To be an effective leader, one must demonstrate certain qualities that inspire and motivate staff. Sometimes it can be difficult to recognize what our strengths and weaknesses may be, but we must have this understanding in order to be the best possible leader. The Gallup Administration believes that the most effective leaders are the ones that understand their own strengths and behaviors (Rath, 2007). In my StrengthsFinder Assessment I discovered my top 5 signature themes are: discipline, futuristic, restorative, competition, and relator.
Discipline has always been a major theme in my life. I was raised in a strict and predictable home that thrived on schedules and routine (Rath, 2007). That is very much a quality I still possess as an adult. As a futuristic person, I am highly focused on how I can improve my future and make the best possible life for myself (Rath, 2007). This is not to say I am focused on money, but rather, I am determined to live a high quality and successful life. Being restorative means I want to solve problems and be a “fixer.” I enjoy finding a solution and improving something in the process (Rath, 2007). My competitive nature is no surprise to me. Competition motivates me to do better and be better. I find myself comparing myself to others and making a competition out of everyday tasks. If I do not win or do better than others, I often feel defeated (Rath, 2007). Finally, I am a relator. This is the one quality I was actually surprised by. I often find myself struggling to create new relationships and create conversation with others. Rath (2007) taught me that being a relator means that I want to invest more into my personal relationships to strengthen those, rather than focus on having many friends to give attention to.
Two core values I want to strengthen are balance and gratitude. In my StrengthsFinder assessment, I found myself selecting options that made me realize I lack balance in my life. I tend to have an all-or-nothing mindset and think that I can take on every responsibility and solve every problem on my own. Although this can be a good quality, it can also decrease my satisfaction with life and lead me to feeling burnt out. Another thing I learned about myself through this assessment is that I do not show enough gratitude. The assessment asked questions about how I make other people feel and how often I am encouraging others. When I was answering honestly, I realized I do not give praise often. According to Baykal & Zehir (2018), good leaders use pride and gratitude to “increase optimal individual and organizational functioning.” My “strengths insight guide” stated that I use positive/encouraging words sparingly. If I want a future as a leader, I must be more willing to give praise and celebrate the behaviors of my staff.
Two strengths I could improve on are flexibility and enthusiasm, and the characteristics I would like to improve are open-mindedness and optimism. Because I am very disciplined, I struggle to “go with the flow” and deal with things as they come. I thrive off having an action plan and making calculated choices. As a future nurse leader, I will experience many obstacles that will not always be predictable or calculated. Magnet hospitals are hospitals that get special recognition for their ability to retain nurses. Leaders at Magnet-Designated hospitals are more likely to be flexible and deal with challenges as they come (Upenieks, 2003). To be the best possible leader, I need to learn to be flexible and deal with these problems as they arise and remain open-minded about their solutions.
Baykal, E., & Zehir, C. (2018). Effects of servant leadership on gratitude, empowerment, innovativeness and performance: turkey example. https://dergipark.org.tr/en/pub/jecs/issue/37969/390903?publisher=istanbul
Rath, T. (2007). Strengths Finder 2.0 – with Access Code. Gallup Press
Upenieks, V. (2003). What constitutes effective leadership? perceptions of magnet and nonmagnet nurse leaders. The Journal of Nursing Administration. https://journals.lww.com/jonajournal/pages/articleviewer.aspx?year=2003