Synthesize your thoughts and reflections

Synthesize your thoughts and reflections in connection with course content. The aim of this paper is to help you dig deeper in your thinking, unpack leadership theories and practices, understand your strengths and weaknesses, or think about how you can integrate learnings into your long-term professional goals. These papers can lead to the identification of critical leadership perspectives, new leadership insights, or strategies that may serve you well in your career.

1. Select one (1) prompt from the list of options below to address in your critical reflection paper.
2. Think critically about the prompt and self-reflect about how this prompt is related to your own work as a charge nurse and leadership capacity to influence change.
• Go deeper than just restating what you have read or heard.
• Expand upon this prompt by putting the readings, videos, self-assessments, or group activities in conversation with each other.
• Connect this prompt with your own experiences and context; or, connect this prompt with the capstone project you are developing.
• Synthesize your ideas to formulate a critically constructed perspective about the prompt. The task is not necessarily to end up with a clear “answer.” In fact, you may raise additional critical questions in this paper. Tap into your sociological imagination!
3. Write your paper. Structure this paper how you see fit. No specific sub-headers are required. You are encouraged to write in the first person. It is not necessary to have citations. It does, however, need to draw from the course content, demonstrate critical-thinking, and have an organized flow.
Prompts
Week
Select one (1) prompt to write about in your paper:
Servant leadership (week 6)
Reflect upon an experience when you were a servant leader — a time when, because of your leadership, people became “healthier, wiser, freer, more autonomous, [and] more likely to become servants” (Northouse, 2022, pg. 254). How did you develop your empathy and unqualified acceptance of the people you were leading? In what ways were outcomes improved? How can organizations, and not just individual leaders, become models of servanthood to transform healthcare organizations for the 21st century economy (Schwartz & Tumblin, 2002)? Is it possible to practice servant leadership in a competitive climate? Do you consider servant leadership to be a form of activism? Why or why not? What insights were gleaned from thinking about leader-centric perspectives of leadership?
Followership (week 6)
Define and describe role-based vs. relational-based perspectives of followership (see Northouse, 2022, pg. 354). Which one of these two perspectives resonants with you, and why? Apply the perspective of your choice to describe how followership works in the context of your department or organization. Who are the leaders and followers? Where does power reside in the relationship between the leaders and followers? How is power used by both parties to promote their collective or individual goals? How does followership theory relate to healthcare quality, safety, or patient-centered care? What power resources do followers have to challenge leaders in healthcare? What are the implications of your views for your own leadership and followership? What insights were gleaned from thinking about follower-centric perspectives of leadership?
Situational approach (week 7)
The SLII model is widely used for training leaders and managers so they can perform their jobs more effectively (see Northouse, 2022, Figure 5.1, pg. 111). Select three (3) of your own followers. Diagnose their current development level on a goal and your style of leadership in each situation. Is there a match? If not, what specifically can you do for them as a leader to ensure they have what they need to succeed? What is the utility of the SLII model for you? What are its limitations? Are there more dimensions to leadership style than supportive or directive behaviors that should be taken into consideration? Is the SLII model useful for leading groups? Are there more dimensions to follower development than competence and commitment that should be taken into consideration? If so, what are they, and why? Describe your perceptions of the accuracy or limitation of the SLII model; discuss the implications of using the SLII model for your effectiveness as a leader; and/or provide specific examples of how you may improve your leadership style to meet your career goals. What insights were gleaned from thinking about leadership perspectives centered on the interactions between leaders and followers?
Adaptive leadership (week 7)
What is the difference between technical and adaptive challenges in leadership? What are approaches for addressing technical and adaptive challenges? Describe a scenario you can think of where one (1) of these four archetypal patterns exists and is in need of adaptive change in your workplace — 1) gap between espoused values and behavior, 2) competing commitments, 3) speaking the unspeakable, and 4) work avoidance (see Northouse, 2022, pg. 292). What are three different “next steps” you could take in response to this archetypal pattern? Using adaptive leadership behaviors and strategies, how would you create a holding environment to prepare and encourage people to change? What new issues might arise as a result of each “next step”? What new organizational pressures might result with each of your decisions? What insights were gleaned from thinking about leadership perspectives centered on the interactions between leaders and followers?
Generational diversity (week 8)
Are there generational differences in the types of authority figures that appeal to people today? Based on what you know about the millennial generation, do you agree with the characterization that millennial workers are more individualistic than prior generations? Do they see work as less central to their lives and identities? Do they highly value extrinsic rewards? Which of the arguments seem to have the most merit, if any? (see Anderson et al., 2017, or Northouse, 2022, pg. 234) Which arguments do not fit with the millennial generation’s work experiences? What have been your own experiences working with people of various generational cohorts? Are generational differences big or small? What stereotypes about generations should you be mindful of avoiding? As a leadership scholar, how would you go about collecting data to test concepts of generational differences (or similarities) without falling into stereotype traps or reifying them? What leadership approaches may be needed to train, motivate, or inspire a future workforce whose lives could be very different from our own? What insights were gleaned from thinking about the interactions between leaders and followers?
Path goal theory (week 8)
Write a paper that explains your scores on the Path–Goal Leadership Questionnaire Self-Assessment (Northouse, pg. 153-155). What are your perceptions of the accuracy or limitation of this questionnaire? What are the implications of the score for your effectiveness as a leader in various situations? Describe a specific scenario from your own personal or professional experiences when you have used or will want to use path-goal theory in your leadership practices. How did path-goal theory provide a useful way to understand leadership in this scenario? Which leader behaviors have become more or less important to use with your followers? What leader behaviors have become more difficult to enact with your followers? How will you overcome any barriers you have identified? Path-goal theory seems to be applied to formal leadership roles; but, does it have any application to informal leaders or emergent leaders? What insights were gleaned from thinking about leadership perspectives centered on the interactions between leaders and followers?
Leader-member exchange theory (week 8)
Recently, LMX theory has considered the role emotions play in the development of high quality leader-member relationships (see Northouse, 2022, Table 7.2, pg. 165). What are the three stages of affective processes and LMX development? Describe a specific scenario of a time when you moved through the three stages of active processes and LMX development. Were you the leader or the follower in this scenario? How did communication impact your relationship quality? Were in-groups and out-groups formed? If so, how did you work with, or across, the in-groups and out-groups to accomplish goals? What communication behaviors tend to build or erode your respect for a leader or a follower? What are your experiences moving through the three stages of affective processes in an online, remote, or virtual work context? How has technology helped or hindered your working relationships? What insights were gleaned from thinking about leadership perspectives centered on the interactions between leaders and followers?
Team leadership (week 9)
Team excellence is one of the marks of a collaborative climate. “Effective team leaders can facilitate a collaborative climate by managing their own needs to control, by making communication safe, by demanding and rewarding collaborative behavior, and by guiding the team’s problem-solving efforts (LaFasto & Larson, 2001)” (Northouse, 2022, pg. 469). What constitutes “safe communication” in your workplace: between coworkers, between staff and supervisors, and between staff and the organization as a whole? What types of talk need to be safeguarded, and why? In your workplace, who is responsible for ensuring safe communication? How does working in an online team differ from working in a face-to-face team when it comes to “safe communication”? What insights were gleaned from thinking about leadership perspectives centered on the interactions between leaders and followers?
e-Leadership (week 9)
e-Leadership is defined as “‘a process of social influence that takes place in an organizational context where a significant amount of work, including communication, is supported by IT’ (Avolio & Kahai, 2010, p. 239)” (Cowan, 2014, p. 313). Reflect on your practices as an e-leader. How have you managed an online or virtual team to achieve a common goal or purpose? How have you managed a vast array of communication strategies and project management techniques to move work along? What leadership skills, behaviors, or approaches did you use to foster a sense of socialization, collegiality, collaboration, or communication among your colleagues/peers? How did you establish trust, norms, expectations, or accountability among colleagues/peers of a virtual team? What additional human, social, economic, or technological factors needed to be taken into consideration for your e-leadership to be effective? What challenges have you encountered fostering socialization, collegiality, collaboration, or communication among virtual team members? What are the benefits and limitations of e-leadership and virtual team work? What insights were gleaned from thinking about leadership perspectives centered on the interactions between leaders and followers?

 

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