In modern society, healthcare is an area where a dynamic and responsive system is in place and only people who have an ability to cope with challenges and frequent organizational changes achieve complicated goals. Those are the main reasons why healthcare professionals should demonstrate strong leadership skills and possess proper traits, many of which are described in certain leadership theories. Thus, it takes a lot to be a leader in healthcare (Finkelman, 2011). Therefore, the objective of the following paper is to speak about a leadership theory that was used by me during my career path.
Successful healthcare leaders have many subordinate staff members, which is why the former should have a certain mindset and ability to motivate and inspire people, as it is not easy to stay enthusiastic in the healthcare environment where human sufferings are common. Such traits as ethical decision-making, positive attitude, leadership by setting an example, focus on the result, building strong teams, and constant willingness to make improvements, are only a small part of characteristics that are important to healthcare leaders due to the challenges they face.
I have noticed in my life that I possess several innate talents and abilities, and leadership is one of them. Leadership has always been my strong side, as I often succeeded in taking other people out of taking action and doing things that they thought they should do, but we’re usually wrong. At the same time, modern society requires leaders to become strong and flexible and sometimes not to mind the interests of other individuals, which is not my path. Therefore, in 19 years of service in multiple areas of healthcare I came to an understanding that I enjoy following such behavioral theory as servant leadership. This type of concept is significantly different from other approaches. Some people might feel confused about it, as leadership is usually not about “serving” others. While I was working in prison nursing facilities, I had to pay much attention to the well-being and professional growth of others, as the working environment was stressful enough. The traditional leadership practice is about exercising and accumulating power, while servant leadership is about sharing it, putting others’ needs first in order to help people stimulate personal development. I fully agree with the concept of servant leadership, while the autonomous one is not always a very good approach, which I experienced during work in tele and acute analysis departments. Nursing is about caring for others, but not pursuing personal goals, while the latter-mentioned behavior can demotivate people around.
During my professional career, I have understood that leaders should always try to develop themselves. In time, I have found out that I like reading between the lines, feeling good to show empathy towards the healing, which turned out to be the major pillars of servant leadership that come from awareness, conceptualization, persuasion, foresight, and commitment to people’s growth (Spears, 2010). This is all about people, who are the most important asset in any society, irrespective of whether I worked in a prison or acute dialysis department. As a leader, I have developed a habit to use the theory of servant leadership to change people’s mindsets and win their hearts so they can be more open for new ideas and follow me voluntarily, while other healthcare professionals choose autocratic leadership, where people are threatened to lose their jobs and simply follow the orders.
In addition to that, I have never doubted that servant leadership is the best for me. Such a concept is very important to our society, and it actually needs such leaders, as we do not have many individuals who can leave their personal interest behind and think about others. In the following paper, I would like to mention one example from the prison facilities where I have worked a lot and gained much useful experience. It was actually the time when I found that the leadership theory that I chose had evolved. Due to the extremely tough environment and regular contact with the prisoners who were considered extremely violent, my nursing department was headed by a man, who had been using only autocratic leadership behavioral theory and coercive power in order to make sure the staff obeyed his orders. Moreover, he encouraged his subordinates to follow his example and sometimes we consciously or unconsciously mimicked him. Thus, I was curious to see how things would change if I used another approach. Instead of using an intimidating tone while treating the prisoners, I tried to spend as much time as possible with them by taking extra shifts and using servant leadership concepts. I noticed that even those inmates that used to be named the most violent had changed a little and were kinder and more responsive. In addition to that, other nurses started following the servant leadership style, which contributed to a significantly better working environment around us.
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However, I would like to mention the fact that might sound very funny, I did not know that I had been using servant leadership concept for many years, and the final understanding that that was the real way to live came to my mind during my studies while obtaining the baccalaureate diploma. The studies have helped me to structure the knowledge and see a clear differentiation between various leadership styles. A servant type of behavior should not be taken away; it is natural for a real leader. I confirmed that to myself during working in my last job, which was an apheresis nurse. This was a time when I, as a servant leader, had many benefits from prophecy as I listen to the world and open my heart to what I hear.
During the last six years of work as an apheresis nurse, I understood that this is important for implementing many initiatives and changes as well as to show an example to my colleagues and patients. A certain part of my job is about planning, assessment, evaluation, and implementation of proper care, which is why the concept of servant leadership helps me a lot. People must treat others with dignity and practice what they preach, understand and respect other needs and try giving feedback and coaching when necessary.
In conclusion, I want to mention that for me leadership is the ability to lead people, but not because of legitimate power, but due to the ability to encourage, motivate, explain people’s ideas, persuade them and ‘serve’ them for their benefit. Being a servant leader is a life-time journey that never ends and can be challenging and sometimes tempting to give up, but there is nothing more rewarding than to see success and progress of the people that you have led to the achievement of common goals. I have chosen servant leadership as the most appropriate context for me as I want to help people to accomplish their aims, motivate them to become better persons and inspire them to help others. Leaders must never jump to conclusions and should listen to both sides and servant leadership is the concept I would like always to follow.