Assignment: Leadership Journal Authority
Assignment: Leadership Journal Authority
Leadership entails the ability of a person to influence and guide the activities of followers or members. This involves the making of sound but sometimes difficult decisions to articulate a vision so as to formulate achievable goals for an organization. Even though there are multiple definitions of leadership styles, a consensus remains that great leaders are those who have the ability to inspire and motivate followers to complete given tasks (Raymond, 2018). Nonetheless, leaders are expected to exert formal authority so that subjects respect them for their judgment, expertise, and integrity. However, authority and power emerging from leadership styles may not influence the followers to achieve a common objective of a prospect as it can be confused with coercion. Besides, authority in leadership can rarely provide a reflection on the scope of feedback and constructive criticism to enable followers to voice their concerns about the radical solutions proposed by leaders.
Leadership and authority are exercised in all professional cadres including nursing. The main purpose of the present journal is to elaborate on my thoughts and observations on the nursing activities experience in Weeks 3-4. I will also highlight my place of influence in the course of my professional practice as a nurse and describe the opportunities I have had to make people successful. Finally, I will provide a reflection of two things I have learned from the “Issue of Authority” during coursework.
Observation and thoughts on the activities in Weeks 3-4
These past weeks in class, I have learned the most interesting concepts related to leadership and authority. In weeks 3 and 4 of my nursing placement, I spent 16 hours with nurse leaders in different departments of the hospital. Specifically, for week 3, I took 7 hours with a nurse leader in the emergency room (ER) of the care facility. During my placement, I observed the mandatory activities undertaken at the unit and how a leader exerts authority to followers. The most intriguing aspect of my experience was based on how the leader delegated duties to motivate nurses to work in the department. I remember how the nurse assigned the five nurses in the department duties despite complaints from the senior nurses that they received the heaviest workloads. The leader was able to explain to the senior nurses the reasons for such actions by describing how their wealth of experience was the most important factor during the allocation of tasks (Clavelle, O’Grady & Drenkard, 2013). The leader convinced them about how their knowledge is appreciated and that they were the most suitable personnel to handle patients at the emergency department.
For week 4, I spent 9 hours with a nurse leader at the newborn unit (NBU) of the facility. During our engagement, I observed how the nurse demonstrated servant leadership. The leader took a keen interest in hygiene to minimize the spread of infection to the babies. The nurse leader reminded other leaders about the same and maintained that no one would be allowed to wear any jewels or wrist watches in the newborn unit. I learned the concepts of safety issues while taking care of patients in the NBU by observing the culture of safety habits instilled to nurses in the unit by the nurse leader.
Place of Influence in my Professional Life
My influence at the place of work relates to the position that I hold as a family nurse practitioner. In my engagement with other nurses, I am able to use formal authority to inspire and motivate colleagues to achieve a common course of patient safety at the facility. I provide guidance on safety practices at the facility even if my job description as per the work policy does not require me to provide this service. I also helped the nurse leader to organize and coordinate shift hours based on the experience of nurses in handling different categories of patients. The nursing team is able to work as per the guidelines I reminded them to follow with regard to safety and this explains how I influenced their daily practice.
Opportunities I have had to help be people successful
During clinical placement at the hospital, I worked with my preceptor to observe the operations of the nursing staff at the
emergency department. I helped the nurse in distributing questionnaires to collect data from patients and other hospital workers about their perception of the nursing activities. I also made observations about the nursing activities especially during the high-stress situation at the facility and reported my findings to the nurse leader (Clavelle, O’Grady & Drenkard, 2013). This enabled the leader to provide suggestions and recommendations to the hospital administrator on how to improve the activities of nurses so as to optimize patient care in the facility.
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Actions I have taken to serve people and my relationship with these individuals
As I provide nursing care service, I coordinate activities with members of the nursing team and other professionals in the health facility. I have worked with colleagues to provide care to patients in different situations. Most importantly, I have been a resource person during the doctor’s ward rounds at the health facility to provide decisions on the delivery of care. I have also provided training to the members of staff during continuous medical education to sensitize nurses and other care providers on the aspects of patient safety (Raymond, 2018). It is important to note that nurses and other care providers require information related to safety for workers and for patients. This can only be achieved through seminars or other education forums organized by care facilities. The premise improves knowledge among health staffs to understand the performance metrics related to quality outcomes among patients.
A reflection on lessons learned from the “Issue of Authority”
During week three and four of the practicum, I learned the aspect of servant leadership as a way to exert authority to the followers. A servant leader as per my observation is a person who inspires members of a team towards successful outcomes (Raymond, 2018). Besides, the leader lays a platform to improve the work environment for the followers. This relates to the delegation of tasks equally and resolution of conflicts whenever they arise.
The other aspect learned relates to the forms of authority that a leader can embrace. These include formal and informal authority. From my observation, formal authority is based on the central authority of an institution which employees are expected to follow. The formal authority stipulates guidelines which can seem as coercion to workers and this may result in punishment or job dismissal if they fail to follow. Formal authority may limit followers from voicing their concerns based on their experiences and perceptions of the organizational work policies. As such, with formal authority, followers are not likely to change their attitudes and behaviors (Clavelle, O’Grady & Drenkard, 2013). However, informal authority is the type of influence that leaders develop to exercise on people. I came to realize that leaders can exert their authority based on the feedback from the workers. The informal authority limits aggression by leaders and therefore is the best approach in solving emerging issues in an organization.
Throughout weeks 3 and 4, l have learned the concepts in nurse leadership and how this relates to patient care. Specifically, the discussion focused on the issue of authority that a leader uses to influence the activity of the followers. From this illustration, formal leadership tends to be coercive as opposed to informal leadership. As such, leaders need to understand and address the plight of their followers to gain trust and respect in order to achieve the goals of an organization.
Journaling provides a valuable tool for recording, reflecting on, and reviewing your learning. This approach provides an opportunity for you to \”connect the dots\” and observe the relationships between and among activities, interactions, and outcomes.
Unlike a personal journal of thoughts and feelings, this Leadership Journal is a record of your activities, assessments, and learning related to this academic experience.
Journal entries should include a record of the number of hours spent with your nurse leader each week.
Write a journal entry of 750-1,500 words on the subject of authority, including the following:
Provide observations and thoughts on the activities in Weeks 3-4.
Explain your place of influence in your professional life.
Describe any opportunities you have had to help people be successful.
Identify actions you have taken to serve people and your relationship to those individuals.
Reflect on at least two things you learned from the \”Issue of Authority\” video.
View the \”Issue of Rule\” video.
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