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Leadership in Healthcare

What makes a good leader? Merriam-Webster defines a leader as “a person who leads.” This is a very broad definition, however that allows our minds to take control. In reality, anyone can become a leader, but a leader must have the ability to influence others to achieve a goal. They do this by influencing their followers and focusing on effectiveness, vision and motivation. Some characteristics of a good leader include intelligence, organizational skills, ability to work independently, confident in their abilities, creative, ability to adapt to change, decisive and something everyone likes, they are personable.

In healthcare there are a variety of leaders, some natural and others appointed. Some examples include chief nursing officers, chief executive officers, attending physicians, charge nurses and nurse managers. These leaders are employees who have been appointed to these management positions and their main role is to plan, organize, coordinate and direct work to meet goals. We expect that all leaders in management roles demonstrate a good number of the positive characteristics listed above, yet this is not always the case. At times we may come across a “leader” who exhibits the following leadership flaws. Some of these poor attributes are having little to no energy or enthusiasm, accepting mediocre performances, lacking a clear vision, showing poor judgement, not collaborating with others, dismissing others’ opinions, not leading by example and failing to develop others.

There are four different types of leaders. An innovative leader is the risk taker, they challenge the “norm” and look for ways to make things better. A transformational leader wants the group to find a purpose in their work and build relationships with each other. A servant leader shares their power and focuses on the wellbeing of their followers. Finally, an authentic leader leads by example and focus on the ethical thing to do. They are very decisive and opinionated.

The question is: What type of leader are you? And think about the types of leaders in your life? What positive characteristics do they display? Is there anything they could do a little better?

Works Cited

Towne, K. (2016). Leadership and Management [PowerPoint Slides].


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