The Truth Behind Servant Leadership

Satisfactory Essays
With the realization that healthcare has succumbed to a business model, the demand for outstanding leadership is an essential component in the success of any business. Nurses are an intricate part of the healthcare arena with the profession expected to become the second largest occupation by 2014 (Sullivan & Decker, 2009). Dispelling myths for this volume of nurses needs to be paramount in order to provide a clear vision void of misconceptions. One particular myth is that leaders are at the top of the pyramid and need to be served. Debunking this myth can provide a better understanding of a prosperous nursing leader’s function. This nurse found the myth to be of importance because working in a magnet institution the leadership style that builds empirical results is built on transformation leadership. The purpose of the paper is not only to dispel the myth that leaders need to be served, but provide evidence that leaders need to be a servant.

Merriam Webster describes a pyramid as having outside walls in the shape of four triangles that meet at a tip. Correlating this image to leadership pyramid myth the tip would serve as the leader of the institution or group and the area under the tip would serve as subordinate team members that conform to the commands and direction of the one leader. The goal would be for all members to meet the needs of the leader, whether the team shared the leader’s goals or not. The decision making power would be in the hands of the leader. This leadership style may have benefits in a crisis such as a code, where the leader may need to be served for the greater good of the patient, but even in this situation the common goal is shared.

In an attempt to debunk the pyramid myth similar conclusions resonated in the literature reviewed , that nursing leaders that produced the greatest success empowered staff and helped develop a common goal (Bally, 2007 & Buerhaus, 2010). According to Sherman and Poss 2010 flourishing leadership styles involve a “paradigm shift from a traditional command-and-control style of staff supervision toward a transformational style of leadership in which leaders enhances the motivation, morale, and performance of their follower groups”. The relationship between this transformational leadership style and staff satisfaction was immense. The leader found team players who wanted to participate. This type of leadership is a far cry from the single leader pyramid.
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