Pick one of the Leadership characteristics in the chapter you read above that you feel is the most important in a leader. Describe a personal situation about yourself or a leader that supports why you feel that characteristic is the most important.
To me the leadership characteristic I look for is someone who is inspiring.
In my final nursing school placement years ago I had one main preceptor, and one part-time preceptor. My main preceptor was very much a manager: cold, by-the-book, minimal personality, effective and efficient, and knew the facts about everything. I learned a lot from this preceptor, but really only about the job in the LTC where I had my placement.
My part-time preceptor was the one I would say was the true leader. She made me feel welcome to the profession, but was honest about the challenges that came with the title and career. She was very book smart as well and knew a lot about how the organization was run, but she was very personable too. She generally cared about staff and patients and never forgot anything that someone told her. She always wanted to know what people were up to and how they were feeling.
I feel balance of intelligence and humanity makes a true leader. This woman made an incredible nursing leader who still inspires me to this day.
Honesty is an important leadership characteristic. It builds healthy relationships within the team and builds trust which is necessary for a team to work effectively and achieve company goals. Leaders need to be experienced and trusted by their employees, especially when relaying information on how to do a task correctly. When people trust/respect their leader and feel respected and valued in return, people are more likely to cooperate with their leader and therefore, the company is more likely to achieve its goals.
My manager completes yearly employee reviews where we each get pulled into her office one by one to hear about how were performing our jobs and any feedback the patients and families may give. I enjoy hearing the positive feedback from this meeting after busting my tail all year. She doesn’t just stop at this though, the review goes both ways. After the meeting she would ask each nurse what they think she could do differently to help them succeed at their jobs. Feedback can go both ways.
Accepting positive feedback/ constructive criticism is how we can learn and grow. Teaching your employees to be honest with you and each other can be an effective tool in keeping a positive / productive environment.
I think you raised good points on why honesty is an important characteristic of being a good leader. Trusting the leader to know how the tasks should be done is so important in most fields of work, but especially nursing. And your right, when people trust their leader, they are more cooperative and are overall more likely to work towards the common goal!
I feel honesty is the most important leadership characteristic. If you aren’t honest you won’t be credible or inspiring.
I have worked with many leaders who embodied the other characteristics: forward looking, inspriring, competent and credible. The ones who inspired me the most were honest. As a team lead I am honest about the challenges that are present in health care presently. I feel honesty makes me credible. A new nurse wishes to go work in a faster paced area of the hospital. I explained, from my experience and point of view the positives and negatives of the change he wishes to make. Plus, I had recommended him to the manager of the unit. You should have all the information to make an informed decision
I like that you noted Honesty as an important trait
To me; regardless if constructive criticism or positive feedback; if you have trust within your leader/manager you will be more willing to accept the feedback and take any action that may be required
I also believe that trust goes both ways; To acknowledge when a mistake is made or perhaps something was said or done that you acknowledge was not the best or right way, I believe that this shows to your peers/colleagues/managers that you have self reflection and can learn from any mistakes going forward
I think being credible is an important characteristic of leadership. The reading they described it as, “they walk, the walk,” or “do what they say they will do,” but my favourite point was “if you don’t believe the messenger, you don’t believe the message.” A credible person is someone who is honest and trustworthy. They are someone who you can rely on and an as a leader they believe in the “message” and can motivate others.
I have had a manager who always had an “open door” policy and said, “you can approach them with anything” and there was never follow through, or they’d tell others about what you have said. Concerns weren’t resolved and the manager became the person creating issues within the team. The focus was never on increasing morale or making the staff feel appreciated. The team struggled with staff retention, job satisfaction and had a high turnover. Although they are a competent person and honestly wanted the unit to be successful, they weren’t a credible person who “walked the walk” and the team suffered for it.
On the other hand, the best examples of a leader have been those that are consistent and are willing to work with you and “practice what they preach.” You respect what they say but also what they do.
100% I agree with you, leading by example is important. I believe it helps keep employees motivated to perform the job. Also, its comforting knowing you can have someone to rely on.
I feel that the most important characteristic of a leader is honesty. An honest leader leads by example and does what she says she will do. By doing this, trust is earned by her followers.
In my final placement in LTC before graduation, there was a nurse there that I looked up to and until reflecting on it now, I hadn’t realized it was because she was an excellent leader. This woman, (in her mid twenties at the time), was energetic, hard working, took great care of her physical health, displayed strong morals and was knowledgeable in our field. I would watch her speak up in huddles, take initiative and follow through with what she said she would do. Even though I mostly watched her from afar, she really inspired me. Near the end of my placement, I had the privilege of shadowing her as she worked the floor. The relationship she had with the PSW’s was rare. Even though most were older than her, they showed her genuine respect. When they came to her for assistance, they knew they could trust that she would be able to assist them with what the needed and if she didn’t know the answer, she would find someone who did. I asked her for a piece of advice that has stuck with me some ten years later and I have used it several times with effect. I asked her how she responds when she sees the PSW’s on their phones while they are on the floor working. She said, first off, she herself is never on her phone while working (that way she isn’t a hypocrite for asking them to stay off theirs), and second of all, if she does see someone on their phone while working, she asks that person not to put her in a situation where she may have to have them written up. This nurse walked the talk and it made it easy for me to follow her. I learned a lot from just a short amount of time watching her, and until now, I hadn’t recognized what an excellent leader she was.
I agree with Samantha. So interesting to look back at work history and now recognize coworkers as leaders.
Honesty definitely promotes a healthy work relationship with mutual respect.
I appreciated your post, Samantha. I think what stood out to me the most was that she would phrase corrective feedback in such a way that it communicated much more. By saying “don’t put me in a position where I may have to write you up,” she’s communicating that they are a team, that she is on their side, and wants them to be on hers, and reminds them they are all their for their patients and to keep the common goal in mind. It sounds like she was a leader who was honest and competent!
Credible is my pick.
Leaders with credibility encompass honesty, competence and are inspiring.
When I started my RPN position on a Palliative Care Unit I knew about death and dying. I had taken palliative care courses. The multidisciplinary team worked closely and rounded each morning. This collaborative practice was led by the Palliative Care Chief, Dr. Swift. His leadership definitely inspired the entire team. We all had the same goal and were passionate about the care we gave. His competence meant patients died well. His honesty with patients; families and the team was comforting. We often had debriefing/review of care because some deaths were more difficult than others and this allowed the team to grieve too. I certainly learned so much more than the palliative care courses I took working with such a great team. Dr. Swift definitely “walked the walk”. He inspired us all the “feel a strong sense of ownership and commitment, motivated by shared values”
It definitely helps the team and the work environment to have a leader that works this way. They show the focus of the work but also on the team. It easier for the team to focus when the leader is a trustworthy, real person. I love that they also involved the Interdisciplinary team. It’s so important to listen to the whole team.
I believe that credibility is the most important characteristic of a leader. As mentioned in Kouzes and Posner’s book, credibility is the over-arching concept which encompasses someone who is honest, inspiring, and competent. To be perceived as ‘credible’ is a more intricate and demanding quality to possess, as it is made up of several factors.
I have had the privilege of being told that I am a credible candidate for a higher-level position by many of my peers and colleagues. I believe I have given this impression through a great deal of consistent and multi-faceted work. I not only ensure that the job I am doing is the best it can be – that my skill, knowledge, and time management enables me to be more then competent, but I hold myself accountable, am honest with all levels of the organization, and do my best to encourage, enable, and inspire others to do their best as well. Being seen as “credible” is not an easy feat, but certainly a rewarding one.
This is a really hard question to answer! All 5 of these qualities honesty, forward-looking, inspiring, competent and credibility are all very important attributes of a good leader. A good leader does not just consist of 1 characteristic, a good leader has many characteristics that makes them Leaders, one characteristics cannot sum up a leader, all of these characteristics are important to be a good leader.
I currently work with a leader, who I look up to and aspire to be like one day. He has guided my way of thinking, the way that I approach situations and he always is looking at ways to improve, “ruffle the norm”
I love that he always is looking for improvements and he discusses this with me and asks for input. He gives positive constructive criticism, we meet on a monthly basis for 1:1 meetings, often talk daily about day to day activities that are happening. He has contributed to my growth by his leadership abilities. I appreciate and value what he says, he is very straight forward in his messaging, but compassionate about the growth and success of his staff. I feel comfortable going to him and he is very approachable, he poses all the 5 characteristics.
I believe that credibility is an important leadership characteristic as when a leader is “walking the walk” this allows others to see that you are willing to roll up your sleeves and put in the work as well as the talk.
I spend a lot of time in my current role completing staff training for client specific care/support tasks and completing support visits w/clients and PSWs
Being able to demonstrate specific skills/tasks and not only ‘teach the theory’, allows me to build better working relationships within my team in a practical environment
Having the PSWs note specifics to a client and/or their home environment; that may be outside the ‘norms’, allows the PSWs to feel heard, understood and also gives better insight to implement a client specific care plan and/or task
Having me in the home during a regular scheduled visit; allows me to see the actual environment VS the care plan on paper, allows discussion between myself, the PSW and the client/family re: areas that are of concern, areas that are working well or areas that will require other experts to support the client and PSW in the daily care and support EG: PT, OT, SLP
I often have feedback from the PSWs in the home that “The client will only listen to you as a supervisor”
When I have this feedback from the PSWs in the home; I will often schedule an in home support visit during a regularly scheduled visit with the PSW and client so that the PSW whom is seeing this client multiple times a day/week, feels included in the discussion and my hope is that this also builds a better professional/working relationship between the PSW and their clients/families as trust and feeling safe are often the biggest fears or worries from home care clients and their families
I think the characteristic that is most important in a leader is honesty. Telling the truth starts the foundation for trust and respect between the leader and team members. This will in turn develop and improve healthy relationships within the team. I find when team members trust their leader, they are more likely to believe their words and promises.
One organization that I worked in, there was one leader whom was in management and she made it a priority to be up front and transparent about the changes that were occurring in our team and organization. The information she was revealing to the team was very sensitive and something the previous leaders would have never shared. This created a trusting relationship when the information that was delivered and then came to fruition. Our team quickly began trusting her which turned into respect.
You’ve had such a great discussion here! It’s apparent that there are so many leadership traits that are important. Do you think that your work situation influences what you are looking for in a leader? The trait you felt was most important in your present position – would you still highlight the same trait in a different work environment? I also like that you wrote of transformations – changes that happened to teams based on the leadership. Those whom you may not have recognized as leaders, but now that you put them under a microscope, actually have showcased their own leadership qualities.
Taking a moment to understand, recognize and highlight these features will make you more aware in your own leadership journey.