Self-Leadership in Nursing

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Self-Leadershipin Nursing




Self-leadershiprefers to a pattern of self-influence meant to augment a person’seffectiveness at work. Self-leadership coalesces considerations ofbehavioral fortification, productive thought pattern, inherentmotivation, and goal-setting strategies (Norris,2010).All these processes are intended to augment a person`sself-regulation and direction. There are many theories ofself-leadership, all formulated to augment individual effectivenessby influencing and improving a person’s cognition and conduct (ACN,2015).

Greatleadership is a refined art. At the epicenter of the leadership isthe person who, above all things make the judgment. It is thusevident that success in an organization and in all aspects of humanlife is pegged on how leaders approach the issue of leadership (ACN,2015).Everything starts with the person, and this means self-leadership isan important aspect in delivery of healthcare in the modern world.Hybels Bill oncestated that a noted leader is one of the largest non-profitorganizations in the globe (Norris,2010).Evidentlythe most difficult management task in all organizations is alwaysyourself. One of the laureates in the United States Hall of Fame,Hock Dee once wrote that individuals should dedicate 50 percent ofour leadership amperage in self-leadership and the rest should bedivided into leading, laterally, down and up.

Elementsof Self-Leadership

Selfleadership encompasses four distinct elements. The first element isself-awareness which means the ability and capacity to understand,recognize and be cognizant of one’s own strengths, perception andweaknesses, emotional requirements and leadership proclivity (Norris,2010).The second element is the self-management, which denotes the aptitudeto cultivate and exploit one’s own emotions, skills, talents,abilities and leadership capacity in making decision when addressingvarious subjects. Other-awareness is the third aspects, and thismeans the capacity and capability recognize and understand thestrengths, passions, and talents, and weaknesses of others. Finally,we have ‘other-management’, which means that a self- leadershould have the ability to develop and motivate other individuals toimprove and develop their skills and potential to attain the goal ofthe organization (Norris,2010).

Allsuccessful and great leaders begin with making effort to understandthe ability, strengths, weaknesses, talent and aptitude before theyshift to self management. The four elements are all importantingredient of self leadership because some leaders are aware of theirmotivations, talents, ability, personalities and competencies, yetmany cannot manage themselves (ACN,2015). Some leaders behave inappropriately, do not have self control, areunusually critical and are not able to keep their pride and angerunder control. A self leader has a drive for autonomy, is able tomake apt decisions, is more innovative and creative and carries oneven in the face difficulty ( Hauschildt&amp Konradt, 2012). Someof the most important constitute self-leadership include,self-motivation, goal setting, self-awareness, confidentcommunication and the capability to obtain and act on feedback.

Thechanging operation framework that healthcare institutions facenecessitate a change from conventional management of staff withcommand and control leadership to shared -leadership among the staffin the healthcare setting ((Norris,2010).Many organization are have abandoned the top-down managementstructures and are now encouraging employee to actively participatein the decision making process. The changing operational environmentand conditions have increased the need for a leader with capacity andaptitude to help the workforce to become self leaders.

Healthcareprofessionals who have traits such as self-efficacy, accountability,autonomy, professionalism and responsibility are more likely to playa significant role in decision making and practice self-leadershipstrategies. Several studies have indicated that different healthcareprofessionals differ in the way that they react to opportunities toshare leadership task (Norris,2010).

Nurseswho seek for self-efficacy and autonomy are more likely to perceivethemselves as accomplished and anticipate triumph. Such nurses mayalso have desire to influence and control of their task and mayactively play a role in decision making process that involves theirjobs. Such individuals direct their own effort, persevere in the faceof difficulty and intrinsically motivate themselves, such that theyare able to constantly revitalize their thought patterns to attainset objectives in line with the ethical standards and code of conduct(Hauschildt&amp Konradt,2012).It is also expected that self-leaders will take on in inventiveactivities in the place of work. Such people also augment theirpersonal efficacy via natural reward, behavior focused andconstructive thought approaches.

Self-leadership:Gaps and Constructs

Theoriesdiscussing self-leadership make the supposition that a set ofcognitive and behavioral approaches can shape and influence anindividual’s behavior in the organization. Self-leadership theoriesare broadly categorized into three main groups those relatingnatural reward, those that relate to constructive thinking processesand behavioral focused approaches (Hauschildt &amp Konradt, 2012).

Behaviorfocused approaches encompasses aspects that are designed to change anindividual’s own behavior through the influence of basic factorstrategies of self-punishment, goal setting, self-cueing, self-rewardand self-observation (Hauschildt &amp Konradt, 2012). Self–reflection and observation enhances consciousness andunderstanding the most apt behavior at given point. It plays acrucial role in helping eliminate unproductive behaviors in thehealthcare setting. Behavior focused approach also play a criticalrole in facilitating behavior management. On the other hand thenatural reward assist healthcare professionals shape perceptions andbuild pleasurable features into tasks. The constructive thoughtapproaches generate positive mental processes that yield positivethinking (Tat &amp Zeitel-Bank, 2013).

Ina workplace setting where the members of staff are supported andencouraged to act on their own behalf and assume greater control, thethree theories of self-leadership may be useful in attaining thenecessary motivation and drive to complete tasks excellently.

Thesecondary factors relates to the natural reward mechanisms that aredesigned to improve the performance and decision making of anindividual. They factors play a crucial role in helping garnerintrinsic motivation (Tat &amp Zeitel-Bank, 2013). Together thebehavior focused strategies are meant to increase motivation, improvethinking pattern, increase attention on the most important element fthe task and make daily tasks more pleasurable by generatingenjoyable attributes. The third secondary factor approachesencompasses constructive thinking pattern stratagems. Self leadershipis intended to facilitate the management of mental processes andshape thought processes (Tat &amp Zeitel-Bank, 2013).

Selfleadership is important in nursing workplace because the way thatindividual nurses approach their tasks depends on how they viewthemselves. To be in a position to deliver quality healthcareservices and create a positive working environment, it is importantthat nurses believe in their ability and aptitude to complete tasksconfidently (Huston, 2008). Every healthcare professional has a roleto play in maintaining a collaborative and supportive workenvironment , and this cannot be possible if nurses do notcontinually find ways to motivate themselves and generate behaviorpattern that help deliver quality services.

Creatinga positive and supportive working environment is created andsustained by sound and effective policies and a group of healthcaresprofessionals who are ready and willing to provided quality servicesamid challenges that make normal operations significantly difficult (Norris,2010).Nurse who yearn for autonomy, seek self-motivation and areaccountable within the framework of nursing practice, are able tocreate a conducive atmosphere that makes it easy and pleasurable toprovide healthcare services to patients (Huston, 2008).


Self-leadershipprovides nurses with an opportunity to develop functional teams byshaping thought processes and influencing discernment of self-efficacy and effectiveness. A suitable team atmosphere is generatedthat paves a path for creation of effective teams. Self regulationwhich is a crucial element of the self-leadership is pivotal instrengthening the bonds and collaboration between various teams in ahealthcare setting. It has become increasingly important for nursesto look for ways to collaborate and avoid dysfunctional teams, whichhamper delivery of quality healthcare services. In the same vein, theperception that everyone within a particular healthcare setting feelspart of the organization and believes that has the requisite skillsand knowledge to attain the objectives of the organization and meetthe far-reaching goals of the teams is paramount. Self efficacy hasbeen identified as the basic mechanism through which self leadershipshapes and influences the performance of members of staff in anorganization. The accomplishment of goal established by the team andorganization, and the elimination of dysfunctional thought processesaugments beliefs in individual ability and aptitude to execute tasks.


AustralianCollege of Nursing (ACN). (2015). NursingLeadership,CAN, Canberra. Retrieved from:

Hauschildt,K. &amp Konradt, U. (2012). AConceptual Framework of Self-leadership in Teams.Christian-Albrechts-University

Huston,C. (2008). PreparingNurses Leaders for 2020.Journal of Nursing Management,905-911. Retrieved from:

Norris,S.E.(2010). AnExamination of Self-Leadership.Regent University.

Tat, U. &amp Zeitel-Bank, N.(2013). SelfLeadership Development:The Link Between Body, Mind, And Reflection. Management Knowledge andLearning International Conference. Retrieved from:

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