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Myra Cabus

During the past two years while in nursing school, you have practiced
in multiple settings with health care workers in various roles, what are
the characteristics of a good leader and a good follower?
Now that you have identified your dominant management style by
completing the Management Style Assessment located in Laulima,
Resource tab, what are your strengths and what action steps to you
plan to take to strengthen your leadership style?

In these past two years of nursing school, I have found that the most
efficient leaders and followers are those of great character. As agreed
upon in the classroom during our last lecture, I believe that character
is much more important than skill.
The most efficient leaders are born into leadership, although successful
followers can also grow and learn to be efficient leaders. As learned in
our OB/pediatrics rotations, people are born with very defining
personalities and characteristics that are a matter of chance. These
personalities are what ultimately define our roles in the world, more
specifically nursing. There are nurses we have come across in these
two years that we might define as sensitive and caring or strict and
unwavering. Not one characteristic is better than another, but
rather this mix of personalities allows a certain balance in the field to
build better leaders and followers.
Rather than completely separate the two, successful leaders and
followers are proved to have similar characteristics and qualities, as
found in a study from 2011. The study agrees that a leader is useless
without followers and followers are lost without leaders, making both
roles interdependent. (Baker, Mathis, Stites-Doe, 2011)
Leaders and followers share many characteristics. Any successful
leader or follower must: be able to take responsibility for his or her
own actions; possess honesty and integrity; and be able to display the
ability to adjust and adapt accordingly based on the environment
(Baker, Mathis, Stites-Doe, 2011). For example, in our own homes as
mothers, fathers, daughters and sons, we might be the leader. Though
in the classroom we (the same people) might assume the follower role
because others exhibit stronger leadership characteristics. The ability
to adapt to ones environment is a skill that is taken for granted, but

Myra Cabus
should not be discounted in characteristics for a successful leader and
The strongest leaders were found to have the ability to encourage
others, while the strongest followers were found to be able to embrace
change, according to Baker, Mathis, and Stites-Doe (2011).
These findings support that although successful leaders may have
certain traits, the two roles are much more interrelated than one might
Also, I have taken the leadership assessment tool and found myself to
have the shepherd-style of leading. Those with this leadership style
are described to be relational leaders who prefer to facilitate, rather
than overly dictate, others. This further supports the theory I explain
above, as in the home I am a leader for obvious reasons (I am a
mother) and in the classroom I am not interested in leading others due
to us all being adults capable of making independent decisions.
This leadership model is quite accurate, I believe, as I am quite the
conflict-avoiding nursing student. This leadership style is known to
teach and equip others in a way that does not glorify the leader
(Kirkus Reviews, 2013).
My strengths as a shepherd leader include: emotional and social
intelligence that encompasses self- and social-awareness. I am also
accommodating, sharing and participative.
Emotional and social intelligence is the ability for an effective leader to
interpret both feelings and actions that are directed by these
emotions. This is found to be an asset of an effective leader, as it
allows one to relate to others in a way that encourages others to be
successful. (Delmatoff, Lazarus, 2014)
In order to be a more successful leader, I can focus on being more
detached to situations that I encounter. Because I am quite the
shepherd leader this means I am also sensitive and caring. In that, it
is easy for me to be emotionally affected by situations, as evidenced
by my crying when I watched the homeless population receive a free
meal during a mental health rotation. I look forward to growing even
more in my nursing by becoming less obvious about my being
emotionally attached to situations that move me.

Myra Cabus

Baker, S. D., Mathis, C. J., & Stites-Doe, S. (2011). An Exploratory Study

Investigating Leader and Follower Characteristics at U.S. Healthcare
Organizations. Journal Of Managerial Issues, 23(3), 341-363.
Delmatoff, J., & Lazarus, I. R. (2014). The Most Effective Leadership Style for the
New Landscape of Healthcare. Journal Of Healthcare Management, 59(4), 245249.
The Shepherd Leader ... The Unexplored Leadership Style. (2013). Kirkus
Reviews, 81(21), 265.