my confusion. For example, Corbin (2008) argues that the art of caring now is at odds with the workplace set up, while Griffiths (2008) observes that caring is constantly challenged in nursing and therefore, it should be nurtured within each individual. Resultantly, confusion shrouds my perception about the current workplace ambience and my own ability – is it that I am failing to recognize the change in the workplace as a natural phenomenon and not looking to align my emotional make-up with it? Am I over-emotional? This confusion is further fueled by Finfgeld-Connet (2006), who points at the necessity of achieving emotional maturity that prevents nurses from becoming over-emotional. Here I recognize the above confusion as the main constraint towards fulfilling my leadership role, which prompts me to probe whether it is possible to combine holistic leadership approach with emotional intelligence to make the most out of the current workplace.
What I Should Learn About
My ideal vision related to leadership in nursing as a profession pictures an individual who is available 24/7 for service, who can effectively communicate with team members, and who can identify both a single tree and woods, i.e., capable of seeing both smaller details and the large picture. With this, I first choose to review a leadership model that aligns with my vision.
Going through the leadership literature that took a new turn in the late seventies with the advent of transformational leadership theory (Burns, 1978), I find one of its derivative, servant leadership theory (Greenleaf, 1977) is suitable to my vision and belief after going through various researchers’ observations regarding several dimensions of it. For example, Winston and Hartsfield (2004) considers Moral Love as the core element of servant leadership, with which these leaders become a constant source of love and care to their followers, while Hare (1996) suggests that Humility keeps them away from prioritizing self-interest over the interests of their followers. Altruism makes them always concerned about others' well being, observes Patterson (2003), while Baron (2004) identifies Self-awareness as their power to decipher the cause behind an effect. A host of researchers underpin Authenticity as these leaders’ instrument to know and understand one's values (Kouzes & Posner, 2003), which also serves them as a "broad dimension that includes sub-dimensions like humility, security, integrity, vulnerability, and accountability" (Sendjaya & Sarros, 2002, p. 57). In other instances, Wright (2004) finds Integrity of these leaders enable them to convert holistic thoughts into actions, while Yukl (2002) identifies Trust as their common instrument. Alongside, Stanley and Clinton (1992) find these leaders as keen to empower their followers and finally, Greenleaf (1977) himself reminds that Service must be the central aim of these leaders. Interestingly, Stone, Russell, and Patterson’s (2004) brief summation of servant leadership that it aims to exploit all spiritual knowledge and ethics to become a selfless catalyst for change, helps this author to create the following mind-map with the elements of servant leadership:
Figure 1: Elements of Servant Leadership
Since at this stage my task is to probe whether it is possible to combine holistic leadership approach with emotional intelligence to make the most out of the current workplace, I opt to review Goleman’s (1995, 1998) model of emotional intelligence (EI), which he considers as the instrument of recognizing self or other’s feelings, motivating self or others, and of managing emotions. I find this model is based on five major intrinsic components, where each of them contains subsets of other intrinsic elements. I make a table of the same for ease of use:
A deep reading of the above suddenly prompts me to recheck the 11 principles of servant leadership as laid down by Greenleaf (1977) himself in also in a tabular form:
A striking resemblance between the two tables suddenly point at my own shortcomings, such as I always counted emotional maturity is an isolated intrinsic element instead of trying to know that a sincere practice of holistic worldview can generate emotional maturity. This at once made it clear to me that I have so far been caught into the fancy of the idea of holistic approach, but did little to internalize it. This realization therefore, clearly points out that it is not the external workplace environment, but my own lack of ability to provide wholehearted care through selfless service appeared as my constraint towards fulfilling my leadership role. This also charts my next of course of action towards living out my values/beliefs about leadership within the context of my vision for nursing.
What I Need to Do Now
The first important task for me is to delve consider the above tables as my inner guides to all my actions at workplace and I need to check each day whether performance matched the instructions of my inner guides and to take notes about all rooms for improvement. This practice will equip me to learn and practice the principles of holistic approach. As my second task I need to study the biographies of famous nursing leaders, since that would help me to align my theoretical understanding of holistic leadership with real-life situations and to use stories from their life to motivate my team members. The third task would be explore new models of nursing leadership. For example, Janet et al.’s (2009) Nursing Leadership Knowing (N.L.K.) model appears promising, as it includes six major dimensions of nursing leadership. , which together can transform the workplace. In the end I again find myself fortunate to have this scope of introspection as I feel confident by knowing that I can now improve my leadership qualities by sincerely attending the above three tasks.
Baron, R. (2004). Baron emotional quotient inventory: Technical manual. Toronto: MHS Systems.
Beauchamp, T.L., & Childress, J.F. (2001). Principles of biomedical ethics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Burns, J. (1978). Leadership. New York: Harper & Row.
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Goleman, D. (1998). Working with emotional intelligence. New York: Bantam.
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Hare, S. (1996). The paradox of moral humility. American Philosophical Quarterly,33(2), 235- 241.
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Kouzes, J.M., & Posner, B.Z. (2003). The leadership challenge. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
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Priest, J. (2005). Emotional intelligence. Retrieved from http://www.creative- writer.com/reports/EmotionalIntelligence.pdf
Sendjaya, S., & Sarros, J. C. (2002). Servant leadership: It's origin, development, and application in organizations. Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies, 9(2), 57.
Stanley, P. D., & Clinton, J. R. (1992). Connecting the mentoring relationships you need to succeed in life. Colorado Springs: Navpress.
Stone, A.G., Russell, R.F., & Patterson, K. (2004). Transformational versus servant leadership: A difference in leader focus. Leadership & Organization Development Journal, 25(4), 349-361.
Winston, B., & Hartsfield, M. (2004). Similarities between emotional intelligence and servant leadership. Servant Leadership Roundtable, Regent University. Retrieved from http://www.regent.edu/acad/cls/2004ServantLeadershipRoundtable
Wright, W. C. (2004). Mentoring: the promise of relational leadership. Carlisle, UK: Paternoster Press.
Yukl, B. (2002). Leadership in organizations. Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Prentice Hall.
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