Leadership Philosophy

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Personal Philosophy of Leadership

Sandra Tisdale

Loyola University New Orleans

Personal Philosophy of Leadership

By virtue of their profession, nurses are viewed as leaders in the community. A December 2011 Gallop poll reports, “For the 10th straight year, nurses topped Gallup’s annual Honesty and Ethics survey, which measures how trustworthy U.S. residents consider 21 different professions (Gallup, 2011).

Gallup interviewed 1,012 U.S. residents ages 18 and older. According to the results, 84% of respondents rated nurses' ethical standards and honesty as "high" or "very high"—tying the highest rating that nurses have received. Respondents issued the same rating in 2001, 2006, and 2008 (Gallup, 2011).

Nurses are viewed by the public as altruistic and of great moral value. According to American Nurses Association president Karen Daley, "The public's continued trust in nurses is well-placed, and reflects an appreciation for the many ways nurses provide expert care and advocacy." Daley added that “Major national policy initiatives also show trust in nurses," noting that the federal health reform law calls on nurses "to take more leadership roles and collaborate fully with other professionals in providing essential health care to a growing number of people who will have greater access to services (Gallup, 2011).”

Nurses are leaders but are not always nurse leaders. A nurse may assume a nurse leader position at many levels from simple coworker interaction or patient interaction or a nurse may make the decision to pursue leadership as their career. It is imperative that a nurse who chooses nurse leadership to reflect on what type of leader they are. Schermerhorn et al. (2010) lists effective personality traits in leadership as stress tolerant, pro-social power motivated (power for the benefit of others), emotionally mature, self-confident, lives with integrity, has tenacity, cognitive ability, and task-relevant knowledge, and is flexible with change...