Leadership Styles

Leadership is a practice of guidance that uses authority, manipulation and persuasion on others in order to accomplish a known purpose in an orderly manner. The defining of leadership draws several styles of leadership and my focus in this paper is on Authoritative and Participative styles of leadership.

Authoritative versus Participative leadership

Authoritative leadership is also referred to as Autocratic Leadership. Under authoritative leadership, the leader clarifies what is expected of his subjects in carrying out certain duties, the time frame and how the execution is to be done in detail. This leadership style draws a clear line between who is in charge and the followers. As expected, decisions are made autonomously and independently by the leader with little or no consideration of any input from the rest of the team. If one attempts to or abuses their position as authoritarian leaders, they are often perceived as being dictators or self-centered and mean bosses.

Participative leadership is also referred to as Democratic Leadership. The leaders give guidance, suggestions and recommendations to the rest of the team (Thornes, 2006). They further, actively take part in the team duties and allow the members to offer their opinion and input for final decision making. This does not mean that the leader does not have the final say but, the leader makes his command and decision after evaluating and seeking clarifications on proposed inputs by the members. Group members feel valued and self motivated under this type of leadership more than authoritative leadership whose main motivation is often derived from results. It should be understood that the type of duties, situation or team determines the type of leadership style to be applied. This provides the only measure of suitability of the style leadership best suited for a certain occasion.

Philosophy of nursing

My philosophy of nursing leadership is provision of a system of healthcare that exhibits dedication, excellent communication, mutual involvement and responsibility for the patients and their families. This should emphasize the patients’ rights and qualified healthcare practitioners to attend to their needs.

This philosophy makes me to idealize and prefer the democratic style of leadership as being the most appropriate in my case. This leadership is good for team work and creation of synergy because it encourages feedback both ways, thus ensures high quality in standards. It provides an opportunity for creativity and innovation to be practiced by the team and it is easier to switch occasionally to autocratic leadership if need be. This occurs when there is no time for team decision making or the leader is in a situation which makes them the most informed of the team.

Leadership and Management

Leadership is more vision oriented and Management emphasizes on the mission (Thornes, 2006). This means that Leadership is concerned with long term development and therefore seeks to generate and create ideas and policies meant to have long term impact. Management on the other hand is more focused on control and administration of policies associated with short term goals. Leadership is always focused on the next step above the current level while management is keen on efficiency in execution of directives and policies. The defining factor is therefore the ability of one to move the masses beyond procedures which is leadership, while management is more of supervisory and execution of existing directives. Leadership has less supervision on the individual and their main drive is self motivation and commitment. Management has an element of the individual concerned being answerable to someone else and their operation is controlled. The position does not involve the individuals in coming up with new objectives but to ensure existing ones are strictly adhered to.


Better performance and career satisfaction is highly achievable when everyone in an organization understands the elements involved in leadership and management. This often creates an atmosphere of respect and understanding. Employees get to understand what is happening when certain positions are upheld by the management and leaders. Likewise the leaders and management get to understand reactions and appreciate input coming from their juniors.

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