Leadership is the ability of one to guide others; it is based on ones abilities and qualities rather than skills. One is born with these inherent qualities and naturally leads others; these qualities are such as honesty, courage, confidence, determination and wisdom among others. A leader is different from a manager, while a leader is born with the qualities a manger is created from skills he acquires. The leader can become a manger while a manger is not necessarily a leader. The leader is seen as a person in charge they are consulted for they ability to make decisions and guide the course of events. While this may be true the leader is also a servant, a good leader’s purpose is to serve those who he has been bestowed upon the responsibility of guiding. This may seem absurd but looking at leadership from a critical point of view one is able to understand the huge responsibility on their shoulders as they are often looked upon.
The position of leadership is either bestowed upon them or it comes naturally, when a faced by a certain decision a leader in a group will emerge without being appointed. Leadership is then called upon to be based on ethics. The reason for this is that leadership in today’s world is under constant scrutiny, everyone is watching the actions of the leader they make comments and pass judgment. The leadership position is no longer a revered position, it is one thought respected is not exempted from the society’s scrutiny. A good leader is one who involves those he leads in the every decision making and activities of this group. The leadership role should also elevate the followers to a higher and better position.
Leadership is meant improve the individuals, a leader that leads those he leads into destruction or ruin is not an ethical leader. Ethically there are accepted behavioral aspects that are expected of a leader, the leader is not supposed to abuse the powers bestowed to him. They should not betray the trust and loyalty empowered to them by others, they are supposed to be consistent, should not hoard privileges and more so they should accept responsibility. These are the ethical aspects of leadership expected by the society.
Personal Leadership Competence
Leadership theories have been in use to help describe leadership. The transformational leadership theory is based upon the ethical approach, where both the leader and followers are engaged in a combined effort to raise each other. Transformational leaders raise the standards by being good examples to their followers. The process or transactional leader whose concern the creation of structures that he expects the followers to adhere to, of they do he rewards them.
The transformational leader promotes social values and encourages his followers.
Leadership development is not only restricted to mangers and leaders but can be useful to employees who are seeking to further their skills in leadership. In order for one to effectively develop their leadership skills, they need to develop a plan. This is guided by leadership competence skills.
The first step to achieving a personal leadership plan is the identification of goals. In order for me to achieve a healthcare leadership competence in the 21st century, the first step is to complete the master program in health informatics. This training is meant to give me skills in the information sector that are necessary in the field of health. The use and application of computers, information technology in the healthcare sector necessitates the learning of health informatics.
This will be acquired in the process of training and work experience as a nurse. Then I must access proficiency.
The next step in my leadership development plan is the identification of learning experiences. As a nurse i need to develop a learning contract with my immediate supervisor. This step is necessary as it gives me hands on experience and learning opportunities in the work environment. The supervisor is there to give guidance, work experiences and a guide in the learning process in the work place. This interaction also assists one in the acquiring of leadership skills especially when a supervisor assigns one an assignment.
In the learning process I should get a mentor in the field of nursing. This mentor is an authority in the area in which I am interested in. the purposes of mentors are to assist the learner in the learning process, they are both friends and leaders to the leaner. A mentor should be able to assist the learner in their quest for knowledge, give those resources, and practical experience as well as the exposure they require.
During this learning process, to acquire the necessary leadership skills, as a potential nursing director, I should engage in some cross training program. The purpose of which is to acquire theoretical knowledge in the field of interest. Programs such as these may involve workshops, or seminars organized in the work place. Volunteering for duty is one other sure way of accruing leadership skills. Grabbing the opportunity to fill in the position of a supervisor or staff that is away will expose one to the daily responsibilities. It is during these instances that one is well aware of their qualities as a leader, their shortcomings and strengths because this opportunities offer one the chance to exercise their knowledge. Filling in the position of a senior nurse even for one day is a fulfilling exercise; it even exposes one to the management.
An important learning practice is that of joining outside professional organizations. Either as a trainee, a part time worker or a volunteer the purpose again is learning, getting a feel of the leadership skill outside your workplace, gaining insights into how other organizations work. While learning can be obtained within the organizations workshops and training programs, but it is also good to obtain certifications from other institutions of learning in the medical field.
Short courses offered add value to an individual as well as training in the relevant field. With today’s ever changing market, institutions of higher learning are developing short courses to training professionals. A nurse can find these courses useful if they intend to further their career. These courses are also flexible in terms of time, evening, weekends holidays or even online and correspondence. It is important to try out online self test programs; these are meant to provide an individual with an opportunity to self evaluate themselves. Apart from these online programs ,there are books and tapes available on the self test.
Upon completion of the learning experiences it is necessary to have a developmental plan. This plan should detail the duration of time, specific objectives and goals to be achieved. The developmental plan should entail the learning experiences. The mentor, the short courses one intends to attend. Organizations that one is attending should incorporate self test, this show also state the results of the test. The strengths and weaknesses of the individual, s a nurse the developmental plan should have the short and long term goals. The plan of completing health informatics course, the steps intended to achieve skills in order to be a nurse director.
Strategic planning should be involved in the developmental planning stage; this involves the vision statement of the person. The vision here is to a nurse director; basically the vision is based on the long term goals. Strategic planning also consists of the mission, a personal mission details the specific objectives and how they plan to achieve them. By completing a course in informatics health and developing plans to achieve leadership training I am well on the way of becoming a nurse director.
After planning, it is important to complete the learning experiences. These experiences were set in the time frame of the development plan. As one attains the learning experiences it is important to assess the progress. Assessment can be carried out during the experience or on completion of the experience. Continual assessment is advised since one can put checks in place as they undergo the learning process. Continuous assessment is supposed to assist in making sure that the goals are being fulfilled. It is during this assessment periods that one can incorporate short term goals in the master plan. The short term goals are like check makers in a plan, having achieved a certain short term goal one is then able to move to the next learning activity. Plans also change during these continuous assessments, this is in a case where it is found that the plan was not achieving the long term objective. Apart from continuous assessments one can carry out an assessment at the end of the exercise. This is at the end of the program, this is meant to evaluate the success of the program, and whether on e was able to achieve the goals set out. If this was not done then one goes back to the first step and identify new goals. The assessment should clearly give a guide where a step went wrong.
In summary a leader is the decisive factor in the organization and society at large. Leadership should be based on ones abilities and qualities rather than skills. One is born with these inherent qualities and naturally leads others; these qualities are such as honesty, courage, confidence, determination and wisdom among others. A leader should be very different from a manager, while a leader is born with the qualities a manger is created from skills he acquires. The leader can become a manger while a manger is not necessarily a leader. The leader is seen as a person in charge they are consulted for they ability to make decisions and guide the course of events. While this may be true the leader is also a servant, a good leader’s purpose is to serve those who he has been bestowed upon the responsibility of guiding. The development of an individual to a leader should be based on self motivation. By attaining leadership skills one should be able to effectively mange and his peers. Personal leadership skills are meant for self improvement, they assist one in the workplace and his career objectives.
- Cromwell, S. and Kolb, J, An examination of work-environment support factors affecting transfer of supervisory skills training to the work place. Human Resource Development Quarterly,2004 Vol. 15 No. 4, pp. 449-71.
- Carter, N. Leadership Development Planning. Retrieved 1st May 2010, http://managementhelp.org/ldr_dev/ldr_dev.htm
- Baldwin, T. and Ford, K. (1988), Transfer Of Training: A Review And Directions For Future Research.Personnel Psychology, Spring, Vol. 41 Issue 1, p63-105
- Brinkmann, T. How to Create a Personal Leadership Development Plan. 2007 Retrieved May 1, 2010, fromhttp://ezinearticles.com/?How- to- Create- a- Personal- Leadership- Development- Plan&id=803557
- Kendra, C.Leadership Theories – 8 Major LeadershipTheories retrieved 1st May 2010, http://psychology.about.com/od/leadership/p/leadtheories.htm
- NSS. Scotland. Delivery Through Leadership: Leadership Development Plan. Scottish
- Executive, Edinburgh 2005
- Stephen, R., Bruce, M. and Terry, W.M., Organizational Behavior. Published by Prentice Hall, 4th ed.