It is evident that different leadership qualities and leader behaviors would be most important in dealing with different clinical situations that are faced by the leaders in practice. Thinking from the context of nursing, some clinical situations would demand fast actions and quick response and thinking. In contrast, some others would need an allowance of time due to its complex nature. The best solution then may come from careful consideration of different facets of the situation that poses a problem. The literature on leadership theories identifies different qualities and behavioral patterns of effective nurse leaders (Cummings et al., 2008).
The type of leadership or its style has been explained by the behavioral theories of leadership. According to this theory, the style of leadership is indicated by behavioral theories. The first of them is authoritarian leadership. This has also been called as an autocratic, directive, or controlling leadership. As evident from the name, the authoritarian gives orders and thus would make the decision for the group as a whole. Therefore, there is a chance of imposition of her decision on that of the group. Consequently, most of the responsibilities of outcome fall on her. This is an efficient way of leadership, but imposition would constrict the creativity and thoughts or ideas of the individual members of the group. Therefore new ways of executing the work would remain unexplored. Moreover, there can be an idea that since the leader is responsible and is taking decisions, there would be a lack of ownership and inhibition of motivation. There are certain clinical situations where authoritarian leadership is necessary for the clinical practice, where the leader must ensure all the group members follow the same principles in care. For example, if there is a high incidence of hospital-acquired infection in the intensive care unit, and there is a perceived need to follow the infection control policy in practice which includes stringent hand washing of the nurses, the leader must enforce compulsory hand washing for the team. Depending on the gravity of the situation and implications on patient safety, the autocratic leader may decide to be either punitive or benign. In this style of leadership, the team members will have less freedom with the leader having high control.