Individual natural talents and passions are essential in helping nurse leader-managers to improve quality and safety in healthcare settings. Because nursing leaders work with multiple individuals and teams, their inherent talents not only enhance their managerial performance but also the nursing professionals and workgroups under them. According to Cooper & Cottrell (2010), knowing your professional values and purpose clarifies career direction and can be leveraged to inspire and motivate other nursing professionals to improve productivity, such as in the areas of quality and safety of care.
Two of my leadership strengths that can be very instrumental in enhancing quality and safety in healthcare include competition and connectedness. Competitiveness in healthcare drives quality and safety improvement goals. Competition can be towards established standards of quality and safety or as a tool for building a competitive advantage over other health organizations. Rath (2007) espouses that “if you can compare, you can compete, and if you can compete, you can win (p. 46).” Instilling a spirit of competition in the workgroup or team creates an impetus to succeed in improving quality and safety to achieve the established standards. Connectedness, on the other hand, enhances teamwork, diversity, and culture competence, recognizing the contribution of every member to improve quality and safety (Rath, 2007). The strength of connectedness will allow me as a nurse leader-manager to cultivate collectiveness and collaboration in fostering a culture of quality and safety in the healthcare environment.
Strategies for applying leadership strengths
Developing a measurement system, particularly a balanced metric, will allow me to monitor every aspect of my performance. By laying down the quality and safety targets at the beginning of month and year will maintain a competitive spirit throughout the year. Rath (2007) emphasizes that even if one is competing against the figures of the previous measurement period, it will help keep track of all aspects of performance, particularly in the safety and quality facets of the organization. Another strategy to assist in applying leadership strengths includes seeking cross-cultural responsibilities (Buckingham, 2011). Creating and working with teams with members from diverse backgrounds allows tapping into different values towards quality and safety (Cooper & Cottrell, 2010), leading to multiple interventions to improve the quality and safety of healthcare.
Buckingham, M. (2011). Strong leadership. Leadership Excellence, 28(1), 5.
Cooper, H., & Cottrell, R. R. (2010). Charting your career path through clear professional values and purpose. Health Promotion Practice, 11(1), 13–15.
Rath, T. (2007). Strengths finder 2.0. New York, NY: Gallup Press
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