Two leadership theories that I find most interesting are transformational leadership theory and great man theory. The great man theory was created by Thomas Carlyle in the 19th century who theorized that you are either born with the ability to lead or you are born without it. The theory stresses that “great leaders are born with specific traits that allow them to rise up and lead others” (Whitney, 2020). Carlyle also states that “great men were sent by God to be heroes and these heroes became leaders through the righteous process of hero worship” (Ruzgar, 2019). Examples of the great man theory are Julius Caesar, Alexander the Great, and Abraham Lincoln. For a strong leader to work in nursing, they have to possess the skills of the Great Man theory which include compassion, wisdom, and the ability to lead a team to success. To run a successful team, a leader of the Great Man theory must strive and rise up to help their team. Weaknesses of the Great Man theory for nursing practice would be the inability to teach a leader that isn’t born to be leader, that it is not a learned skill.
The second theory is the transformational leadership theory which is based upon empowering individuals and focuses on long term success (Whitney, 2020). The leadership theory focuses on “transformational leaders (to) motivate and inspire the followers to achieve extraordinary outcomes, and simultaneously develop a follower’s leadership potential” (Brown, Brown, &Nandedkar, 2019). Strengths of this theory for nursing practice would be to teach nurses the qualities of a leader including to be inspiring and empowering. This motivates nurses to work harder and smarter and in the end, will provide better patient care. Weaknesses of this theory include the ability to motivate unmotivated nurses and staff members to improve the department. If leaders are unable to motivate staff then the department is likely to suffer.