Seven Habits Profile & Findings
After completing the seven habits profile, my lowest categories were emotional bank account, life balance, be proactive, begin with the end in mind, put first things first, seek first to understand, and sharpen the saw.
Life balance was really no surprise to me. I often put my work life ahead of everything else. I strive to be the best that I can at work, and I am striving to better myself and achieve a management position. I feel that if I make sacrifices now, in the future I will have more time to devote to my family life. I am beginning to realize I am missing out on my children’s childhood and need to make an effort to be there more for my children—at least spend some quality family time with them.
The lowest category was put first things first, which kind of goes along with life balance. My family should be first. I often waste time on popular internet sites and procrastinate. I often allow important activities, like family time, to get lost in the busy activities of my day.
My top four categories were being proactive, think win-win, synergize and sharpen the saw. I feel that I am in control of my life; therefore, I focus on things I can change rather than things I can’t. I take responsibility for my actions, even if I have done wrong. I feel that every wrong doing is an opportunity to learn and grow. My first medication error I made I was very honest about it, I actually wrote a procedure for verifying the administration of insulin to prevent further mistakes. I think win-win because I strive every day for my own success. I often motivate others to strive for their goals. I have four coworkers attending Western Governors University to get their Bachelors of Science in nursing, that I frequently motivate to keep working hard to finish. When solving conflicts, I try to get to the root of the problem then find a solution hoping that the same conflict won’t happen again.
I synergize by encouraging others to express their insights and opinions. I use team building, involving myself and others in searching for new ideas and solutions. I sharpen the saw by striving to build and improve relationships with others, especially coworkers as I spend more time with them than my family. I take time to find enjoyment in my life; I truly enjoy my life and take much pride in providing the best care that I can. When my patients are happy and are on the mend, I feel like I have made a different in their life and I find a great deal of enjoyment in that.
My highest two categories were synergize and think win-win. My leadership style is transactional. I believe employees are motivated by rewards and punishments. I believe that subordinates have to be closely monitored and motivated by appealing to their own interest. I have been effective at changing policies to cut cost and decrease medication errors as well as improve productivity. I am action oriented; I seek ways to come up with better ideas and solutions. I focus on improving things that I can change.
Transactional leadership is a style of leadership based on the distribution of rewards and punishments. Transactional leaders clarify the subordinates’ roles, initiate structure and provide rewards and punishments (Daft, 2012). Transactional leaders are focused on maintaining order in day-to-day operations (Biscontini, T., 2015). Transactional leadership involves a chain of command and defined structure. In transactional leadership subordinates are expected to do what their superior tells them to do. People are motivated by reward and punishment, such as increased pay or termination (Flynn, S., 2009).
The first leadership strength I possess is striving to maintain order in an often chaotic environment. While every patient is different, most of the time they are treated the same way. If a patient presents with chest pain, we do the same order of things, obtain vital signs, perform EKG and give oxygen, morphine, sublingual nitroglycerin. The patient is different from the rest of the patients with chest pain, but is treatment is the same. While things are often chaotic, if we maintain order things move much more efficiently.
Another leadership strength I possess is motivating subordinates. I often encourage coworkers to strive for their goals, whether it be going back to further their education or changing jobs. I truly believe if we are unhappy the retention rates are lower and their work is not high-quality. I often motivate subordinates by offering rewards for exemplary work. A recent night shift two staff nurses and myself received eight admissions in four hours—the reward that night was ice cream.
A third leadership strength I possess is establishing clear rules, procedures and standards. I strive to let coworkers know exactly what is expected of them, explaining consequences of failing to meet the standards. I often give feedback to keep coworkers on tasks. The healthcare field is very demanding and constantly busy. I think the whole team needs to work together to get the job done. If one team member is consistently behind the other team members should brainstorm with the slower coworker to establish new ways for them to work smarter, not harder.
All leaders have strengths as well as weaknesses, I am no different. There are several disadvantages to being a transactional leader including not giving out adequate praises. I only praise coworkers for exemplary work. I should be praising my coworkers more frequently to keep morale high. Without frequent praise, the morale is low and people often talk about each other to make themselves look better, they are seeking praise.
Another weakness I have is assuming my coworkers aren’t capable of assuming my duties in my absence which makes our organization weaker. I often don’t include coworkers in decision-making assuming they aren’t capable of making the best decisions which decreases morale and giving my coworkers less opportunity to be involved.
The third weakness is focusing on the short-term. While I assume my coworkers can’t perform in my absence, I am robbing them of opportunity to better themselves. My coworkers aren’t getting the opportunity to be leaders with me always there making decisions. I would say I am preoccupied with the power of decision making and unable to share some of the decision making with my coworkers. Without getting my coworkers opinions with decision making I am not being open to other creative solutions.
Recommendations for Leadership Development
After describing my personal leadership weaknesses I have proposed some recommendations to maximize my leadership success. I will begin praising my coworkers more frequently for working hard, not just exemplary work. My coworkers deserve to be praised for hard work and busy days. They should be praised when they receive compliments. I’ve always assumed my coworkers knew they were appreciated, I now realize they need to be told frequently to keep the morale high.
I should start involving my coworkers in creative active decision-making. I should also start involving coworkers in assuming some leadership duties to strengthen the organization. Transactional leaders aren’t conducive to creating leaders or bringing out the best in people (“Transactional leadership,” n.d.). I need to focus more on cultivating people and bringing the best out in people. Once my coworkers are involved in decision-making and leadership duties they will feel involved, morale and dedication will increase because they will feel involved and connected to the organization.
I will begin to focus on the organizations long-term. I will help my coworkers obtain opportunity to better themselves; I will give my coworkers opportunity to perform in my absence. I will step back and give some of the power to my employees, I will value them, their solutions, and their opinions—they are the future of our organization. If coworkers were included in decision-making and assuming coworkers are capable of doing the same tasks I do would also increase morale and strengthen the organization.
The first behavior I have identified as a short-term priority for my leadership development is to give compliments to coworkers more frequently. To improve my compliments given, I will give at least two compliments to deserving coworkers every day for the next two weeks. I will ask coworkers for feedback on how well I have complimented and/or praised the staff at the end of every shift. Specific actions I will take to ensure my coworkers will receive compliments will be creating a bulletin board for “WOW times”. My coworkers will get a “WOW card” for working hard, receiving compliments from coworkers and patients, preventing errors and uncovering policies or procedures that could cause harm to patients.
The second behavior I have identified as a short-term priority for my leadership development is to involve staff in the decision making process. To involve my staff in decision making, I will ask for opinions for two decisions to be made each week for the next three weeks. I will ask coworkers for feedback on how well I have involved them in the decision making process at the end of every week. Specific actions I will take to ensure my coworkers are involved in the decision making process will be having meetings twice a week to discuss decisions that we are facing. After the meeting I will email all staff and give meeting minutes to keep everyone in the loop of what was discussed.
In my leadership development I don’t want my staff to feel disconnected from the team. I don’t want the staff to feel inadequate because they do not receive compliments frequently. If staff receives compliments more frequently it will build morale and hopefully make them strive towards receiving compliments and not want to disappoint their leader. If staff are involved in the decision making process, they will feel more involved in the team and strive to make a more successful team and organization. These goals will create a stronger, more efficient team.
Biscontini, T. (2015). Transactional leadership. Salem Press Encyclopedia. Daft, R. L. (2012). Management. [Cengage Learning]. Retrieved from http://ng.cengage.com/static/nb/ui/index.html?nbId=37374&nbNodeId=6298189&deploymentId=9069221310208537579042035#!&parentId=6298190 Flynn, S. I. (2009). Transformational and Transactional Leadership. Research Starters Sociology