Personal Philosophy

A person's leadership philosophy reveals how he or she sees himself or herself as a leader. Some people feel that leadership comes naturally, while others believe that it can be acquired and taught. In any case, specific leadership philosophy will evolve throughout time as a result of internal and external influences. This paper will discuss the function of the health care leader, the sphere of influence, and the various uses of power that a leader has, including positive, negative, formal, and informal. Finally, the author will provide the findings of a leadership poll and describe how they reflect her personal leadership philosophy.

Healthcare leadership can be complicated because a mistake can cost lives. The role of the leader is to access, plan, and control all situations efficiently and effectively. Leaders must ensure proper staffing, provide clinician support, and oversee all staff interactions. Home care leadership is no different than facility leadership. The care is typically one-on-one, which can make staffing more challenging, especially when a staff member calls out for his or her shift. The home care leader needs to be able to balance the needs of the patient with the needs of the staff member. Furthermore, the leader must be able to make the right match between the patient and staff.

The leadership theory that is best suited to home health care is transformational leadership. It should be noted that there is usually a blend of transformational and transactional in a leader, it is usually not exclusive (Borkowski, 2011). Transformational leadership is strongly focused on outcomes and accounts for the needs of the subordinates (Borkowski, 2011). Furthermore, it also relies strongly upon the mission and vision to influence change. This process is perfect for a home care company that has developed its own culture, called the Bayton Way. The Bayton Way outlines the expected behavior of all staff and is directly aligned with company mission, vision, and core values.

Last, transformational leaders have characteristics that are consistent with the leaders that Bayton looks for. Some of the characteristics are courage, trust, a strong value drive, and creativity (Borkowski, 2011). Bayton prides itself on placing more value on patient care than money, being able to solve problems and face adversity, and having the courage to be voices for the patients in the community. Bayton leaders are expected to face complex problems and solve them, continue to learn throughout life, and use innovation (Borkowski, 2011). There should be some elements of transactional leadership as well, such as watching for deviations and using corrective action to influence the behavior (Borkowski, 2011).

Sphere of Influence

Bayton is a very large company and is a leader in home health care. Other companies often look to Bayton for decisions and as a business model. However, because it is privately owned, the individual workers do not have much influence outside of their own offices. The owner has a clearly defined plan and does not allow much to influence him. He also takes a long time to consider every move before it is made, to ensure that he is making the right decision. He will consider other points of view, but ultimately, his is the only one that matters.

Even inside each office, the owner's influence can be witnessed. His method, known as the Bayton Way, must be followed and must guide all interactions between leaders and subordinates. Any action that falls outside of the Bayton Way can be grounds for termination. Therefore, the sphere of influence is very small. Each leader is encouraged to solve problems creatively; however, it must still be in line with the Bayton Way. This is also why the transformational theory is the best fit for Bayton leaders. It fits in with the Bayton Way and does allow leaders to exert the influence they do have. It allows for each leader to exhibit his or her own charisma, provide inspiration, and provide individualized attention to each employee (Borkowski, 2011).

Uses of Power

Each leader has power. Some of the definitions of power include "influencing others" or "the ability to induce someone to do something he or she would not have otherwise done" (Giang, 2013, para. 2). There are four main types of power; positive, negative, formal, and informal. It is up to each leader to decide how to use his or her power.

Positive Power

Positive power is the ability to initiate activity (Giang, 2013). It fits well in transformational leadership theory because the theory is very much grounded in outcomes. The clinical staff needs to provide excellent care to the patients and the leaders need to inspire that care. Positive power allows for good interactions between leaders and subordinates. The power allows for appreciation and communication to take place (Giang, 2013). Leaders that engage in positive power gain more enthusiasm, respect, and problem-solving from their staff.

Negative Power

Negative power is the ability to stop an activity (Giang, 2013). It fits more into the transactional side of leadership theory, where behavior is either rewarded or punished. However, it can also be using force and intimidation to manage staff. It is a fear-based power and does not lead to good working relationships or skill building. Under negative power, job performance and productivity falls, and staff turnover rises. People are not motivated to work hard and will look for opportunities to leave (Giang, 2013).

Formal Power

Formal power is the power that comes with a job title. For example, client services managers for Bayton have the power to hire, fire, reward, and punish the field staff. However, they do not have the power to manage each other. Formal power is necessary to attain company goals and fulfill the company mission (Davoren, 2016). It is needed for managing the cases and getting them staffed appropriately. The formal power comes from the title; however, the leader is responsible for using a specific leadership style to manage his or her cases.

Informal Power

A person can have informal power without being a manager or formal leader (Davoren, 2016). Anyone who is able to exert influence or power over someone else can be a leader. This can be anyone from an aide to a nurse. This power is called informal power and can be just as influential as other types of power. Furthermore, it can be used with transformative leadership because the style is outcome and individual based. On a basic level, the leader can use whatever is necessary to get that employee to respond, including using a person with informal power.

Leadership Style Survey

The author took the leadership style survey and found that the style most associated with her is democratic. This style correlates nicely with the transformational leadership theory because the theory encourages a lot of employee participation and individual management (Borkowski, 2011). It allows for a fair amount of trust in the employee, which is also consistent with the survey results. Last, the survey shows a lean towards values, learning, and outcomes, all of which fall into the transformational realm (Borkowski, 2011).


Personal philosophy of leadership involves a person's beliefs, values, and attitudes. It is something that may change over time, due to forces, such as the sphere of influence. However, for Bayton, transformational theory is the best method. Transformational is very consistent with company goals, the mission, the vision, and the Bayton Way. It allows for each leader to personalize the theory to fit the needs of the client and the subordinate and allows the employee to continue to grow. Whether one believes that leadership is natural born talent or learned behavior, transformational leadership is the best fit for Bayton.

A successful leader does not climb to the top without many hurdles and obstacles. He may even upset people along the way. A leader looks for a form of leadership that describes himself and aligns with the vision and goals of the organization. Employees lose respect for a leader that appears transparent instead of genuine. A successful leader displays his vision to his employees with honesty and sincerity; therefore, the employees display a respectful attitude and willingness to work.


Borkowski, N. (2011). Organizational behavior in health care (2nd). Boston, MA: Jones and Bartlett.

Davoren, J. (2016). The difference between formal and informal power in organizations. Retrieved from

Giang, V. (2013). The 7 types of power that shape the workplace. Retrieved from

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