Discussion: Leadership Theories in Practice

Discussion: Leadership Theories in Practice

Evidence-based decision-making involves incorporating the best available evidence, practitioners’ expertise, and the community’s characteristics and needs. Administrative evidence based practices involve agency level activities and structures positively related with performance measures. There are five domains of implementation of A-EBPs namely leadership, development of workforce, financial processes, partnerships, and the climate and culture (Duggan, et al., 2015). The healthcare system generates unprecedented challenges such as system complexities, financial shortfalls, poor delivery of resources, clinicians’ shortages, errors and patient safety, and controversies in reforms. Nurse leaders can draw from clinical practice roots to partner with leaders in other health disciplines, policymakers, and community members to create solutions and alleviate the problems. This discussion examines two formal leadership theories and presents comparisons to observed behaviors to assess their effectiveness in the organization.

Presently, nursing management is considered as a profession, necessitating special training, characteristics, and skills. Effective nurse management is vital as it is one of the fundamental components that drive the teams’ performance, motivation, and job satisfaction. It is imperative that nurse managers have an in-depth understanding of the leadership style to enhance the management of their teams and units and deliver improved patient care. Leadership is defined as the discipline of offering guidance, direction, motivation, and inspiration of teams towards accomplishing mutual goals through management of resources, people, and information (Marshall & Broome, 2017). To elucidate information about leadership styles in nursing, it is prudent to consider the leadership theories prominent in nursing literature. AANAC recognizes the five main nursing leadership styles: transformational, laissez-faire, democratic, servant, and autocratic styles (Frandsen, 2013). The focus of this discussion is on transformational leadership and servant leadership that is applied in our organization.

First, transformational leadership is defined as a leadership style whereby a leader ascertains the needed changes, creates the vision that will guide the changes through inspiration, and implements the change with commitment (Marshall & Broome, 2017). An example of the transformation leader in our CEO. For instance, during the COVID-19 crisis, rather than assigning tasks, he taught us how to think outside the box to devise nursing care plans for patients and generate positive health outcomes. By developing the creative nursing care plans, the team enhanced decision-making skills, improved self-esteem, and empowerment to realize our career aspirations. He builds strong relationships and motivates all staff members to achieve a mutual vision and organizational mission. Also, he displays charisma and confidence when communicating the vision, which inspires teams. He has gained our loyalty and respect by always letting them know they are significant, helping, offering praise and encouragement to all staff. Thus, he motivates the team to take ownership and perform beyond expectations.

Secondly, servant leadership is defined as leaders who motivate and influence teams by building strong relationships and enhancing each team member’s skills (Frandsen, 2013). An example of a servant leader is our nursing unit manager, who ensures all team members’ needs are have been addressed by seeking our input into decisions and providing ample resources needed to succeed. Examples of observed skills include listening, empathy, commitment, influence, acceptance, respect, foresight, humility, persuasion, awareness, and sense of community. For instance, she works shoulder to shoulder with team members, offering guidance, freedom, and latitude to make critical decisions. As a result, our nursing unit manager adopts the servant leadership, which has created strong teams devoted followers within our unit due to the positive attention given to each employee in practice. The leadership style has a strong influence on improved patient outcomes, team morale, satisfaction, and retention.