Transformational Leadership in Nursing

Modern healthcare organizations face changes that necessitate increasingly adaptive and accommodating leadership. This type of leadership is called “transformational” as it seeks to create an environments of shared responsibilities that affect the knowledge that a professional possesses. Precisely, transformational leadership theory is a process in which “leaders and followers raise one another to higher levels of morality and motivation” (Burns 1978, p.21). Thus, the theory obligates leaders to motivate their followers through appeal to higher ideas and moral values, where the leader is expected to have a deep set of internal ideas and values. This results in the followers embracing change for the greater good rather than for their own interests and ambitions. According to Burns (1978), transformational leadership creates a value system congruence between the leader and their followers. The leader must have a strong personality and vision in order to be deemed transformational. Furthermore, they must persuade their followers to change opinions, expectations, and inspirations in order to work toward common objectives. On the whole, the components of transformational leadership include intellectual stimulation, ideal impact, personal consideration, and strong motivation.

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            The primary role of a transformational nurse leader in a healthcare setting encompasses encouraging self-esteem, promotion of teamwork, motivation of staff to higher levels of performance, and empowerment of followers in establishment and implementation of procedures and policies (Leach, 2005). Since the theory focuses on change, leaders who adopt it are considered as change agents who use their personalities and qualities to motivate their followers to achieve objectives and share their visions. Two utmost factors that facilitate the success of transformational leadership are trust and communication (Bass, 2005). Before commencing with any leadership task, a leader must build a connection with their groups via fairness, openness, and honesty. They can achieve this by encouraging followers to be independent in decision-making. Secondly, leaders must develop effective communication strategies in order to lead their followers to the ultimate goals. They must develop and possess a great sense of confidence and belief in the proposed vision to accomplish their leadership goals.

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Current literature indicates that transformational leadership spurs follower commitment and satisfaction within the organization (Xu, 2017). Indeed, the impact of transformational mode of leadership on both personal and organizational outcomes makes it fitting in nursing organizations. Transformational leaders possess self-direction, self-confidence, and absence of internal conflict. They understand the needs of their followers in a way that allows them to influence behaviors and encourage success. Transformational nursing leaders normally stimulate other nurses intellectually through facilitation of the use of evidence-based practice procedures and adoption of questioning techniques in clinical actions (Bass, 2005). To achieve this influence they must adopt trustworthiness, inspirational traits, collaboration, and communication skills. Firstly, trust is important because it creates a foundation for healthy relationships between the leaders and their followers. Broken trust only results in chaos, disorganization, and fear among followers, which make it harder for the leader to inspire and motivate. This is why it is imperative for leaders to commence by gaining trust. The principal elements that create the foundation of trust are stability, courage, and integrity. An inspirational persona is also equally crucial. Since transformational leadership focuses on the concept of transformation, it is important for a leader to display an inspirational attitude. An inspirational persona comprises passion, respect, charism, optimism, and honesty. Lastly, collaboration and communication are crucial in driving the desired change (Bass, 2005). A leader who adopts effective communication strategies concentrates closely in what followers are trying to convey as well as what are the important things for those individuals. Collaboration ensures that the leader interacts and engages followers in the leadership process.            

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Consistent with transformational leadership theory, I can play the role of transformational leadership in many scenarios in healthcare settings such as in mentorship programs, productivity enhancement, and ethical conduct. Regarding mentorship, I can lead trainees through inspiration and motivation, particularly when emboldening them to reach their milestones. It is important to note that mentorship is a central capacity of leadership and is very influential in the growth of nurse leaders. I would employ transformational leadership theory to create empowering connections that offer dynamic guided experience to promote development and growth in professional and personal lives of trainees. With regard to productivity enhancement, transformational leadership would enable me to identify, note, and facilitate changes that enhance productivity within collaborative teams and departments. The communication trait would be especially valuable as it would facilitate interaction between colleagues, followers, and me concerning what activities people are partaking.

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Lastly, I would create an ethical climate through ethical transformational leadership to create a positive and effective outcome for both patients and nurses. I would engage with followers on one-on-one basis including in private spaces to communicate with them. In the course of communication, I would listen carefully to their thoughts as it is important to listen to followers’ needs when making transformations. Further, I would analyze each case meticulously and present my expectations for the nurse or the group, which could motivate the parties involved toward further career development and promotion. Through transformational leadership, I would influence the behavior of my followers and improve organizational commitment to achieve organizational goals.

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