Three Qualities of Effectual Leadership

Three Qualities of Effectual Leadership

The concept of effectual leadership is an important aspect in the field of nursing and health care. Leaders have a significant role in creating a culture and mindset that not only inspire but also unite individuals within a group or society. Since the perception of leadership is different to certain individuals however, various leaders around the world function and interpret leadership in unique and distinct ways. As a result of this realization, the following principles and philosophies are necessary to becoming an effective and successful leader in the health care arena.

1. Master and Perfect your Unique Craft.

Since all leaders have distinct leadership styles and abilities, every leader must learn to recognize and master their unique leadership craft. Understanding this concept is crucial because all leaders are responsible for the effectiveness of organizations and provide a guiding purpose to those who need them. In order for this to occur, an individual must be willing to listen to his or her inner voice and remain true to who they are. Only after the individual fully accepts themselves and their idiosyncrasies can they move on to the second step in the leadership hierarchy.

2. Appreciate the Fundamentals of Leadership.

Fundamental leadership is composed of various ingredients that an individual must grasp before he or she can successfully lead. The first ingredient is defined as the guiding vision, which is the individual’s overall goal for himself or herself. All leaders must have a clear idea of what he or she wants to do—professionally and personally—and the strength to persist in the face of setbacks or failures. This ingredient is vital because it exemplifies the importance of possessing a strong sense of conviction in both aspects of the individual’s life as well as the importance of knowing what you desire and how you plan to achieve it. The second and third ingredient in fundamental leadership is passion and integrity. Passion is when you put more energy into something than is required to do it. It is more than just enthusiasm or excitement, but ambition that is materialized into action to put as much heart, mind, body, and soul into something as humanly possible. In addition to this, integrity is also a much-needed component in becoming an effectual leader because it is based on honesty and a steadfast devotion to principle and ethics. Without these three ingredients, leaders will have a difficult time not only motivating others but also gaining the trust and support necessary to accomplish a shared goal or objective.

3. Embrace your Inner Self.

The third and most important step in becoming an effectual leader is learning how to embrace your inner self. The premise of authenticity is a central theme in effectual leadership because the most charismatic and effective leaders are those who are genuine representations of their innermost nature. One of the best ways individuals can gain this is by experiential learning, which provides the individual with a rich and solid foundation for the future. Through experiential learning, individuals are exposed to the repercussions of their choices and as such, decide for themselves whether or not to make the same choices in the future. This exposure ultimately shapes and forms the leader to become emotionally mature and develop the mental acumen required to be authentic and transparent leaders across the health care spectrum.

5 Ways to Build Leadership Skills

5 Ways to Build Leadership Skills

One of the hot topics in nursing is the need for good nurse leaders. For minority nurses, the topic is especially important. As the patient population becomes increasingly diverse, nurse leaders of all ethnicities are going to be needed to most accurately represent the diversity of those patients.

If you are intrigued by the idea of taking on more challenging roles and increasing your responsibility but aren’t sure you have what it takes, read on. Some leaders have a natural way with both superiors and subordinates and inherently magnetic qualities to boot – the term “born leader” probably applies to these folks.

But if you weren’t graced with those qualities, you can always learn them, and wanting to do more, achieve more, and make a change is more than half the battle.

If you don’t feel like a born leader, how can you make yourself look like you are one?

1. Act Like a Leader

Come up with innovative ideas and make sure they get in front of the right people. You can start small with something in your unit and then expand into something bigger. Always look for ways you can improve your environment. Make your own work habits impeccable – be on time, be calm, be decisive, be professional, and always, always be prepared.

2. Share Your Knowledge

Leaders want to make a change; they don’t want to keep all their knowledge to themselves. Offer to make a lunchtime presentation about changes you implemented that made a difference so you can show others how to do the same. Document new policies so others can achieve the same success. Mentor a younger nurse or a nursing student.

3. Praise Your Colleagues

Have you ever noticed that a good leader offers strong guidance and opinions, but is equally free with giving praise where praise is due? If your team did something great, get the word out and include everyone’s name on documentation. Sing their praises and thank them in whatever way your department finds appropriate. Even something as simple as a fresh fruit and muffin breakfast is appreciated and remembered.

4. Keep Learning

Leaders never stop learning, and they will learn from any situation. Leaders do more than keep their certifications up to date, they learn how to do something new. Take a class in policy change. Investigate a new development in your specialty or learn about any new treatments involving diabetes or whatever chronic condition you see frequently. Join a professional organization and learn how nurses in other organizations work or how they solve problems. Study how businesses motivate workers and keep up with the changing world.

5. Make the Change

Leaders combine the information they learn, the situations they find themselves in, and the people they meet, and they use all that forward momentum to make a change for the better. How can you use those forces at work in your life to make a change? Can you start by being the best advocate for your family or an ill neighbor? Can you help your community or a local school by giving them accurate, timely information with a newsletter or a presentation? Can you make a lasting change for a repeat patient who struggles constantly with discharge instructions or one colleague who needs a little professional guidance?

Maybe you weren’t born a leader, but you can become the leader you want to be. You just have to start somewhere.