Steps To Understanding and Perfecting Your Leadership Style

Dr. Gloria "Jo" Floyd (Ph.D., RN)
The Nurses Coach

Leadership!  Leadership!  Leadership!  What a refrain we hear about this dynamic component of the nurse's life.  We are told how to lead, when to lead, where to lead and what to lead.  There are probably more books about leading than you can shake a stick at.  I would like to add one more little focus on leading and managing your team.  I believe we can never get too much learning about the art and science of take charge behavior.

Thus, I want to remind you of at least 38 Leader Perfecting  Behaviors for all of us to continually work on.  Ponder each and everyone.  Interact with your peers about each.  Analyze what each really means in the big picture of your life.   Put yourself deep into the heart of it and ask yourself "how might I operationalize each of these leader perfecting behaviors in my work life?"   "How might I bring them to life in my daily leader activities?"   "When are they best used?"  "Do they fit my leadership style?"  "Can any of them take me to the next level of leadership?"   "Who might each one work best with?"  And "Why do I need to perfect even more leader behaviors?"

All of these are good starting points.  So, in order for you to be a great leader you must understand and perfect the following ideas, values and behaviors for leaders:

  • Leader perfecting behavior # 1 - set goals that serve as the center of your commitment and functioning
  • Leader Perfecting Behavior # 2 - Let your purpose be your direction
  • Leader perfecting behavior # 3 - Believe that time is life
  • Leader perfecting behavior # 4 - Perfect your own happiness plan
  • Leader perfecting behavior # 5 - Work on all your relationships daily
  • Leader perfecting behavior # 6 - Be selfless, other focused, giving and responsive
  • Leader perfecting behavior # 7 - Be inspired, a champion of the right causes and concerned for everyone's rights
  • Leader perfecting behavior # 8 - Take a studied position in spite of the consequences and function as a profile in courage
  • Leader perfecting behavior # 9 - Seek always to be a speaker of the truth
  • Leader perfecting behavior # 10 - Stay always on the right tasks
  • Leader perfecting behavior # 11 - Stay simple, gracious and always on the right side for the right people
  • Leader perfecting behavior # 12 - Champion and advocate for the causes of our clients, staff and customers
  • Leader perfecting behavior # 13 - Take the legal, moral and ethical position -- always
  • Leader perfecting behavior # 14 - Be a thorn in the side of administrators, supervisors, doctors, nurses and other team members not focused on the right thing
  • Leader perfecting behavior # 15 - Continually build a strong team
  • Leader perfecting behavior # 16 - Be prepared for change
  • Leader perfecting behavior # 17 - Be sure your staff is supervised and adequately oriented, educated and trained
  • Leader perfecting behavior # 18 - Stand up for quality and excellence
  • Leader perfecting behavior # 19 - Foster the positives -- downplay the negatives
  • Leader perfecting behavior # 20 - Watch and mimic the masters of leadership in your world
  • Leader perfecting behavior # 21 - Expect more from yourself than what you first expect of others
  • Leader perfecting behavior # 22 - Practice what you preach and walk your talk
  • Leader perfecting behavior # 23 - Listen to get a great understanding
  • Leader perfecting  behavior # 24 - Punch your own ticket (Pat yourself on the back)
  • Leader perfecting behavior # 25 - Watch your words as they say a lot about you
  • Leader perfecting behavior # 26 - Assure that no patient, client, staff or customer is exploited in any manner
  • Leader perfecting behavior # 27 - Supervise appropriately everybody who may be functioning under you
  • Leader perfecting behavior # 28 - Omit complaining, griping, defensiveness, blaming, beating up on others and hiding your head in the sand from your functioning
  • Leader perfecting behavior # 29 - Make a positive statement daily by your words, actions and deeds
  • Leader perfecting behavior # 30 - Recognize that reward works always better than repetitive punishment
  • Leadership perfecting behavior # 31 - Study first then act
  • Leader perfecting behavior # 32 -  Recognize that when trauma occurs, we have an opportunity to take on new perspectives
  • Leader perfecting behavior # 33 - Recognize your strengths -- understand your weaknesses
  • Leader perfecting behavior # 34 - See problems as opportunities waiting for vision
  • Leader perfecting behavior # 35 - Nobody can make you miserable ... you have to be willing to get into it
  • Leader perfecting behavior # 36 - Recognize, understand and fight your fears
  • Leader perfecting behavior # 37 - Don't stop with "no" -- let it energize you to "yes"
  • Leader perfecting behavior # 38 - Target Life!

What do you think?  "Are these behaviors a good summation for a place for you to be or to get to?"  "Do you recognize leaders that you see day to day perfect these and other great leader behaviors?"  I hope so because great leaders are really hard to come by.  We have many nurses and others who try to lead but do a very poor job.  I'm hoping that reflecting on these behaviors have focused you as a leader in several pivotal realms.  These include:

  • Commitment
  • Purpose
  • Time
  • Happiness
  • Relationships
  • Doing the Right Thing
  • Change
  • Strengths
  • Vision
  • Mood Control
  • Fear Fighting
  • The Team
  • Supervision
  • Education, Orientation and Training
  • Quality and Excellence
  • The Positives
  • Expectations
  • Walking Your Talk, and
  • Life

Now if you spent time reflecting on these behaviors and got little or nothing relevant to the realms above I believe you need to restart.  Each of the Leader Perfecting Behaviors -- each of the 38 -- should be giving you and me much food for thought and maximal reflection and direction.  So ... let's again rethink, refocus, and recommit to being the best -- in everything!  Happy Leader Perfecting Behavior to You!

Dr. Gloria "Jo" Floyd, Ph.D., RN, The Nurses Coach is a nationally recognized speaker, consultant, author, coach and success and survival strategist working throughout the united states who resides in San Antonio.    You may contact her by email at or on her web site

2001, Dr. Gloria "Jo" Floyd, The Nurses Coach, NCEHS, 14439 N.W. Military Hwy #108 PMB 615 San Antonio, TX 78231,O=210-698-8700, F=210-698-8701