Wednesday, 20 December 2017 08:24

Effective Approaches in Leadership and Management Featured

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Management and leadership are two concepts that often confused to be the same. However, there are significant distinctions between leadership and management. This paper will highlight these differences by comparing how a nursing leader and nursing manager can approach the issue of continuous quality improvement and patient satisfaction. The paper also identifies and explains the approach that best fits the writer’s professional and personal philosophy.


Continuous quality improvement is a practice that seeks to improve the value of services by implementing initiatives for improving the service delivery processes (Dana, 2004). It is a proactive process that identifies quality improvement needs within the service delivery system and initiates projects to meet these needs. The practice entails initiating quality improvement projects that build on each other so as to improve the functioning of the whole system. The ultimate goal of continuous quality improvement efforts is to increase customer satisfaction.

Leaders focus on establishing a direction, convincing follower about this direction and empowering them so as they can voluntary work towards this direction (Ledlow & Coppola, 2013). Therefore, when it comes to continuous quality improvement, a nursing leader will focus on establishing a quality vision. The vision would present what the organization should desire to achieve in terms of quality. The vision will present the rest of the organization with a sense of direction. A leader’s vision often requires the organization to abandon the ordinary way of doing things in favor of fresh approaches. It entails taking risks and working with uncertain. Therefore, the nursing leader is likely to establish a vision that seeks to change the status quo.

 Once the nursing leader has established his vision, he will focus on communicating this vision to other members of the organization (Curtis, Vries & Sheerin, 2011). As highlighted in the definition, leadership entails getting follower to buy-in the vision so as they can pursue it willingly. Therefore, communication is a vital process in leadership. The nursing leader must communicate why the vision is important and the benefits that the organization stands to gain by pursuing the vision. The nursing leaders will also focus on empowering the followers so as to make them capable of pursuing the vision (Ledlow & Coppola, 2013). The empowerment process may entail training the followers, providing them with the necessary equipments, and giving autonomy to work. Unlike managers, leaders are concerned with both the outcomes and the means used to deliver the outcome.

Management is a process that seeks to realize organizational goals through mobilization of the efforts of other people, in a dynamic environment (Ledlow & Coppola, 2013). Just like the nursing leader, a nursing manager will also begin by formulating a vision and goals when it comes to the subject of continuous quality improvement. The vision and goals will provide the other members of the institution with a sense of direction. Unlike leaders who focus on bringing change, managers focus on maintaining stability. Therefore, a nursing manager is likely to establish quality goals that strengthen existing systems and process (Curtis, Vries & Sheerin, 2011). They are least likely to recommend goals that will cause drastic changes to existing system. The nursing manager is likely to focus on minimizing risks rather than taking risks. He is likely to use existing channels and time-tested ways in order to avoid uncertainty.

The nursing manager will also focus managing work rather than managing the people responsible for the work (Ledlow & Coppola, 2013). The manager is least concerned with the means used to achieve the quality goals and most concerned with the realization of the goals. The manager is likely to be preoccupied with the task of allocating and creating systems and structures. The manager does not focus on inspiring and convincing followers. He is more likely to establish structures that control the followers. The structures that managers create, often, use a system of reward and punishment to motivate followers to work towards the quality improvement goal (Smith, 2011). For instance, a manager may design a compensation structure that rewards an employee who is rated highly by customers. In this case, the manager expects the monetary rewards to act as incentives for better performance. Conversely, the leader will focus on convincing the employee as to why he or she needs to serve the customer better, and equip him or her with skills and resources necessary to improve performance.

Approach that fits Personal and Professional Philosophy

            The leadership approach best suits my personal and professional philosophy. I believe that nurses have the responsibility of bringing long-term changes to society and people ways of life (Ledlow & Coppola, 2013). The leadership approach is best suited in delivering social changes. This is because leadership focuses on introducing changes rather than strengthening the status quo. A nursing approach that focuses on bringing changes is likely to encourage innovation within the healthcare system. Focusing on introduces changes and taking risks is likely to bring more benefits to society rather than focusing on maintaining existing systems. The leadership approach enables nursing leaders to freeze undesirable behaviors and practice and introduce new behaviors so as to boost the quality of the service delivery process (Al-Abri, 2007).

            The leadership approach is also a sustainable way of introducing changes and improving quality. The leadership approach is sustainable because it focuses on getting followers to buy-in the leader’s ideas and proposals (Curtis, Vries & Sheerin, 2011). When followers buy-in the leaders’ ideas, they are likely to implement the idea even in the absence of the leaders. Hence, the leadership approach establishes a vision that is likely to outlive the leader. Similarly, leadership entails convincing followers about the vision and empowering them to pursue the vision rather than using a system of reward and punishment. Convincing followers about the vision guarantees that the followers will work towards the realization of the vision even when the organization is experiencing financial difficulties. Conversely, quality improvement efforts that use monetary rewards to persuade employees are likely to fail once the organization experiences financial difficulties.  


Leadership and management are essential aspects in the nursing profession. Leadership entails establishing a direction, convincing follower about this direction and empowering them so as they can voluntary work towards this direction. Management entails the realization of organizational goals through mobilization of the efforts of other people, in a dynamic environment. There are fundamental differences between management and leadership approaches. Leaders focus on introducing changes while managers focus on creating stability. Leaders focus on people and relationships while managers focus on tasks and goals. However, leadership and management must work together.  Management skills must be present so as to assist the leader to administer what he or she innovates. Leadership skills will help a nursing professional to establish goals and direction while management will help him to plan coordinated activity, establish policies and administer programs.


Al-Abri, R. (2010). Managing Change. Oman Medical Journal. 22 (3), 9- 10

Curtis, E. Vries, J. & Sheerin, F. (2011). Developing Leadership in Nursing. British Journal of Nursing. 20 (5), 306- 309

Dana, B. (2004). Continuous Quality Improvement Assessment. American Healthcare Association. Retrieved from

Ledlow, G. & Coppola, N. (2013). Leadership for Health Professionals. USA: Jones & Bartlett Publishers

Smith M. (2011). Are you a Transformational Leader? Nursing Management. 42 (9), 44- 50

Janet Peter is the Managing Director of MeldaResearch.Com a globally competitive custom writing service which is the premiere provider of Essay Writing Services, Research Paper Writing Services at Term Paper Writing Services at very affordable cost. For 9 years, she has helped a number of students in different academic subjects.

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