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Leadership Styles and Creativity Discussion

Hello. My name is Marsha. I have been working in healthcare for 18 years, with 14 of those years being in some sort of a leadership role. I am a nurse by training. I am from NH where I still reside. I have achieved all of my nursing degrees, through a PhD, but what I find as I get more into leadership on the business side of healthcare, is that I need to refocus my education, which has led me here. I have two children – 4 and 5, so between work and them I keep very busy.

When people ask me who my mentor is/was, I always think of the same person. She was also a nurse executive and promoted me when I was only 4 years into my career. I was young, naïve, and believed I was going to change the world, and quickly. It did not take me long to realize my tactic was not going to work. Carolyn sat with me weekly, we went over things from the previous week – what went well, what didn’t go well. She sat, she listened, she offered guidance when needed, but mostly had me think through the situation knowing I would get to the answer, all the while building a skill set to ensure that I would succeed. She taught me that to empower others builds a greater team.

When I think about the ideal leader to lead in our volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous environment (VUCA), I still think of Carolyn. She was patient, curious, an active listener, and a mentor. She always led from a place of appreciative inquiry, never from a place of judgment. What she did through all these years of meetings and role modeling was instill in me a sense of trust. Dr Martina Muttke stated it so well in Build Better Brains. “when you treat people well this will lead to affection, love and trust…they will reward you with eternal loyalty” (p. 16). These are the type of leaders we will need moving forward if we want to continue to progress forward in this VUCA environment.

Your responses agree or disagree should show that you have given thought to what the original post said. They should also push the conversation forward, offering insights or (if necessary) asking clarifying questions. While responding, please consider the following questions:

  • Is leadership style a binary choice, i.e., one or the other? Or do all leaders have a mixture of both styles to some degree?
  • Think about the worst leaders you have observed or worked for. What are the greatest lessons you’ve learned from their poor leadership traits?


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