Characteristics of leaders

1.       Leadership requires personal mastery – Nurses demonstrate leadership when they show competence and mastery in the tasks they perform. Nurses are deemed competent by means of a license to practice nursing (NLN 2010).

2.       Leadership is about values – Nurses show leadership through strong values such as respect, trust, and openness.

3.       Leadership is about service –Nurses lead through giving service to those around them. Both to patients and coworkers. No task is above them as they work hand in hand with those around them.

4.       Leadership is about people and relationships – Nurses work hard to be friendly and make others feel important and needed. As a leader, establishing good relationships with those around them will promote a culture of unity and teamwork.

5.       Leadership is contextual – There is a time and a place for all things. A nurse leader needs to be able to read the situation and act accordingly.

6.       Leadership is about the management of meaning – Nurse leaders work to keep the team focused on attainable goals. Leaders help motivate and facilitate opportunities for growth.

7.       Leadership is about balance – Nurse leaders understand that striving to live a balanced life at work and at home is important for a healthy unit and healthy coworkers.

8.       Leadership is about continuous learning and improvement – Nurse leaders engage in continuous learning and understand that they don’t know everything and are always looking to learn and grow.

9.       Leadership is about effective decision making – Nurse leaders are trained to step up and make important decisions when they need to be made. They take all options into account and strive to make sound decisions.

10.   Leadership is a political process – Nurse leaders understand they have workers below them and management above them. They strive to balance the demands from coworkers and management and strive to keep goals and values aligned with the vision of the organization.

11.   Leadership is about modeling – Nurse leaders are exemplary in their actions and behavior.

12.   Leadership is about integrity –  Nurse leaders maintain integrity by keeping their word, using effective communication, and enforcing rules and policies.

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