Graduate students are often unfamiliar with the concept of self-leadership. Simply, self-leadership is defined by students as—–making yourself better, improvement, growth, leadership development, awareness, managing yourself, improvement, awareness, improving yourself, knowledge, I don’t know… growing in leadership, improving your awareness of how you lead, leading others. This website allows us to build on the need for leadership development and growth in graduate students.
Graduate students are challenged with learning content specific to specialty while acclimating to the new role and incorporating lofty leadership expectations. This platform allows continual focus on self-leadership and adds a new and innovative method for building nurse leaders.
What Encompasses Self-leadership?
A colleague and I recently spent time examining literature on self-leadership, growing in leadership, and leadership in nursing. Dr. Forlaw and I wanted to know what this concept encompasses, and examine the history of self-leadership theoretical development. We found literature on the concept of self-leadership and a clear definition. Self-leadership involves the influence people exert over themselves to achieve the self-motivation and self-direction needed to behave in desirable ways. Particular behaviors and thought processes characterize self-leadership and are hypothesized to influence subsequent outcomes positively (Stewart, Courtright, & Manz, 2011).
Self-leaders are constantly developing: 1) Self-awareness, 2) Self-confidence and 3) Self-efficacy (this triangulation can be defined as self-belief).
- Self-awareness is about knowing your intentions and values, as well as knowing what can ‘push your buttons’ and derail you.
- Self-confidence comes from knowing your strengths and abilities. As we take actions and develop skills, we become more confident.
- Self-efficacy is the belief that whatever comes our way, we can handle it. We can take the feedback, accept, adjust and advance. With self-efficacy, we can be more creative and innovative.
Actions and Leadership
We also noted how this is linked towards nursing or an individual nurse. But, as we dove more into the literature, we quickly noticed a gap. Little to no research has moved on actions to take with self-leadership. Where is the evidence about actions of or towards self-leadership? How can we move forward in our own self-leadership? How do nurses grow and lean towards self-leadership?
At a recent conference, Dr. Bernadette Melnyk stated this best: “As nurses and health care providers, we must walk the walk. We must be action oriented.” I challenge you to set one goal this week to focus on self leadership.
Self-leadership focuses on an internal review. This process requires you to examine growth and development in one of four areas: physical, psychosocial, spiritual, and financial. I challenge you to walk the walk. Focus internal, and build your self-leadership.
You might have noticed the well-defined focus on self. This is key- look within, be internally focused to allow time for growth.
How can you move towards self-leadership? What action steps will you take?
How can you be a leader in your community? Where can you step up in leadership?
Melnyk, B. (2017). Sigma Theta Tau Biennial convention.
Stewart, G. L., Courtright, S. H., & Manz, C. C. (2011). Self-leadership: A multilevel review. Journal of Management, 37, 185–222. http://doi.org/dd7j2c.