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Recent graduates might benefit from transactional
leadership because it offers direct, hands-on training and
specific steps and protocols needed to accomplish the
work. A transactional leadership style can also be useful
for more experienced employees whose jobs are evolving,
such as R.T.s who recently received a new certification
In contrast, using a transactional leadership style with
seasoned employees performing routine tasks might cause
them to become bored or feel that their skills and knowledge aren’t valued — more experienced employees often
prefer to be self-directed and then gain recognition for
their work. In this scenario, it would be more appropriate
for a leader to choose the transformational style, which
requires communicating expected results without managing every aspect of the process.
Leaders can also transition from one style to another
as a project develops. For example, a leader might hold a
meeting to explain each aspect and expectation of a
new project (a more transactional style), and then, as
employees become more comfortable, begin checking
their progress toward established goals (a more transformational style). This ability to switch from one style to
another is at the heart of the situational leadership style.
Find Your Style
From the smallest clinic to the largest hospital, all
health care professionals work to achieve numerous
goals, interact with a variety of departments and master
complex systems. This article briefly outlines how three
leadership styles can be used in this evolving environment,
but what’s most important is that leaders remember to be
flexible and adaptable.
MELISSA R. BOWMAN FOSTER joined ASRT in 2005
and is a member of the Computed Tomography Chapter.
A tale of three leadership models.
BY MELISSA R. BOWMAN FOSTER, D.H.A., R.T.(R)(CT), RMA, CPT, CET
Q UALITY LEADERSHIP in health
care ensures the success of an
organization, which is why it’s
something we should all work
toward. A great leader can work
within an extremely complex system, train new
employees, and help seasoned employees engage
in new projects or adopt new roles. In addition,
they must implement changes without disrupting the normal workflow of the organization or
affecting the quality of care provided. Different
leadership styles are available, but choosing from
a multitude of options can be overwhelming.
Three Kinds of Leadership
Let’s evaluate some of the valuable aspects of
three leadership styles that are highly relevant to the
vast majority of situations in a health care setting:
transactional, transformational and situational.
Transactional leadership is a system of
rewards and punishments — such as praise for
a job well done or disciplinary actions — to
ensure that employees stay on track and complete
the necessary tasks. This style uses a strict
organizational structure where variance from
the routine is discouraged. Leaders recognize
employees who closely follow the protocols to
meet organizational goals.
The transformational leadership model is less
structured. Instead of providing a set of steps and
protocols to follow, leaders provide employees with
a series of goals and explain the expected outcomes
of their work. In this model, employees have more
flexibility to be creative and find efficient and
accurate ways of accomplishing their tasks.
In the situational leadership model, the
leader takes on different roles and demonstrates
expertise in a multitude of leadership styles.
These leaders adapt to meet the needs of their
employees, the situation and the goals of the
organization, so they must be well educated
on the benefits and downfalls of a variety of
leadership styles and efficiently implement
18 ASRT SCANNER x DECEMBER 2018/JANUARY 2019 x ASRT.ORG
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