What Leadership Means to me
There are lots of things that come into my mind if I hear the word “leadership.” Leadership may mean influencing or motivating others to do a certain thing. Leadership may also be related to results. Sometimes, leadership means inspiration to others.
For me, being a leader means:
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How it works
- You should have a clear vision to be shared with other people. If you have a vision, you know what you want to achieve and pursue. If you communicate this vision to others, they may be motivated to do their respective tasks because they know their purpose and all of you are working with a common goal in mind.
- You should motivate other people. Vision is nothing if your subordinates are not even motivated to do their jobs. People who are motivated are most likely to have increased productivity, thereby resulting in higher output. Motivated people are also more satisfied and committed to staying in the organization. This aspect can help improve not just the subordinate, but also the organization, as well as other people who have dealt with these motivated individuals.
- You should serve your team. It is not the other way around. You need to commit and focus on the needs of your people. You have to give the necessary resources and information needed for them to complete their respective task successfully. They should feel that you support them in whatever ways. They should be recognized in their efforts. And in case they should commit some mistakes, you should correct them in a way that can be beneficial for them and the company as well.
- You need to show some empathy. Being a leader means that you know how to recognize and understand the perspectives and feelings of others. This is a very crucial characteristic of a leader since you can only be effective if you understand the needs of your people. Emotions have a huge role in every individual. So if you can put yourself in one’s shoes, you will not find it hard to attend to their concerns and look for solutions to their problems. Empathy can help improve emotional intelligence, life satisfaction, and self-esteem.
- You should know how to lead your people. As the word implies, a leader must know how to lead. But it does not mean that you should always be at the topmost level. Leading means that you are the one who guides your team in every step of the way for all of you to achieve a common goal. It also means that you give a chance to your team to have the initiative to do their respective task. This is the time when you have to step backward for a while. This aspect can provide an opportunity for your people to develop their own skills.
There are more characteristics that you should possess being a leader. But for me, the above-mentioned are the top characteristics that you should have to be an effective leader.
Formal Leadership and Informal Leadership
Formal leadership is exercised by a person with an authority granted by him by the organization due to the nature of his position. A formal leader is someone who is officially assigned or appointed as the leader of the organization. He exercises the power of the leader because he is tasked to do so. For instance, a president of a company has control over his employees according to the rules and procedures of the company as well as based upon his position.
On the other hand, informal leadership is the capacity of a certain individual to influence another even without formal authority. It means that this kind of leadership is not dependent upon formal authority. He has no legitimate control over his peers. An informal leader is not officially appointed as the leader of the organization but he can inspire and motivate others. Even if he is not an official leader, people look up unto him.
Roles in Nursing That Could Fall Under Formal or Informal Leadership
Nurse managers, for instance, are considered as formal leaders. Nurse managers are responsible for the daily operation of the workplace. They can hire, select, orient, develop, and evaluate nurses. They are also responsible for resource allocation, patient safety, risk management, and financial accountability. They are expected to give direction, guidance, and inspiration not just to nurses, but also to other health care providers.
All other nurses in the hospital who are not given the position of a leader may be considered as informal leaders. Not all nurses other than formal leaders are considered as informal leaders though. One may be considered as an informal leader if he possesses a high degree of clinical competency, an expert to the field rather. This person could influence his fellow nurses even if he is not formally granted as the leader of the group.
Leadership Roles or Activities Participated
As a nurse, I am also passionate about fire fighting. I have been a fire nurse rescuer. My role is not just to extinguish the fire to help save the property of the people and the environment as well, but I also see to it that I save the lives of those who are in danger. I believe that I manifest the characteristics of an informal leader because this task is capable of influencing others to dedicate their lives not just to save properties, but also to give significance to the lives of people who are at risk especially if they are trapped to a house, building, or establishment on fire.
I also experience conducting earthquake and fire drills in our community. Earthquake and fire are life-threatening phenomena that may occur at any time. Sometimes, these are unexpected. Some people tend not to be prepared when these situations happen. But because of these activities, we can give even just basic information on what to do in case of earthquake or fire.