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Discovering the Potential in Nursing Leadership


Understanding oneself is essential in order to evaluate the real leader underlying within. It is the leader’s behavior that reflects the magnitude of leadership. The results evaluated from some of the questionnaires present a brief view of the knowledge of the theories of leader behavior, in the light of which I have tried to place myself to forecast the future leader. Conceptual and theoretical applications are presented in a ‘diagnosing’ style where not only positive traits are presented but weaknesses are also mentioned, so as to get a clear picture of what a true leader would look like. The knowledge has been extracted after applying the personality traits of a leader in context with health care organizations to increase awareness of the problem-solving situations and a change process that a nurse leader looks forward to facilitating modification.

This paper will analyze what I have discovered so far about my personal perspective of leadership between understanding self and understanding my subordinates in context with the managerial leadership and styles.

To begin with, I try to focus on my own point of view regarding problems that I usually confront to in my department. This will present a brief synopsis pertaining to awareness of my own leadership style which is further elucidated in the light of evaluating various survey methods inclusive of Delphi technique, Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and other questionnaires. Moreover, the discovery about myself presents an analysis of data that encompasses a sequential mixed-methodology design in which qualitative data from groups and interviews have constructed the interpreted information in the form of various phases of the discussion.

PELLEM Pentagram

PELLEM Pentagram served as among one of the best models to understand the process of diagnosing self, since it provided me an opportunity to discover myself holistically with an emphasis on attaining goals, setting priorities and reasonable expectations (La Monica, 2005, p. 53). I am glad to explore that I do not possess a stereotyped attitude about clinical instructors, doctors and hospital administrators and do not possess the idea that they must be in the same position for the next 30 years. Since my stated type, while taking the MBTI questionnaire is ISFJ (introverted, sensing, feeling, judging) I am also not adapted to the Halo-Horn effect, which refers to a favorable expression of one character in an individual that the leader sees as important. I was never inspired by any of my staff on the basis of a single quality presence, and never use to overlook other traits as well.

Findings after evaluating a two-round Delphi technique presented with a view that although I fulfill the criteria what it takes to be a future nurse leader, there is room for improving the balance between strong leadership and identification between facts and sentimental association. This is so because according to MBTI I am moderately sentimental and less factual. Characteristics that are frequently associated with ISFJ include being quiet and friendly at work while at the same time showing a sense of responsibility and conscientiousness (Allen & Brock, 2003, p. 26). I am more committed to meeting my obligations at the workplace than in my personal life and do not hesitate to undergo painstaking decision-making moments where loyalty and considerable remembering specifics about subordinates are my priorities. Moreover, I possess the trait to maintain balance to create a peaceful and harmonious environment at work and at home.

Implicit Personality Grouping

As long as implicit personality grouping is concerned, my behavioral description in context with emotions involves a direct statement of how my subordinates feel towards my decision. Since I use this communication mode to ensure my security in the group but I am often concerned with the fact that sharing feelings implies a risk to the extent where one personally feels dubious about using direct or indirect statements. Personally, I feel the indirect expression of feelings to be avoided by group leaders.

Therefore, in order to avoid misinterpretation, I use the direct expressions of feelings. I often make use of validating technique that includes checking with others in a tentative way to see whether my subordinates’ expressions are correct. While making judgments I make use of paraphrasing which is linked with verbal statements, while validating has more to do with unsure impressions, feelings and non-verbal processes. When attempting to validate, my attempt as a leader is to avoid showing abrupt approval or disapproval of behavior while merely checking out my subordinates’ perceptions (Clark, 2003, p. 75).

The SELF System

While assessing my capabilities with the SELF profile, I identified various traits of determining how team members learn and what causes them motivated to work with the team. I rated myself differently with four behavioral types that ranked me ‘moderately expressed’ for being ‘self-reliant’. This indicated my precision of timeliness, my willingness to take interpersonal risks and task-oriented. However, I don’t prefer telling my subordinates what to do until I reach a certain point.

This lead me towards ‘slightly expressed’ for being ‘enthusiast’ for showing my feelings and concerns easily to my fellows and being transparent in telling others what they feel. That also indicates I am people-oriented but lose interest quickly. I was ranked ‘moderate’ for being ‘loyal’ and cooperative towards others and ‘slight moderate’ for being ‘factual’, a low-risk taker who is more dependent upon facts and figures. That indicates that as a self-reliant person, I am always willing to conclude unending discussions and set the timetable while pushing my subordinates for decisions.

Negative Points

The negative aspect of my leadership include difficulty in delegating responsibility. This I come to know through signs that include always being very busy at work and attempting to be at three places at once. I am also subjected to rushing from crisis to crisis while having difficulty making and scheduling appointments with other team members. Talking theoretically, I believe in Lewin’s powerful metaphor of unfreezing, changing and refreezing which provides us with the basis of a framework for planning change (Cleverly, 2003, p. 54). Among the three I categorize myself in refreezing which refers to the certainty pertaining to the new belief, attitude and behavior which are going to be advantageous to me. However, the rest of the staff and the health school in the organization reinforce what has been learned.

This the staff uses as instruments of their own change which they infuse through active learning and validating their confidence in the new school of thought, soundly based on establishing cognitive homeostasis. This has at least given me enough confidence to believe whatever balances out in external contradictory arguments. Such a refreezing state to which I am exposed to is most likely to be successfully achieved when my new belief and attitude is constructed from active learning and even that in a group.

Positive Points

My ‘principle of charity’ has constructed knowledge around me to thoroughly integrate into my staff’s individual’s existing knowledge base and is therefore entrenched and stable. This ability has enforced me to grasp and welcome any new concepts that come in the context of learning or identifying with a role model. However, if I remain unable to fully identify psychologically and intellectually with the role model, the fit will not last long to stick to the new beliefs to be integrated. As a result refreezing may not take place, the new belief will remain unlearned and any change undone.

Visionary Leadership

Being a leader, I come to know through analyzing the work of Senge (1990) in Feldman & Greenberg (2005, p. 17) that I am identified with four core competencies which are my personal traits; mastery, intuition and reasoning, shared visions, and team learning. In the field of personal mastery, I possess the ability to produce intended results of service because it requires intuition and wisdom to work with forces rather than against them.

My intuitive capability in problem-solving pertains to judging the individual vision and dedication of every subordinate and, serves as a passionate commitment in the acquisition of new skills and improvement of old ones in the longer run. On the pathway to leadership, my sense of strong feeling suggests that I naturally inspire others by an unyielding commitment to a vision, where my own standards and performance create environments in which my subordinates’ abilities emerge and develop in the course of getting the job done.

Balancing Intuition with Rationality

Despite having intuition in my leadership style, I feel there is a need to consider the balance between my intuition and rational analysis. This is because intuition alone is insufficient as leaders must also be able to examine and clarify complex organizational dynamics and must possess an insight to analyze ill-defined issues. Since great leaders develop an interplay between intuition and reasoning, I still need to learn about balancing the two because I am more on the intuition side and less on the rational side.

Shared Vision and Team Learning

My friendly interaction with staff has emerged the quality of shared vision that helps the leaders to communicate their personal goals and common underlying purpose. I believe the shared purpose acts as a widely held mental tool for binding together individuals to a common purpose under the leadership, but it depends upon the leader to what extent he is capable to adhere the staff towards a common goal. When shared vision extends into the sphere of improvisation, it results in group learning that combines all the four competencies of leadership.

All the above qualities are present in transformational leaders who also envisions the leadership theory but with high performances. As a transformational leader, I possess the capability to go a long way to identify and communicate visions and values where I may call for major changes in nursing practice and profession.


Allen Judy & Brock, A. Susan. (2003). Health Care Communication Using Personality Type: Patients Are Different!: Routledge: New York.

Clark, Carolyn Chambers. (2003). Group Leadership Skills: Springer: New York.

Cleverly Dankay. (2003). Implementing Inquiry-Based Learning in Nursing: Routledge: New York.

Feldman R. Harriet & Greenberg J. Martha. (2005). Educating Nurses for Leadership: Springer: New York.

La Monica, Rigolosi Elaine. (2005). Management and Leadership in Nursing and Health Care: An Experiential Approach: Springer: New York.

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