Leadership Theories and Reflective Journal

This week in Leadership I learned about the beginning roles of a leader. To me leadership is someone that others follow and they have a big influence. Leaders should set a positive example and affect others from that example.  One thing I learned was that Leadership and Management, although two different things go hand and hand. I am on maternity leave so I didn’t get the chance to ask someone else but I currently am a charge nurse and so from personal experience some of the expectations that were assumed when I took a charge nurse leadership role was that I was the go to or lead nurse on each shift. With that I needed to be confident in rules, processes, and flow of the floor. I also needed to be available to answer questions and assist with anything at all times during the shift. I also needed to know how to keep the unit safe by knowing processes. I really took it upon me as the charge nurse to make sure we all worked in a safe, happy, uplifting, and healthy environment each shift I work in that role. At first I was very nervous and felt that I needed to know everything but I learned that I have a lot of backup such as doctors and management. I also learned that other departments were there to help or back me up as needed.  

Some other things I learned this week about leadership were that there are three different kinds of leadership styles. First is Autocratic: my way or the high way. Second is Democratic which is vote, group, majority rules . Third is Lassiez-Faire which is doesn’t care as long as it is done. I think that each style has their positive aspects and all three need to come into play together. A good leader has all three. 

The DISC Personality Test: After doing the test I had a tie between being I(influential) and C(Conscientious). This was not totally surprising or new knowledge about myself as Influential people care about others and try to make everyone feel welcome and belonging. They get along with everyone as they can find relation. Conscientious people do not like confrontation. Both of these are common traits of mine as I have always put other peoples needs and feelings before my own and have always struggled with confrontation. The one part that surprised me was that Influential people are said to struggle with tasks and getting things done. I would have to disagree as I feel I am a very task oriented person. Moving forward as a leader knowing this information I will take the positive traits and try to focus on utilizing the more. I also will remember the negative traits and try to work on changing them to become a better leader.   

After participating in the group project, I realized that a leader can really be another who influences others affecting actions. A leader can influence both negatively or positively. There were many leaders in history and looking at the provided list of individuals, one could argue that all of the individuals were leaders at one point in time. I like to think that leaders can only have a positive effect but in reality a lot of leaders in history had negative effects such as Hitler. I really believe that anyone who motivates others and their actions is a leader. 

After reviewing all the material this week, I was able to learn and reflect on qualities of a leader and in what ways leaders can influence others. Moving forward in my nursing practice, I hope to be a positive leader instead of a negative leader because I learned that if you are not careful you could be either. I hope to achieve this by understanding what my positive and negative qualities are and then take my positive qualities and utilize them more and instead of suppressing the negative qualities try to change them. I also learned that balance is important with leadership in that you cannot be too strong in some types of leadership styles. This is important to understand in becoming a good leader. I don’t think that becoming a leader will happen overnight and it will be accomplished through continuous example but I hope that the information learned this week will help me become a better positive leader. 

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