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Critical Reflection and Leadership in Identity Making Essay

“Vision is the key to understanding leadership” (Haslam, Reicher, & Platow, 2011). I have spent many years trying to avoid positions of authority and leadership roles, bedside nursing was a perfect escape. This paper will show that we are all born leaders and to get to those hidden leadership abilities is to engage in self-awareness, self-reflection, and achieve a higher education to learn how to apply them (Lowney, 2003). Critical Reflection and Leadership in Identity Making “Vision is the key to understanding leadership” (Haslam, Reicher, & Platow, 2011).

I have spent many years trying to avoid positions of authority and leadership roles, bedside nursing was a perfect escape. Over the years, I have worked virtually every aspect of nursing, except management. I found conversations to be one sided, often leaving the staff feeling they were guilty until proven innocent. I have had some remarkable “Nurse Managers but, most were ineffective, selfish, and unappealing. This did nothing to inspire me to become a leader. Becoming the Intensive Care Units’ “Unit Based Educator” made me realize that the only way to achieve my vision to make a difference, was through education geared toward leadership.

According to Lowney (2003), the insight into being a leader is through self-reflection. (Valli, 1999) interjects this theory into five types of reflection, further guiding us into a deeper self-awareness. The reading that had the most impact on me this week would have to be critical reflection. To me, critical reflection is interchangeable with critical thinking. I am bombarded with information that requiring on the spot decisions. Through the use of Critical thinking, I make decisions from past experiences, information at hand, and the impact my decisions will have now and the future.

On the other hand, critical reflection, is more of a process that allows us to question past experiences, then consider, reassess and analyze those experiences prior to applying them to the current situation. The information provided in this week’s study has already impacted my leadership style. I have applied critical reflection to make more informed decisions, and being better informed, I am less reactionary. Being reflective has allowed me to be more insightful on how destructive, self- deception has been in my personally, socially, and in my work.

I no longer say “I cannot”, instead; I review the situation, reflect on alternatives, and then make a decision. I agree with Lowney (2003) we are all born leaders and to get to those hidden leadership abilities is to engage in self-awareness, self-reflection, and achieve a higher education to learn how to apply them. I thought that I had escaped the claws of leadership by becoming an educator, another self-deceptive thought. This course has taught me that the Educator has the most influential leadership position. Being an Educator is my motivation to learning how to be that sound, moral leader I want to be.


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