Leadership Trait Interview of Boss or Coworker (Nurse Manager)
A leadership trait inventory was carried out of the head nurse of the hospital I work in. After the interview I can confirm that Nurse Jamie Shannon’s leadership style is more Transformational than Transactional. Transformational Leadership style is defined by Burns’ as a leadership style where the leaders and followers engage in a mutual process of raising one another to higher levels of morality and motivation. I have concluded that the head nurse I interviewed is a transformational leader because she raises the benchmarks set and models the values and actions to her subordinates herself. She does not use positive or negative reinforcements in order to influence or change behavior of her subordinates. Instead, she behaves in a manner that is influential and inspirational manner. This behavior is very charismatic and because of this she is admirable in the eyes of her followers so they strive to be more like her (Changing Minds).
The key characteristics that represent her strengths as a nurse leader are numerous. First of all, her transformational leadership style ensures that her followers are effective in the long term (Medley, F & Diane R. Larochelle). She does not have a hard time explaining to others what she is wants to say and is open to other people’s opinions. She does not hesitate to express her opinions if they differ from the people around her and does not find difficulty seeing situations from other people’s point of view at the same time. Also, when she is expressing her thoughts, she is mostly aware of what others are feeling and what is going through their minds. She also has the ability to take criticism to her ideas lights and does not get defensive when someone is criticizing. She is never submissive and makes it a point to pass her message across. Another characteristic that represents her strengths as a head nurse is that she is always interested in what others have to say. One more thing that is very necessary to be present in a good leader is good communicating skills. The head nurse I interviewed has very strong communication skills. She presents her ideas and emotions in a very clear, concise and a concrete way and at the same time encourages others to present their thoughts, feeling and ideas. This two way communication method is ideal for a hospital environment because hospital work is all about teamwork. She knows how to create a strong link between all the members of a team and keeps them steady and directed towards a particular goal. All of the characteristics mentioned above make her imaginative, open to new ideas, responsible, clear, empathic, flexible, decisive, influential and original and these are largely all the qualities that must be present in a good leader.
In order to be successful, I believe that my boss does not have to change her action plan that much but then again, there is always room for improvement. I believe that she just has to learn to change according to the situation she is in so that she can become more adaptable. For example, her non-submissive attitude would not always be best for a situation. She should sometimes be able to let that go and compromise in situations. Because of this she may also have a hard time working under someone. People around her who do not understand her strategy may feel irritated and annoyed sometimes because of her habit of being inquisitive about everything that happens in the workplace. Other than this, she makes a brilliant leader who knows how to play her cards right.
Change is good for any kind of workplace or organization because change means adapting newer ideas and these ideas are often more developed and efficient than the previous one. Innovation therefore is necessary and a good leader must encourage innovation in operations carried out in her workplace. As already mentioned my boss is always willing to listen to her subordinate’s suggestions and adapts to them if she feels they are not against her beliefs. This means she is open to new ideas. She also encourages changes in the method of carrying out a certain task on most occasions if particular idea put forward by anyone seems feasible. Such behavioral characteristics support change in the workplace. One factor that may cause a barrier to change is that the head nurse who was interviewed is that she sometimes does not compromise against her beliefs. This is a barrier to change because such behavior inhibits a leader to adapt constructive ideas if they are against her values and beliefs.
With a transactional leader like mine, I believe that the team members must be passive, compliant, compromising and must be willing to accept newer ideas. They must be willing to take criticism and must be motivated enough to follow the leader and accomplish the benchmark set for them. They must be able to perceive their leader as their guide and must be willing to adapt the leader’s methods in order to achieve goals.
1. Ms. Jamie Shannon. Head Nurse, Cardiology Department. [Interview] July 28, 2008.
2. Medley, F & Diane R. Larochelle (2008) Leadership Skills. Retrieved July 26, 2008 from Nursing Center. Web site:
3. (2007) Burns’ Transformational Leadership Theory. Retrieved July 28, 2008 from Changing Minds. Web site: http://changingminds.org/disciplines/leadership/theories/burns_transformational.htm