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Many people use the words leader and management interchangeably. While there are some similarities between these words, there are also differences. There are many aspects that come to mind when it comes to leadership. From different leadership theories, styles, communication, to organizational skills, each has a role in leadership. The same could be said about managers. By being self-aware of these traits and skills, the leader becomes more effective in his or her role.
According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary leader is defined as, “a person who leads: such as a person who has commanding authority or influence”. The leadership characteristic of the twenty-first century consists of four competencies, which include: conceptual competencies, interpersonal competencies, participation competencies and leadership competencies (Porter-O’ Grady, 2016).
Conceptual competencies include, systems thinking, acclimation to chaos, pattern recognition, synthesis and continuous learning (Porter-O’ Grady, 2016). Interpersonal competencies include receptivity and similarity, immediacy and equality, integration, facilitation, coordination, coaching, framing new leadership language (Porter-O’ Grady, 2016). Participation competencies include partnership, equity, accountability, ownership, investment, involvement and empowerment (Porter-O’ Grady, 2016). Leadership competencies include vulnerability and openness, systems skills, emotional maturity, self-management, transformation skills, group process skills, change management, and fluidity and mobility (Porter-O’ Grady, 2016).
These characteristics differ from management characteristics. According to The Merriam-Webster dictionary, a manager is defined as “a person who conducts business or household affairs”. Managers are generally task-oriented and direct the work of those that are underneath them. Some management competencies include the following: planning and budgeting, establishing agendas, setting timetables, allocating resources, organizing and staffing, providing structure, making job placements, establishing rules and procedures, controlling and problem-solving, developing incentives, generating creative solutions, and taking the corrective action (Porter-O’Grady, 2016).
While there are several different leadership theories, I fit best with the participative theory. Participative leaders include the group in the decision−making process. This style is most appropriate when everyone in the group has knowledge about the subject, like when working with a group of experts. The leader, however, retains the ability to make the final decision (South University, n.d.)
With this theory, the group members feel that they are contributing and being productive. A leadership style that goes hand-in-hand with the participative theory is the democratic style. With the democratic leadership style, each member of the group has a voice and is involved in making decisions. This process is especially useful for coming up with a variety of solutions because not everyone will view the problem in the same way (Porter-O’Grady, 2016).
A key factor in any occupation regardless of position is time management, this is true especially in the field of nursing. Nurses have so much to manage in a twelve-hour shift. Time management becomes crucial when planning the day out. Nursing is a profession where anything can happen at a given time. One deciding factor on how the day goes correlates with how well the nurse manages their time. There can always be hiccups along the day from codes being called that was unanticipated to a patient decline out of nowhere that was not anticipated.
There are ways to assess how effectively and efficiently time is managed. One way is a time management assessment by I CANS. There are twenty-eight questions that will help determine whether or not a person has an excellent, average, or below par time management skills. In taking this assessment, I was quite surprised with my score of twenty-six. It was not so much in that I scored high on the section of “Do I Throw Time Away”, but I am not doing as much as I could be to save time (I CANS, n.d.). The interesting aspect of this assessment is that the section “How Well Do I Save Time”, not only helps to calculate an overall score, but it can also be used to incorporate these habits so that a person can save time better (I CANS, n.d.). Some of the habits that I am going to start utilizing are, scheduling unpleasant tasks in between ones that I enjoy doing and using a weekly calendar instead of just a monthly one.
In learning about the various leadership theories and styles, we are able to assess and determine which styles we identify with. By doing so, this enables us to affiliate with like-minded individuals, which in turn increases productivity and promotes efficacy. It is not just one key element that turns a person into a leader. It is a collection of personal attributes, behavior and attitude, communication, organization, and self-awareness.
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