Exemplary leadership Practices analysis

  • Category:
  • Document type:
  • Level:
  • Page:
  • Words:


Exemplary Leadership Practices Analysis


Exemplary Leadership Practices Analysis


The success of any organization in the world is highly determined by the form of leadership adapted in the organization. Leadership is a multi-dimensional role that involves influencing people performance, mobilizing followers to attain the organization goals, and creating a favourable work environment to motivate workers among others. Nursing leaders according to Radovic et al. (2011, p.58) are strategically essential in healthcare organizations. Their leadership permits an organization to go through the dynamic and complex changes that are taking place in today’s healthcare. Effectual leaders contain the ability to influence others by defining vision of what can be attained. These leaders empower, motivate, and inspire staffs into attainment of goals that include optimal patient outcome and improvement of working conditions. Effectual leadership in nursing is powerfully connected to the provision of safe, person-centred high-quality care. Effectual nurse leaders are said to contain skills and knowledge in emotional intelligence, especially empathy and insight, receiving and giving feedback, and good communication. Other significant attributes of leadership include the aptitude to employ clarity and to act as a stirring role model (Wilson, Paterson & Kornman, 2013, p. 53).

Exemplary leadership is recognized to be very important in nursing, especially in this era when nursing professional is being faced by a number of challenges. Leadership is said to play an essential role in the lives of nurses and is regarded as a key in guaranteeing quality patient outcomes, particularly during periods of substantial upheaval in healthcare. Research according to Anonson et al. (2014, p. 127), has determined that nursing leadership is a crucial factor in the effectual operation of nursing units, organizational effectiveness, high-quality patient care, and nurses retention. Thus, it is highly required in healthcare organization, particularly in special units where more care is needed to enhance outcome.

Own Example of Leadership

I am a clinical nurse educator (CNE) on renal ward in the Prince of Wales Hospital. I have stepped into the role of Acting Nursing Unit Manager for the last 12 mouths. In this position I have been involved in a number of leadership activities which include coordination of operations in the department, ensuring more improved patient care, new staffs orientation, work scheduling, and offering training to nurses in the renal unit and renal transplant services. I have also be involved in other duties like workers motivation, defining operational strategies, developing new procedural manual, and researching more on renal patient care practices.

Analysis of Leadership in the Renal and Renal Transplant Services Unit

The leadership model created by Kouzes and Posner is founded on five essential leadership practices which permit leaders to attain amazing results in organizations. The model contains five very essential leadership practices. These practices include modelling the way, Inspiration of joint vision, challenge the process, enabling others to act, and encouraging the heart (Kouzes and Posner, 2012). These practices are highly applicable in any leadership environment and can assist in enhancing great leadership outcome. According to Laschinger et al. (2012, p.878) positive associations have been noted between the 1987 developed Kouzes and Posner leadership practices model and the empowerment of staff nurse, productivity, commitment of organizations, staff turnover decrease, improved patient care outcome, and workers job satisfaction. Thus, the model has been of great important to the nursing leadership development.

Healthcare leadership is frequently very complex such that some researchers claim that it faces exclusive challenges. This is specifically due to the complex healthcare organizational structure that demands a high level of collaboration from different levels to attain specific goals in a single unit (Daly et al., 2014, p. 76). Despite of this complexity, most individuals who assume leadership position in the nursing field lack the relevant leadership skills to handle the complexity. In this regard, various healthcare organizations have tried to employ various measures to enhance leadership in their organizations. Australia has specifically established a strategy to enhance leadership skills in different Nursing Unit Managerial positions through a leadership programs (Roche et al., 2015, p. 58).

Modelling the Way

Modelling the way is a practice that reflects the central conducts of setting an example, sustaining commitment, clarifying values, developing a plan, and attaining small wins (Kouzes and Posner, 2012). I have managed to attain exemplary leadership by being in the frontline to align my action with the department shared value. This has highly influenced others to emulate my example by trying to always attain the shared values through their daily nursing activities. It is important to note that to attain the shared values all staffs working in the department must have the required skills and knowledge in renal patient care and renal transplant services. Although all nurses have adequate skills in patient care, most novice and nurses transferred from different department lack the specific skills required in this department. Thus, I have taken great role of training them on how to handle patients with renal issues and to effectively attain the department shared objectives. I normally do this by assigning new nurses in the department to other prominent and senior nurses to guide them, particularly through observation as they work and explanation in case of a unique procedure that they may require details about. I always act as an example by taking part in this activity and ensuring students working under my supervision are directly involved in patient caring with clear verbal guidance and demonstrations. This has highly enabled me to maintain a decade legacy acquired by renal department in the Prince of Wales Hospital. I have also manage to gain respect and trust from both new and experience nurses in the department based on my job approach, particularly in ensuring that all nurses have the required skills to operate in all sub-units in this department.

Inspiring a Shared Vision

When I was appointed for the position of acting NUM, I had my own vision regarding the department. I wanted to enhance its reputation by promoting the level of hygiene in the department. I anticipated attaining a higher patient care outcome with improved hygiene. I also anticipated to motivate workers in attain even better results by affirming the department core values of empowerment, respect, openness, and collaboration. I had envisioned the future by imagining how I can employ new techniques to improve the general patient outcome in the department. Nevertheless, I clearly knew that this cannot be achieved without the involvement of other nurses in the department. According to Laschinger et al. (2011, p. 878), a leader need to have the ability to inspire others to share his or her vision. This can be done through positive communication, interpersonal competence, active listening, shared common purpose, and commitment to the vision (Kouzes and Posner, 2012). To attain better result, I considered mapping the department anticipated achievement to all nurses, and from this, we could map individual targets, both short-term and long-term based on individual experience in the department. Mapping individual targets provided individuals the chance to participate in airing their views on the best strategies they could employ to attain the shared department vision. The department core values and shared visions were effectively communicated to new nurses positively to ensure that they also embraced our shared goals. This approach generally enhanced the general patient outcome in the department. Although there are still gaps to cover, there has been considerable improvement.

Challenging the Process

This practice is demonstrated by the central behaviours of finding chances for change by taking initiative, creative thinking, questioning the status quo, demonstrating flexibility, and taking risks to enhance processes (Laschinger et al., 2011, p. 878). This practice is highly important in current nursing leadership due to current challenges that are being experienced in the field. The globalization and technology evolution have emulsified the healthcare system complexity, resulting to relentless and rapid change. Unit nurse managers have to understand the environment complexity brought by this and translate change in a significant way for patients, partners, and staff (Cziraki et al., 2014, p. 1006). According to Anonson et al. (2014, p. 129), exemplary leader acts in a way that is consistent to a particular situation that the organization is experiencing. A leader should demonstrate the aptitude to face any problem head-on and creating a positive climate, even during crisis. One of the major challenges that I have been trying to solve is the change of technology in the department. New machinery and healthcare facilities come with change of nursing procedures. Thus, as a leader, one has to keep on developing new operational manual to be followed, which involves a lot of reading and research. I also have to keep on training nurses on how to change their procedures to the new ones and before attaining the best result, I normally gamble on the staffs’ ability to apply the new manuals. Thus, this involves taking risks in various situations. When risks are taken, it is important to note that failures and mistakes are unavoidable. Nevertheless, leaders should not stop taking risks due to previous failures, but instead, they should consider eliminating these failures. I normally attain by learning from the previous experience and by constantly creating small wins (Kouzes and Posner, 2012).

Enabling Others to Act

This practice shows the central behaviour of offering visible support, collaboration, developing self-leadership, building trusting relations, and sharing resources and information (Laschinger et al., 2011, p. 878). As a leader, it is important to know that no success is ever achieved in an organization through operation of a single person. All organization’s stakeholders must work as a team to achieve best results. Each person must play his or her part for successful performance. Organization success requires cool confidence and deep competence. It also needs individual accountability and group collaboration (Kouzes and Posner, 2012). Knowing this has enabled me to consider enhancing relationships and building trust among the nursing staffs in the renal department. My role as an educator has highly enabled me in developing competence among all new nurses in the department, and also in motivating them to increase self-determination. This has enabled them to easily cope with the activities in the department and to make remarkable contribution after a short period of time. With time these nurses are provided with more challenging tasks than handled before to encourage them to grow even further and build self-confidence in all sections. Beside this, I have tried to create cohesive team that focuses on supporting and helping each other, particularly in critical situation where more experience is needed. Renal unit can sometimes present complex and challenging situations that need consultation and support. Thus, I have tried to develop an environment in which team work is highly implemented while necessary.

Encouraging the Heart

Nursing in the renal unit is a very involving task since most patients particularly surgical patients depend fully on nurses for every single activity. Thus, this job can be quite involving and tiresome. To achieve the best result, I have employed various strategies to foster a friendly work environment that is inviting and encouraging. This is purposely done to motivate staffs and to ensure that they do not concentrate more on the fatigue and challenging experience they have encountered during the day. The environment helps them to relax and to see the positive part of life. In addition to this, I always find ways to appreciate the work of nursing staffs in the department as a way of encouraging them. According to Kouzes and Posner (2012) encouraging the heart entails creating social support, recognizing contribution, building confidence, celebrating accomplishment, and providing feedback. This according to Anonson et al. (2014, p. 129) does not have to be mighty, a simple positive appreciative statement is enough to motivate an employee. Appreciating effort of others helps in increasing their trust and respect to a leader. I learnt this following the recent activity that involved awarding staffs nominated by their colleges into four different categories of performance, which I organized together with the clinical nurse consultant and CNE support. After awarding them, the nurses surprisingly announced my award for outstanding performance and lasting contributions as Acting Nurse Unit Manager in the department. This was highly exciting and motivating.

How to Employ the Kouzes and Posner Practices to Enhance my NUM Leadership

Kouzes and Posner practices can highly be used to improve my future leadership skills as NUM. The practice of model the way stresses that a leader should be in a position of defining the department values and set example on how these values should be accomplished. This demonstrates the importance of leader’s total involvement in activities taking place in the department. It helps me in understanding that leadership is not about giving orders but guiding others to make things done. This highly changes my perspective of effective leadership and will help me to be fully involved in organization’s value implementation in the future. This is demonstrated as shown below

Exemplary leadership Practices analysis

Exemplary leadership Practices analysis 1The practice of inspire a shared vision demonstrates that a leader need to have a vision. This vision should definitely focus on enhancing the organization performance through change of operations or enhancement of the existing operations. Nevertheless, the practice clearly demonstrates that this cannot be attained without involving others and thus, a leader must establish a way of influencing others share his or her vision. This makes me learn the importance of being ambitious and influential in leadership. It demonstrates how effective application of influential aspect can easily make me meet my ambition in my future leadership role. This is demonstrated as shown below.

The practice of challenge the process demonstrates the importance of being daring. It encourages a leader to look for opportunities by grabbing the initiative and finding more creative ways to solve problems or improve situations. It also encourages individuals to take risks and to continue experimenting to ensure they make small wins. However, they should also try to learn from experience to be able to improve themselves and to create a better chance of winning from risks taken in the future. This practice make a leader realize that “best” is unattainable and for one to grow, he must keep on searching for the best. This aspect motivates me to keep on looking for the best practice in the renal unit to be able to improve performance from one level to another always. It will highly enhance my creativity as a leader and my ability to solve different problems encountered in my operation as a renal NUM. This leadership practice is implemented as shown below.

Exemplary leadership Practices analysis 2

The practice of enable others to act demonstrates the importance of creating collaboration by facilitating relationships and developing trust in leadership. This shows that success can only be attained when people work as a team. The collective contribution of all is what makes a difference in an organization. It guides the leaders by showing them the importance of strengthening each other by developing competence and increasing self-determination. This makes me understand the importance of having competent individuals in a department, and the importance of helping followers to realize their potential and to apply it rather than demeaning them based on their weakness. This will help me build a strong and a winning team as a NUM leader in the future. The achievements of this practice are demonstrated in the picture below

Exemplary leadership Practices analysis 3

The practice of encourage the heart demonstrates the importance of acknowledging the contribution of others through appreciation. This plays a major role in motivating others to work even harder. The practice demonstrates the importance of celebrating victories and values of others by generating community spirit. This practice makes me realize the power of appreciation, rewarding and celebrating together for the organization’s success. It demonstrates that the leader highly appreciates their contribution. This adds to their determination and it acts as a major motivational factor. This aspect will guide me in motivating my followers in the future as a NUM leader in a manner that will enhance even higher achievements. The great leadership achievement can only be attained by integrating the five practices and demonstrating a high level of flexibility as a leader as demonstrated in the picture below.

Exemplary leadership Practices analysis 4


Anonson , J., Walker, M.E., Arries, E., Maposa, S., Telford, P & Berry, L, 2014,”Qualties of exemplary nurse leaders: perspectives of frontline nurse,” Journal of Nursing Management, vol. 22, pp. 127–136.

Cziraki, K., Mckey, C., Peachey, G., Baxter, P & Flaherty, B, 2014, “Factors that facilitate registered nurses in their first-line nurse manager role,” Journal of Nursing Management, vol. 22, pp. 1005-1014.

Daly, J., Jackson, D., Mannix, J., Davidson, P.M & Hutchinson, M, 2014, “The importance of clinical leadership in the hospital setting,” Journal of Healthcare Leadership, vol. 6, pp. 75-83.

Kouzes, J. M & Posner, B. Z, 2012, “The leadership challenge: how to make extraordinary things happen in organizations 5th ed,” New Jersey: Jossey-Bass.

Laschinger, H. K. S., Wong, C. A., Grau, A. L., Read, E. A & Pineau-Stam, L. M, 2011, “The influence of leadership practices and empowerment on Canadian nurse manager outcomes,” Journal of Nursing Management, vol. 20, pp.877–888.

Radovich, P., Palaganas, J., Kiemeney, J., Strother, B., Bruneau, B & Hamilton, L, 2011, “Enhancing leadership orientation through simulation,” Critical Care Nurse, vol.31, no.5, pp. 58-63.

Roche, M. A., Duffield, C., Dimitrelis, S & Frew, B, 2015, “Leadership skills for nursing unit managers to decrease intention to leave,” Nursing: Research and Reviews, vol. 5, pp. 57-64.

Wilson, V., Paterson, S & Kornman, K, 2013, “Leadership development: an essential ingredient in supporting nursing unit managers,” Journal of Health Leadership, vol. 5, pp. 53-62.