Leadership and management discussion 2

Question description

Please read the lecture and respond to the discussion questions APA with reference.

Roles and Responsibilities in Leadership and Management


Every organization needs both managers and leaders. Although these roles may be in conflict with each other in certain circumstances, the health care environment demands the contribution of both managers and leaders. The focus for this week will be on the roles and responsibilities of managers and leaders in health care organizations, their differences, their similarities, and how they may be integrated.

Roles and Responsibilities of the Manager

The role and responsibilities of the manager are to ensure that organizational resources are used effectively and efficiently. A manager’s responsibility is to make sure staff has the tools required to accomplish the work. A manager is often perceived as being task-oriented.

According to Donnelly (2003), the skills of a manager can be divided into these categories: leadership skills, people skills, budgeting and finance, quality of care skills, and information technology skills. Leadership skills, although often differentiated from management skills, are absolutely essential for nursing managers. People skills include interviewing new employees, conducting staff meetings, and communicating effectively with the members of the team. Financial skills may be most often associated with managers and are important in every organization. For the nurse manager, finances are particularly important, as we need to be able to support the work of patient care with the resources necessary to provide that care. Quality of care skills include understanding how to gather, analyze, and interpret quality data and how to use that data to drive performance improvement. Information technology skills are increasingly important as healthcare becomes more automated and nurses become more dependent on computers as tools at the bedside.

According to Kotter, the result of an effective manager is “predictability and order which consistently produces key results for various stakeholders” (1990, p. 2). Managers make life easier for employees through concrete actions. Managers set the expectations and the rules to be followed, motivate the individual members of the team, and assist each staff member to develop their full potential.


Financing is a major part of ensuring that projects are completed and instituted. With the ever changing reallocation of funds and budget items, the feasibility of continuing some services is challenged. An important part of continuing programs is identifying and securing grants. There are many sources for funding, such as Human Resources and Service Administration ( HRSA), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), United Way, Advanced Nursing Education Workforce (ANEW), local businesses, and many more. These programs are often essential to continue services and ensure competent workforces.

Roles and Responsibilities of the Leader

“…let whoever is in charge keep this simple question in her head (not, how can I always do this right thing myself, but) how can I provide for this right thing to always be done?” (Florence Nightingale, Notes on Nursing)

Leaders are often seen as individuals who encourage the growth and progress of the organization. The word itself implies movement, and an effective leader will not let a person remain where they are in terms of rank or skill level. An effective leader promotes forward movement.

Leadership remains a vague concept, but ideas about what makes a great leader abound. According to The Teal Trust (n.d.), Warren Bennis defines leadership as a function of knowing yourself, having a vision that is well communicated, building trust among colleagues, and taking effective action to realize your own leadership potential. Leaders inspire, enable, encourage, and act as role models. A true leader will not let personal goals or conflicts affect the goals of the organization.

Leaders have four main responsibilities. The first is to establish direction, vision, and the strategy to reach that vision for the future. The second is to align people around the vision through communication. This step is critical for leadership because it is where buy-in of the vision occurs. The leader must establish support for the vision in order to make it a reality in the present. The third responsibility of leadership is to motivate and inspire. These two topics are most popular when discussing leadership. And finally, leaders must overcome political, bureaucratic, and resource barriers to make change happen.

Kowalski (2003) describes the Five C’s of Leadership as character, commitment, connectedness, compassion, and confidence. Individuals should evaluate their personal leadership skills by evaluating their behavior in private situations. Is keeping one’s word and valuing other people a common behavior?

Integrating the Roles of Manager and Leader

Not all leaders are managers, and not all managers are leaders. All managers have formal authority through title and position in the organization, but some leaders have no formal authority or title; these are informal leaders. Although the term manager and leader are often used interchangeably, distinct differences between the roles do exist, as well as overlap in the function of the two roles. For example, a leader may be able to articulate a compelling vision of a highly functioning unit in which patient care is exemplary and the staff is performing to their highest level. However, if the leader who articulates this vision is unable to ensure that day-to-day operations are carried out effectively, staff will not be inspired to work toward the goal(s) that have been set. Managers who find that they are weak on leadership must strive to develop their leadership skills. (Donnelly, 2003)

Nursing managers and leaders must understand their role in the importance of communication both within and outside of the organization. Each word, action, or statement may be taken out of context. Therefore, words must be weighed carefully. As discussed in Lecture 7, communication is imperative to conflict resolution. The focus for this week will be on the styles of communication and role of the leader in communicating a shared vision.

Non-verbal communication

According to Select, Assess and Train (2007), studies show that during interpersonal communication, 7% of the message is verbally communicated and 93% is nonverbally transmitted. Of the 93% that is nonverbal, 38% is through vocal tone and 55% is through facial expressions.

Body language might be the oldest language, and it can be the determining factor of whether leaders are successful. Good posture indicates that a leader is confident, and making eye contact tells the receiver that the speaker is interested in them, although it can be tricky due to varying cultural norms. Hand movements can reveal what the mind is thinking. Hands with little movement signify calmness. Hands that are active may indicate nervousness or tense situations. A person who is defensive and is rejecting a message will most likely fold their arms, cross their legs, or turn their body away from the speaker.

Listening is a key element in nonverbal communication. Gabor (1994) gives these tips for T-A-C-T-F-U-L conversations:

T = Think before you speak

A = Apologize quickly when you blunder

C = Converse, don’t compete

T = Time your comments

F = Focus on behavior–not on personality

U = Uncover hidden feelings

L = Listen for feedback

In other words, what is said is not nearly as important as how it is said.

Verbal Communication

Verbal communication is the most common type of communication and perhaps the most dangerous. Leaders and managers must possess skills and knowledge to discern whether the information presented are the facts or whether the information is out of context. Adeptness in acquiring information and questioning will save the leader from communicating decisions with grave consequences.

Mistrust results when information is withheld, resources are allocated inconsistently, and employees have no support from management. It doesn’t matter if these things have actually happened or not. As long as the perception exists that these situations are real, the climate of mistrust will escalate and employee alienation will grow (Fitzpatrick, 2003, p. 129).

Making presentations to groups or key individuals is a regular part of the leader’s role. Delivering a comprehensible message that is required to gain support requires practice, review, and a willingness to overcome the greatest fear in communication–public speaking. In public speaking or when giving any presentation, it is imperative to know the subject. A speaker should be prepared for a situation in which the audience questions the content and its validity.

Technology can be a great aide to communication, except when it does not work. Having a backup plan is essential. In the early part of the presentation, the speaker should gain trust with the audience and intrigue them so that they want more information. The core of the presentation should be kept concise, and feedback should be asked for in the end so that the speaker will know how to improve for the next time. In a small group, feedback and questions can be asked for periodically.

Speaking one-on-one with an individual is quite different from a presentation, but it still has the potential to be intimidating, depending on the subject matter and situation. Techniques to overcome this uneasy feeling include the use of open-ended questions that encourage expression and open dialogue. A speaker may ask, “Would you mind telling me more about that?” He or she can also use eye contact and lean forward. Being natural and relaxed also helps. Paraphrasing the message in fewer words can confirm whether the message was received accurately. Throughout the conversation, the speaker should be conscious of his or her tone. Tone sets the stage for open or closed conversation. To conclude the conversation, the main points can be summarized to check that the receiver is in agreement with what has been said.

Written Communication

Many people are intimidated by writing because when something is in written form, it cannot be taken back and is open to scrutiny indefinitely. Thankfully, today’s technology takes grammar, spelling, and punctuation to a new level of error prevention. Some basic tips when writing include the following:

1.Avoid the use of slang words or conjunctions.

2.Do not fall prey to repetitive words or phrases–when in doubt, consult a thesaurus.

3.Spell out all acronyms when first referring to an entity– once identified, you may then use the abbreviation.

4.Steer clear of the use of symbols.

5.Keep sentences short, but not choppy.

6.Check the spelling of names of people or companies.

Letter writing should start with an overall summary in the first paragraph. This tells the reader why this information is important to read. The body of the letter should explain the reason for the letter and the background information. The closing is the final impression a writer leaves and should emphasize the importance of an action item such as a follow-up. The writer should proofread the letter thoroughly for punctuation, content, conciseness, and flow. It is important to ensure that the message is clear. Finally, contact information should always be included.

In these modern times, most written communication in business is conducted via e-mail. Although one may feel tempted to treat e-mail more casually than a business letter, remember that this is still business communication. Perceptions of people are determined, in large part, by the tone set in e-mail and other forms of communication. When in doubt, err on the side of formality, rather than informality in e-mail. No one should write anything in an e-mail that they would not want others besides the sender to see. There is no way of knowing to whom the e-mail may be forwarded. Never use ALL CAPS in e-mail as this can be perceived as shouting at the reader. Finally, keep e-mails short. If the reader has to scroll down to read the end of the message, there is a good chance it will not be read.

Career Planning and Resume Development

Frank Lloyd Wright once said, “I know the price of success; dedication, hard work, and an unremitting devotion to the things you want to see happen.” This requires, of course, that one knows what one wants in life and in a career. The first step then, in career planning, is self-reflection in order to discover what one’s true desires are. Without spending time examining the wishes of the heart and mind, it is impossible to create a plan for success in one’s career. Once a career plan has been defined, career goals can be set that will enable the end point to be reached.

After this work has been done, one must create a resume that will enable the individual to gain employment in the organizations that will best facilitate one’s career goals. In nursing, many positions at the front line do not require a resume but only an application. However, it is important to note that while the application may give the employer the information that they desire, the resume gives the applicant an opportunity to call attention to those values, skills, and interests which the nurse believes are of importance to the role in question. The resume should point out to the prospective employer the applicants strengths and passions, both professionally and personally.

Rather than beginning a resume with an objective, an innovative approach is to include a profile, written in an active voice. Whereas an objective tells the employer what the applicant is seeking, a profile highlights for the employer what the applicant brings to the role.

Guidelines for successful resume preparation from Marquis and Huston (2006) include:

1.Type the resume in a format/font that is easy to read.

2.Emphasize your strong points and minimize your weaknesses.

3.The resume should be free of grammatical or syntactical errors.

4.The resume should be written in a direct manner using active voice whenever possible.

Communicating a Shared Vision

“Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare.” − Japanese proverb.

This statement illustrates well the importance of vision, and a vision is only as good as the extent to which it is communicated effectively to those who must make it come alive. Vision gives purpose to an organization and its employees and meaning to daily tasks. Leaders establish integrity when communicating vision, walking the walk, and talking the talk. Some of the core behaviors that leaders use to communicate vision include showing empathy, demonstrating ethical decision-making, and focusing on planning and the intricacies of impact when action is taken. It is critical to involve others and communicate vision through many different methods and with a variety of strategies. This tactic gives people the opportunity to adjust, adapt, and embrace the change that is inherent in moving towards the future. An open communication model is imperative to the success of the leader and the organization.


Although managers and leaders have distinct roles within an organization, the most effective people will blend the functions and roles in their work. Management keeps the wheels turning, making sure the lights are on, that people get paid, and that everyone is meeting their targets. Leadership involves taking risks, changing things that require change for the growth of the organization, sharing one’s ideas and opinions, and exposing oneself to criticism. It takes both managers and leaders to keep an organization running and to move the organization into the future. If one person is both a manager and a leader, the organization benefits through efficiency and effectiveness.

A successful leader must be:

1.Known to those he or she hopes to lead–must be visible and approachable.

2.Expert in the development, execution, and evaluation of public relations plans.

3.Articulate with one-on-one conversation, small groups, or large audiences.

4.Capable of convincing all stakeholders of the possibilities inherent in the future.

5.A great listener, both inside and outside of the organization.

Leaders need to be keenly aware of their verbal and nonverbal communication styles. Having emotional intelligence in these areas can prevent chaos and support a flourishing organization.


Donnelly, G. F. (2003). How leadership works: Myths and theories. Five keys to successful nursing management. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott, Williams, & Wilkins.

Fitzpatrick, M. A. (2003). Getting your team together. Five keys to successful nursing management. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott, Williams, & Wilkins.

Gabor, D. (1994). Speaking your mind in 101 difficult situations. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster.

Kotter, J. (1990). A force for change: How leadership differs from management. New York, NY: Free Press.

Kowalski, K., & Yoder-Wise, P. S. (2003). Five C’s of leadership. Nurse Leader1(5), 26-31.

Marquis, B. L., & Huston, C. J. (2009). Leadership roles and management functions in nursing: Theory and application (6th ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott, Williams, & Wilkins.

Ross, A., Wenzel, F. J., & Mitlyng, J. W. (2002). Leadership for the future: Core competencies in healthcare. Chicago, IL: Health Administration Press.

Discussion 1

One of the five elements of emotional intelligence is self-awareness. What behaviors would someone with strong self-awareness demonstrate within the context of leading and managing groups? Provide an example.

Discussion 2

Today’s workforce is diverse and has multiple conflicting priorities. As a nurse leader, you would like to see your hospital implement an outreach program that will benefit needy members of the community. What are some methodologies of communication you would use to develop a shared vision with your stakeholders? How would you apply strategic management to make your visions for the outreach program become reality?

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