Discussion 1: Leadership Theories in Practice

Discussion 1: Leadership Theories in Practice ( APA 7 format and at least 3-4 references)

A walk through the Business section of any bookstore or a quick Internet search on the topic will reveal a seemingly endless supply of writings on leadership. Formal research literature is also teeming with volumes on the subject.

However, your own observation and experiences may suggest these theories are not always so easily found in practice. Not that the potential isn’t there; current evidence suggests that leadership factors such as emotional intelligence and transformational leadership behaviors, for example, can be highly effective for leading nurses and organizations.

Yet, how well are these theories put to practice? In this Discussion, you will examine formal leadership theories. You will compare these theories to behaviors you have observed firsthand and discuss their effectiveness in impacting your organization.

To Prepare:

  • Review the Resources and examine the leadership theories and behaviors introduced.
  • Identify two to three scholarly resources, in addition to this Module’s readings, that evaluate the impact of leadership behaviors in creating healthy work environments.
  • Reflect on the leadership behaviors presented in the three resources that you selected for review.
By Day 3 of Week 4

Post two key insights you had from the scholarly resources you selected. Describe a leader whom you have seen use such behaviors and skills, or a situation where you have seen these behaviors and skills used in practice. Be specific and provide examples. Then, explain to what extent these skills were effective and how their practice impacted the workplace.

By Day 6 of Week 4

Respond to at least two of your colleagues on two different days by explaining how the leadership skills they described may impact your organization or your personal leadership, or by identifying challenges you see in applying the skills described.

 Rebecca RE: Discussion – Week 4 (2-3 references at least and APA 7 format)

  Main Discussion Post                                                                                       

Leadership Theories in Practice 

Key Insights 

  Leadership has been defined over the years by many different people in many different ways (Broome & Marshall, 2021).  It is likely that most of us have

identified a leadership style that we admire or seek to emulate.  From my review of scholarly resources, I gained two key insights.  The first is that I truly

relate more to the transformational leadership style than to other leadership styles. The second is that I value a clan culture. Transformation leadership is

a “people-oriented approach in which leaders inspire and motivate their teams by creating a vision and guiding change” (Nightingale, 2020, para. 9). The

leader creates a positive work environment, develops valuable working relationships with the members of the team, and is able to motivate the team to

produce a higher level of care. The end results are greater job satisfaction, increased loyalty to the organization, and better patient outcomes.  Clan culture

was a new term for me.  Essentially it means that while a leader of the group exists, the relationship and the communication between employees and the

leader is close-knit and family-like with a focus on mentoring and nurturing. There is an emphasis on collaboration, teamwork, and shared values and goals

(Xie et al., 2020). Everyone is involved and the individual is valued.  The reason I value this type of work environment is because I believe it promotes

longevity, inhibits burn out, and leads to greater work-life balance.

Leadership in Practice 

        I spent the first five years of my nursing career in the Army Nurse Corps. As we all know, the military follows a vertical type of leadership where

decisions are made at the top and passed down for subordinates to follow. However, the nurse manager on my pediatric unit was able to incorporate some

transformational leadership practices into this otherwise fairly rigid hierarchy.  First and foremost, she led by example. She was an exceptional pediatric

nurse, not only in her clinical expertise but with her ability to be compassionate and communicate effectively with parents and young patients. Despite her

managerial duties, she was always willing to jump in and help calm a crying child or assist a nurse struggling to place an IV. Most of the nurses assigned to

her unit were newly commissioned and fresh out of college.  We were a small team which lends itself more easily to this type of leadership style.  She would

notice if we were struggling and offer words of wisdom and encouragement. She motived us to be a team and to do what we had set out to do, which was to

become compassionate, competent nurses who were always advocating for our patients. She was an incredible mentor and was nurturing at a time when

we all needed a little TLC. She was slightly intimidating and insisted on professionalism but would always listen to suggestions and encourage feedback. She

occasionally held get-togethers at her house where her husband and children were in attendance and ours were welcome as well.   I think she was often

challenged by the stiffness of the vertical leadership style and tried to gently incorporate her own leadership values and skills into her daily practice. 

        These transformation leadership skills were very effective on that unit at that time. I recognize that a more experienced set of nurses may not have

needed this nurturing environment, but I believe this manager would have adapted her style to the needs of her staff which to me identifies a true leader. 

Her positive attitude, kind heart, and desire to provide the best outcomes for our patients motivated us all to perform at our best and be accountable for

our work.  We felt valued as individuals and as part of the team.  We shared the same goals and developed a sense of loyalty to the team and the facility.  I

believe that in the end that is what each of us truly want.   


Broome, M., & Marshall, E.S. (2021). Transformational leadership in nursing: From expert clinician to influential leader (3rd ed.). New York, NY: Springer.  

Nightingale, A. (2020) Implementing collective leadership in healthcare organizations. Nursing Standard (Royal College of Nursing (Great Britain): 1987), 35(5),

        53-57.  https://doi-org.ezp.waldenulibrary.org/10.7748/ns/2020.e11448.  

Xie, Y., Gu, D., Liang, C., Zhao, S., & Ma, Y. (2020).  How transformational leadership and clan culture influence nursing staff’s willingness to stay. Journal of

Nursing Management  (JohnWiley & Sons, Inc.), 28(7), 1515-1524.  https://doiorg.ezp.waldenulibrary.org/10.1111/jonm.13092 

Amy RE: Discussion – Week 4 (2-3 references at least and APA 7 format)

Week 4 Discussion: Leadership Theories in Practice

            Our current healthcare systems are complex organizations that need influential leaders that are knowledgeable, trustworthy, and have a vision to make changes to improve health practices and patient outcomes (Broome & Marshall, 2021). Past leaders were mainly focused on the education of their providers and treatment of diseases. This type of leadership has given us highly specialized healthcare to meet the needs of our patients, but as time advances, technology has changed the way that we deliver healthcare, patients have multiple comorbidities, and healthcare organizations are more diverse than ever before. Healthcare systems need leaders that can use past experiences to collaborate with multidisciplinary teams to devise new and innovative ways to deliver healthcare. The outcomes of leadership decisions in today’s healthcare settings will guide future leaders in their practice (Broome & Marshall, 2021).  

            Every individual has their own personality. Personality and behavioral characteristics of a person will affect the leadership style of the individual (Alan & Baykal, 2017). In an article written by Alan & Baykal (2017), they state that if similar organizations are led by individuals with different leadership styles, the successes and outcomes of each facility will be different compared to each other due to the personality differences of their leaders. The characteristics that were found to be beneficial in all types of leadership styles were good organizational skills, effective communication, ability to make decisions and take risks, and being open and flexible to support change (Alan & Baykal, 2017).

            Evidence-based practice has become the foundation of healthcare and positive patient outcomes (Sfantou et al., 2017). Even though this is true, effective leadership is necessary to guide a group of individuals towards a common goal. Effective leadership is also vital to improving quality and the integration of healthcare services. There are many different styles of leadership, such as transformational, transactional, autocratic, laissez-faire, task-oriented, and relationship-oriented styles. In a report written by Sfantou et al. (2017), they discussed findings of research that correlated different leadership styles with the quality of healthcare and patient outcomes. Transformational leadership in nursing is a priority in today’s healthcare. This study showed that transformational leadership supports high quality healthcare, but other styles of leadership exhibit qualities that are also beneficial in certain situations. The authors suggested a necessary balance between leadership influences and provider skills to create a culturally competent environment that can meet the diverse needs of healthcare organizations (Sfantou et al., 2017).

            During my nursing career, one of the most influential leaders that I had an opportunity to work with was a female CEO of a rural Iowa hospital. She had started her career as a nurse and advanced her skills through various nursing roles over many years until she accepted the CEO position. This specific hospital administration is made up of all women executives. The hospital is very productive with high staff and patient satisfaction rates. I believe that the success of this small hospital is due to the leadership of the CEO. She has many transformational leadership traits, such as being highly educated, experienced, confident, trustworthy, and the ability to empower others. She is not afraid of change and always has a vision of improvement. This CEO respects her colleagues and staff and always allows them to participate in decision-making processes. She takes charge when necessary and motivates her team to move forward. Even though she was the CEO, she was a mentor to me and someone that was approachable to discuss any ideas or concerns. I will always value the time that I had working in her hospital.


            The complexity of healthcare systems today needs strong leaders to develop positive relationships with their staff and patients. Successful organizations have teams of professionals that can collaborate with one another and embrace change to improve patient care (Broome & Marshall, 2021). Leadership styles affect the relationships of people within the teams and the outcomes that are produced. Transformational leaders are innovative, committed, knowledgeable, and communicate effectively with everyone. They value multidisciplinary teams and empower individuals to make improvements with a vision that is shared by all (Broome & Marshall, 2021).


Alan, H., & Baykal, U. (2018). Personality characteristics of nurse managers: The personal and

professional factors that affect their performance. Journal of Psychiatric Nursing, 9(2), 119-128. https://eds-a-ebscohost-com.ezp.waldenulibrary.org/eds/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?vid=1&sid=7d6f2883-a27d-4682-a6c5-4b0d3c047d54%40sessionmgr4007

Broome, M. E., & Marshall, E. S. (2021). Transformation leadership in nursing: From expert

clinician to influential leader (3rd ed.). Springer.

Sfantou, D. F., Laliotis, A., Patelarou, A. E., Sifaki-Pistolla, D., Matalliotakis, M., & Patelarou,

E. (2017). Importance of leadership style towards quality of care measures in healthcare settings: A systematic review. Healthcare (Basel, Switzerland), 5(4), 73. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5746707/