Analysis Of Contemporary Leadership Theories
Leadership is the ability to help and guide others to achieve their personal best. A good leader achieves this by managing the present station and planning for the future. Throughout history no clear definition has been adopted for leadership but it could be understood as ” process of influencing personnel toward achieving a common goal” While leadership style is the behavior adopted by a leader or manger to direct followers to achieve the ultimate goal as cited by (Farag, McGuinness, & Anthony, 2009). There are different leadership styles theories based on behavior like the autocratic, democratic, laissez-faire and bureaucratic leadership. Moreover because of the complex demands on the health organization contemporary leadership theories emerged. Contemporary leadership styles include quantum leadership, charismatic leadership, transactional leadership, transformational leadership, relational leadership, shared leadership and servant leadership. Effective nursing leadership nowadays creates healthy work environments that maintain nurses and allow them to deliver best quality care for the patients.
Charismatic leadership according to (Roberson & Strickland, 2010) is linked to leader with certain qualities such as intellectual and individual inspiration, charm, high self confidence, provide clarity when condition is vague and set needed calculated risky moves. This leader set example and do initial sacrifices. Therefore followers of charismatic leader try always to imitate him/her. This type of leadership influence the followers by logical stimulation about the quality of care provided. Charismatic leader often start by asking followers modern solution to improve them and the situation available as well. The followers experience optimistic effect toward the leader and any task they are dealing with, self assured, extremely motivated to show higher performance. It was noticed that employee were empowered by their charismatic leaders which in process affected their work engagement. Their sense of empowerment made a huge influence and great difference on the outcomes related to their tasks.
Shared leadership means empowering all staff in decision making and is both practitioner owned and organizationally supported as stated by Scott & Caress, 2005. It allow for health care professionals to join their forces and work together to expand multiprofessional care. The design of shared leadership work to answer individual inquires and assist with growth of professional independence. Shared leadership is based on the idea of decentralized style of management that creates an atmosphere of empowerment. The advantages of this style are to offer united responsibility and liability for the employee to be more involved in the course of decision making. This style support staff input, creativity, allow sense of worth, high self-esteem and boost job satisfaction. It utilizes employee skills to enhance delivery of excellent care, create the most suitable culture to reflect on the practice. On the other hand reports show mixed results as to offer any clue about the efficiency of this style. To apply it effectively this means to change all the structure, relationship, decisions on every level of the organization as much as possible to make it useful for everyone involved. This is the reason why it creates a great challenge to execute. It requires massive dedication and cautious preparation. The ends results will definitely show it deserve the great effort put into action.
Servant leadership is the foundation where a leader get the desire to serve others and along the process to lead as described by Neil, Hayward& Peterson, 2007. The leader in this style represents foresight, attentiveness, accountability, influence; listen thoughtfully to ideas and loyalty to staff members. The leader always provides ready professional assist for the staff and realizes the significance of staff contribution to the development of care. The incorporation of servant leadership ideals by putting into practice has less directing role and more with serving the needs of others and by use of shared power. Barriers to this style are lack of awareness and power struggles. There is a great connection how health care workers treat each other and how it affects customer care service eventually. As Garber, Madigan, Click&Fitzpatrick, 2009 affirmed servant leadership style has more significance in complex healthcare today because of dynamic work setting and various teamwork relationships. Moreover this style suggests from the name “inherent servant nature “that’s why it is liked by nurses. The application of servant leadership has been shown in last 3 decades but unfortunately still further studies need to implemented to examine the effect of leadership on both health workers and patient as well.
Another modern leadership styles include quantum leadership and relational leadership as Sullivan & Decker 2009 reveals that relational leadership could be referred to as connective leadership and leader should have the skill to generate a relationship between care giving settings and various personal needs. Nurse Managers could make use of this style when dealing with a great group of administrations, doctors, nurses or any other heath care worker to prepare a new advanced patient care program .this style necessitate high process skills and content expertise. The leader will keep social communication, calm, classify and distribute roles, tasks, provide contribution and celebrate accomplishments at right time. A different leadership style is quantum leadership and as mentioned by Sullivan & Decker (2009) it developed from chaos theory. This leader needs to think outside the box and have a look on the bigger picture at the end. As times revolutionize the role adjust to it. The leader faces various challenges from the ever changing practice. It is worth to mention in the past powerful information were not available to all involved staff but now everyone can share delivery of excellent patient care if they have needed skills.
Last two important contemporary theories that are used internationally through most of health care management are transactional leadership and transformational leadership. As cited by Ford, (2009) in his study that transactional leader act on main social exchange. The leader works on established framework. Demands clarity on task to accomplish, utilizes incentives as required but when the ideal outcome not sustained uses the appropriate authority to interfere. There is continuity in the process of exchange between the leader and the followers. This process continues between involved personnel applying this style till no longer applicable or desirable. The leader main goal is to preserve balance and status by always act and refer to the organizational policies and procedure. This leader realizes the importance of personal reward to attract followers to put their greatest effort on the tasks but at the same time customizing regular known practice.
The other equally important style is the transformational leadership which the majority of latest studies evaluated the success of its application. It is necessary to say that this style achieve past what transactional does. As Dierckx, Casterle, Williams, Verschuren & Milisen (2008) refer to Transformational leadership means to empower followers to reach the best professional and personal development. This style is best adhere by hospital and nursing environments. This style aim to influence the followers by nurturing their desires and ideas, therefore followers will try to achieve higher than their expectations. Transformational leadership style base on the fact that not to be influenced by status of person but what the person can bring to the organization as a dramatic revolution. It was clearly documented the constructive effect of this style on the fulfillment of staff and their improved performance. In addition it results in patients’ satisfaction. According to Graham & Jack (2008) reveal that transformational style is a process of searching insight of oneself to reach a state where a certain practice should change. The leader has the ability to change a situation with tension to a creative learning experience for everyone involved. Moreover this leader has all the potentials to break the ordinary limits and general restraints associated with other types of leadership styles. In 2008 a study done by Nielsen, Randall, Yarker&Brenner conclude to same result and found that adopting this style enhance psychological well- being of the followers. As the leader raise awareness to the shared goal and the follower will think of the interest of the group rather his/her self only. The leader achieve this by forming inspirational motivation to followers by originating an attractive idea .furthermore the leader acts as a role model by using skills of charm ,persuasion and definitely as a mentor. It is noticed strong evidence for causal relationships between work characteristics and employee health and well-being; work characteristics that could be greatly influenced by leaders. Several aspects of transformational leadership behavior may be associated with follower’s perceptions of their opportunities to develop. Transformational leaders are often described as constructing organizational framework that allow followers to train and develop their own cognitive abilities, and to become more capable of defining and perform their own visions independently of the leader’s immediate control and supervision. Transformational leadership not another option but in fact it boosts the transactional style (Spinelli, 2006). To summarize the difference between the transactional and transformational style according to Farag et al.(2009) transactional style depends on the followers agreement to achieve a common goal in exchange of admire or reward. However transformational style result on the followers work toward the same goal of the organization and being motivated and inspired by the leader.
In my point of view what makes a great leader is the ability to choose to lead not to follow. Has to plan effectively for the present issues and to predict complexity of future themes. Most of people agree that leadership could be learned if right characteristics such as intelligence and personality are present. Followers of good leader will always emulate him/her and have the motivation to challenge themselves to be better. They are not afraid of giving continuous feedback on their situation. Therefore the leader should act as good role model and a mentor as well. A leader with an understandable objective of his/her style has less management crisis in contrast to another leader with vague vision. Nursing leader should be a strong advocate and fight for his/her follower’s rights and calculate the risk before taking them. The effective leadership will minimize stressors surrounding the staff. For any organization to succeed transformational and transactional style combined are best to implement. These styles both act on facilitating conflict resolution which has great impact on the organizational culture. These styles understand aspects affecting conflict management and when properly applied higher job satisfaction will result. Moreover better relationship between staff and constructive health care organization as well as society will be noticed. Lack of effective leadership as demonstrate by (Tomey,2008) direct to patient dissatisfaction, unnoticed contribution of hardworking staff, lack of learning chances with less staff inspiration and intellectual motivation lead to huge stress in the working field of the health organization. Therefore both styles have been found to provide positive atmosphere for the nurses to work whether they want be motivated for the benefit of the group as in transformational style or waiting for the praise, recognition or simple reward as in transactional leadership style. The result will be calmed, healthy workplace environment and well being of patient as well as staff.
Finally excellent leaders from all styles are made by experience or born with natural talents. The goal of leader at the end is to assist others accomplish their finest role and always set realistic goals to be challenged. A leader who is inspiring others must be a role model before and an excellent mentor for his/her followers. A leader with great sense of charm and self confidence will naturally attract follower to reach for the best outcome. Therefore cost-effective, smart management should invest on those people with these qualities. Never forget the role of follower even how little their contribution might be maybe one day they become successful leader and affect nations.