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NUR 514 Topic 2 DQ 2

DQ 2 :After reviewing the topic materials and conducting your own research on servant leadership, describe how the vocation of the nurse is similar to the goals of a servant leader

The underlying principle of servant leadership is that leaders address the needs of the team before their own and
serve others before serving the self. After reviewing the topic materials and conducting your own research on
servant leadership, describe how the vocation of the nurse is similar to the goals of a servant leader. Identify any
examples you have seen in your practice, and the best way you can demonstrate servant leadership in nursing

What differentiates servant leadership from other styles of leadership is the primary focus on the
follower first. Most styles of leadership direct their focus first on a mission and second on
empowering followers to achieve that mission. Servant leadership directs its focus first on the
ability of the individuals to succeed and then on the success of the mission. Servant leaders help
their followers to grow and succeed, which in turn aids in accomplishing the organizational
mission. The perception of a servant leader should be one of a courageous steward who holds
people accountable for their own good. Servant leaders are those individuals who develop and
empower others to reach their highest potential. This speaks directly to the individual potential of
the followers rather than the organization. Servant leadership assumes that if the followers are
maximizing their potential, it will directly translate to the potential of the organization and its
overall performance. When servant leadership is applied correctly and with proper intentions, an
authentic and natural form of reciprocity takes place between the leader and follower, which in
turn increases workforce engagement and improves organizational performance (Gandolfi &
Stone, 2018).
Servant leadership includes ten characteristics- listening, empathy, healing, awareness,
persuasion, conceptualization, foresight, stewardship, commitment to growth of people, and
building community (Gandolfi & Stone, 2018). Communication begins with listening. A servant
leader hears what others are saying through both verbal and nonverbal communication and
reflect upon what they hear to lead a group to its full potential. Having empathy or understanding
and sharing the feelings of followers allow servant leaders to be placed in a position at the level
of those followers. Servant leaders are further able to identify the characteristics hat make each
individual unique and provide them with the ability to understand how best to support and lead
their followers to achieve success in the mission, in this case how the staff nurses respond to
their patients’ needs. While the leaders may not always accept the performance or actions of
followers, the leader always accept each follower as an individual.
When the servant nurse leader displays a genuine interest in the team and further support through
meeting the needs of the team, the quality of care increases within the organization (Thomas,
2018). Listening and empathy displayed by the servant nurse leader to their patients provides for
interprofessional communication as the nurse will include the patient and family to identify the
patient needs, make decisions regarding the patient’s care, solve problems together, and evaluate
the planned treatment.
As a Nurse Manager, I employed servant leadership especially during the annual employee
evaluation process. The employee evaluation process simply stated only evaluates if the
individual is meeting the expectations of the organization. It lacks personal development
features. I created a format that tasked each nurse to assess areas of strengths and opportunities.
Then together we discussed strategies to develop those areas. For example, a nurse with two
years of experience felt she was not ‘experienced’ enough to consider growth in the department

when viewed alongside nurses with more years of experience. A goal we set together was to
attend a preceptor course to then begin first mentoring nursing students and later to precept new
hire nurses to the department.
A servant leader is a skilled communicator, a compassionate collaborator, a system thinker, and
someone who leads with moral authority. Nursing practice and the vocation of nursing lends
itself to the servant leadership model through its dedication of service.
Gandolfi, F., Stone, S. (2018). Leadership, Leadership Styles, and Servant Leadership. Journal
of Management Research (09725814), 18(4), 261-269. Retrieved from https://search-ebscohost-
Thomas, J.S. (2018). Applying servant leadership in practice. Nursing Leadership and
Management: Leading and Serving. 1, Ch. 3. Retrieved
from https://lc.gcumedia.com/nrs451vn/nursing-leadership-and-mangement-leading-and-

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