An authentic leader sets and role models a high standard of ethical and moral conduct (Wong & Laschinger, 2012).
I often wonder how this person is making a difference in patient care with such high levels of stress. But as I read the literature about authentic nursing leadership my spirit leaped and I could truly identify with the characteristics of this type of leader.
This type of leader ventures out and takes risks and has a goal to exceed the standards of care; and is a trailblazer in the field of nursing. Authentic leaders contribute to the growth and development of a healthier work environment.
I remember as a staff nurse hiding behind curtains in my patient’s rooms to avoid the emotional outburst of my managers.
This role of a leader all seemed frightening to me.
Authentic leaders must model authentic behaviors, they are genuine, freely expressing feelings and motives, are driven by the desire to make a difference, and are guided by values transcending self-interest (Murphy, 2012).
They come to understand their personal convictions and value systems and the purpose of their leadership role.This requires a level of openness and truthfulness, so that other will be open and honest with you.This type of openness encourages others to be forthcoming with their own ideas, challenges and perspectives.Self-awareness can be defined as being aware of one’s own values and beliefs.The authentic leader who exercises this character is aware of their; own strengths and weaknesses.In authentic leadership theory, leaders who maintain high levels of these four elements garner the trust and respect of followers by acting consistent with their values, ethical standards and personal convictions while at the same time facilitating an open and collaborative environment with others (Wong, Laschinger & Cummings 2010). We take no responsibility and give no guarantees, warranties or representations, implied or otherwise, for the content or accuracy.These qualities in a leader can improve care quality and workplace conditions. Authentic leadership, I choose this topic because it is what I aspire to be. I have never ventured upon this characteristic, but none the less; I want to be an authentic leader.I have been in the nursing world for over 20 years and have never met this strange and unfamiliar character called the quintessential “authentic leader”.The modern corporate world is not without its examples of wrongdoing and creed-based behavior.Not all leaders are good and acknowledgement of this can often be the first step towards better leadership.