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Healthcare Leadership Reflection

Introduction

Leadership is an ability of an individual to influence people towards the achievement of a common goal. It is also a process that requires different set of skills to shape and motivate behaviour that defines organizational values and culture (Bass and Bass, 2009). Reflecting on personal experiences helps managers to learn from previous occurrences and perform better in their roles (Krueger et al. 2020). This paper is a consideration of headship scenario encountered using the Gibbs cycle that forms a basis of a 12 monthly development plan to be used in improving my leadership skills.

The governance experienced to be analysed in this paper is focused on my former supervisor Mr. Mark Robinson working in a medium-sized healthcare facility. He used transformational theory to spearhead the company; his management skills were impeccable although setbacks in the achievement of goal occurred. The skills utilized by Mark were quite interesting, and I deemed it necessary to use his administration strategies in developing my leadership skills set.

Scenario

One of the staff claimed that Jerry had poor communication skills and was extremely indolent and forgetful. However, the supervisor preferred him because of his high academic records, which implied that he was an intelligent person. On one occasion he failed to complete a critical project that was to be presented for funding, which led to a loss of resources. His teammates were frustrated and demanded disciplinary action to be taken against him. Some of the employees were disappointed by the supervisor’s way of assigning the task, according to them, this worker was chosen because of favouritism rather than the reliability aspect. In addition, Mr. Mark had not consulted anyone as always when making the appointment.

Critical Reflection: Analysis and Evaluation

In the management of routine myriad activities, the supervisor delegated duties for all members of staff in the workplace. Mr. Mark encouraged teamwork because he considered it as a useful element of success, meetings were held thrice a week to update individuals on tasks accomplished. Generally, Robinson was emotionally intelligent, and all message directed to him was noted. He synthesized ideas based on each piece of information provided since he believed that each member of the crew has a concept that may help in solving challenges faced by the company.

Mr. Robinson was diplomatic and positive-minded, although he was the final decision maker his authorities were entrusted to some members. Mark’s communication skills to both subordinate staff and managers were impeccably active. This encouraged all employees to participate in decision-making processes (Galleta et al. 2015). The scenario reflected transformational leadership theory which focuses on the creation of firm staff relationships and trust through fostering of extrinsic and intrinsic motivation.

Leaders desire their subordinates to have the ability to attain a common objective in an efficient and effective way through collaborating efforts. Teamwork improves the work environment by boosting morale, increasing productivity, and shaping a loyal and fulfilled workforce (Northouse, 2019). The organization managers can encourage solidarity among the staff by setting a vision, identifying strengths, and defining set objectives and measurable outcomes. They are also required to oversee implementation progress, provide feedback and reward successful teams. These can be achieved through effective communication of the facility’s strategic goals to the workers. Therefore, equipping myself with the necessary leadership skills and qualities through a program will be beneficial.

Autonomy is one of the organizational aspects that influenced leadership direction in the health facility. It enabled minimal supervision of duties and the generation of responsible employees. Since we functioned as a team, my commitment to undertaking assigned task was enhanced. For this reason, I did well and felt successful after a goal was accomplished. Additionally, increased job independence provides people involved in the mission with recognition after completion.

The knowledge, skills, and behaviours required in the healthcare organization include reliability, credibility, and intimacy, which earns trust when divided by self-orientation. Each member of a team was required to truthfully share their shortcomings and state their mistakes to the supervisor. The manager needs to reaffirm trust with staff by being transparent and unbiased (Xu, 2017). Additionally, self-awareness of one’s strengths and weaknesses is critical in leadership. In the scenario, the supervisor should have known that he had fondness for Jerry and avoided impartiality.

According to the scenario presented, proposed areas for personal development as a leader include task delegation to my staff, promoting teamwork among members of staff, providing direction for the subordinates, and making sound goals and visions for the organization. A high level of job control and autonomy motivated workers to be more productive hence improving performance (Hayward et al., 2016). However, the importance of credibility, discipline, and reliability had not been ingrained in employees’ minds. Thus, regular meetings can be used as a platform to educate members on such important work etiquette.

Delegation of task is an important exercise that provides growth opportunities for employees. It also unburdens managers and enables them to have time for creating and developing new strategies that are beneficial to the company. Similarly, fostering teamwork and involving subordinate employees in problem-solving activities results in enhancing critical thinking (Silva et al., 2017). In addition, I learned that allowing the workers to be involved in decision making processes increases their job satisfaction and commitment.

My work experience made me realize that leaders play a significant role in leading a company towards a specific goal and developing employees’ careers. This insight was gained after a critical reflection of problem-solving skills, job autonomy, role delegation, and maintenance of authority without siding with some members. Mr. Mark promoted trust for his staff and himself by allowing them to take part in decision-making processes. His actions also aligned with transformational leadership theory where both the manager and the workers benefitted from a mutual relationship (Harrison, 2018). According to Hayward et al. (2016), the supervisor leadership also complemented path theory, which states that a leader should provide guidance by influencing members to tread a path desired.

I noticed that high job autonomy needs corresponding sets of skills for it to be successful when Jerry failed to accomplish the critical task assigned. Employees must know the impacts of their actions on other workers and the company at large when they do not fulfil their duties effectively. There is also a need for staff skills to sync with the autonomy levels needed in the workplace (Northouse, 2015). This can be developed through training, coaching, and communications during meetings.

Conclusion

In my conclusion, teams functions best in presence of effective leaders who define the strategies, objectives, and deadlines clearly. I have learned that it is prudent to work closely with departmental heads in duties delegation since they are closer with the workers and they know their levels of reliability, commitment, and credibility (Clausen et al., 2017). Involving the staff in planning sessions helps in ensuring that every person is comfortable and has confidence in the achievability of the goals.

Leaders play a significant role in the growth of their employees and the organization. This insight has been sufficed by critical reflections regarding qualities and skills required for effective headship such as communication, problem-solving, and maintenance of authority when allowing members to take part in decision-making processes. Mr. Mark motivated and achieved trust from team members and himself, this implies that he had undertaken some leadership courses, which informed his decision of using transformational leadership and Path- goal theories. I am also planning to use these theories in my career, thus there is a need to undertake a training program that will hone areas requiring development.

Personal Leadership Development Plan

This personal leadership development plan is based on a critical analysis of my competence as well as weaknesses and strengths evidenced during my work with Mr. Mark. In addition, the analysis considers areas and skills needed for me to be a good leader in my future roles. The plan consist of goals, personal analysis, and objectives supporting development, a time frame, and a conclusion. As a leader in the healthcare industry, I endeavor to improve delivery and access to services as well as promoting our employees’ professionalism and confidence.

Personal Analysis

The experience with Mr. Mark and Jerry’s scenario led to the identification of my areas that needed development. It became evident that good leadership requires one to have some set of skills such as communication, delegation, motivation, self-confidence, and integrity. This realization encouraged me to enroll in a leadership development program to increase my competencies in the job market. However, before undertaking the course I had to conduct a personal analysis using the SWOT framework (Dugan, 2017), to identify areas of weakness and threats that need improvement as well as strengths and opportunities.

My strengths as per the analysis include good communication skills, flexibility, self-confidence, and responsibility. The weaknesses sufficed are the inability to plan and formulate directions to be followed by others. Opportunities are developing skills to help in coordinating activities, planning, and directing the employees. Failure to balance my personal time and work is a threat to goals achievement. In addition, there is a possibility of subjectivity and biases during the process of assessment which is also a potential threat.

According to traits theory, an effective leader requires a wide array of demographic, task-related characteristics, physiological, and intellective skills (Owen, 2015). Personality traits, abilities, and interest also play a critical role in shaping front-runners (Saunders et al., 2015). I consider myself a potential good leading light because of good communication skills that rarely leaves people in a confused state. However, the inability to formulate a direction for others to follow, which is attributed to lack of headship experience is a hindrance. Self-confidence is a vital trait because one is expected to take risk choices for some complex task to be accomplished (Lussier and Achua, 2015). Nonetheless, one has to take responsibility for some decisions outcomes that result in failures.

I have well-developed conceptual and analytical skill, which are useful in visualizing, solving and articulating complex issues, and working under pressure. Business dynamics are rapidly changing in this era especially due to technology (Nevarez et al., 2015). For this reason, I need to be flexible and keep learning new things in the workplace for ease of transition and adoption of new beneficial innovations. Currently, my knowledge of strategic planning and management is limited due to a lack of leadership experience.

According to my personal assessment, there is a need to hone up certain qualities and skills when formulating guides for the staff. This can be achieved through attending a leadership development program. Maintaining a good work-life balance is critical for one to be an effective leader, this is because the inability to have an equilibrium between the two leads to negative attitudes such as anger and anxiety, and burnout (Braun and Nieberle, 2017). Thus, I endeavor to learn the required expertise before becoming a leader.

Objectives

SMART criteria, which requires objectives to be measurable, specific, relevant, achievable, and time-bound has been utilized in developing the plans (Nevarez et al., 2015) as follows:

  • To develop qualities and skills required in directing subordinates by April 2021.
  • To aid in setting a vision for the healthcare facility by setting sound objectives before July 2021.
  • To increase my leadership knowledge by December 2021.

Action Plan

The action plan with development objectives, action, schedule goals, and measure of success is presented in table 1 below.

Table 1: Action plan

Objectives Action Measure of success Time Frame
To develop qualities and skills required in formulating subordinates guide Undertaking effective leadership development course to completion (First module) Completing a survey for assessment
Writing an assessment report to my supervisors
January- March
Arranging weekly meetings with my staff and delegating duties Utilizing both informal and formal appraisal to ascertain the success April
To aid in setting a vision for the healthcare facility by setting sound objectives Completing the leadership skills development program (Second module) Completing a survey for assessment May-July
Communicating the facility’s vision and strategic goals to my staff Team building
Requesting the staff to review performance weekly
August
To increase my leadership knowledge Undertaking effective leadership development course to completion (Third module) Completing a survey for assessment
Writing a comprehensive report to my supervisors
September – November
Learning and observing effective leadership skills from my superiors during meeting and conferences Attending three- quarters of meeting held weekly and all the conferences December

This personal leadership development plan has three objectives that needs two actions to be achieved. There are three different modules of the leadership programs, each covers a set of qualities and skills required for the effective management of a company. Assessment reports and application of knowledge gained in the workplace gauges the competencies of skills acquired after every section. For instance, delegating duties to my employees during the meetings is a practical lesson that indicates the course effectiveness.

The aim of undertaking the leadership program is to gain knowledge that contributes to the formulation of a clear course that aligns with the organization’s vision. This will help in the improvement of employees’ productivity and performance in the workplace (Lussier and Achua, 2015). The effectiveness of guide formulation to be used by the subordinates is assessed using informal and formal appraisal forms (Dugan, 2017). Assessment surveys feedback given to my supervisors for review may act as a good measure of the skills outcomes. However, it should be noted that this form of valuation produces biased results (Rickards, 2015). This is because the initial survey is purely based on my perception rather than that of an independent person.

Informing my staff about the formulated company’s strategic goals and vision will be done after the completion of the second leadership program module. This will be accomplished after convening a meeting with all the departmental heads who will act as frontrunners in their respective teams. My work experience with Mr. Mark sufficed the fact that employees exhibit high engagement and commitment levels when working as a band. This observation concurs with Lindsjorn et al. (2016) study that members of staff working together towards a goal are more dedicated and fruitful.

Strategic planning success, which forms the second objective action will be measured based on operational cohorts in the organization. The group members will fill survey forms to be used in ascertaining impacts of the actions. Although finalizing the third module leadership skills course will equip me with sufficient qualities and skills required for effective leadership, I will endeavor to earn more knowledge by observing experienced rulers. Attending meetings chaired by mentors will have an impact on my leadership capacity, thus, the third objective action plan is necessary for the explicit understanding of headship roles and conducts.

Conclusion

Undertaking leadership skills development course will hone my qualities and abilities to spearhead the company. This is because I will be able to generate a guide for my staff effectively. Generally, the program is expected to impact knowledge that helps in setting achievable goals for the corporation’s vision to be accomplished. Practical activities will enable the program to be effective, thus, delegating duties, attending meetings and conferences graced by my managers, facilitating teamwork by organizing weekly meetings with my staff are some of the actions to be undertaken. Learning is a continuous activity, thus completion of the leadership skill program is not an ultimate goal but a beginning of practical headship skills development.

References

Bass, B. M. and Bass, R. (2009) The Bass handbook of leadership: theory, research, and managerial applications. Simon and Schuster.

Clausen, C., Cummins, K. and Dionne, K. (2017) ‘Educational interventions to enhance competencies for interprofessional collaboration among nurse and physician managers: an integrative review’. Journal of Interprofessional Care, 31(6), pp. 685-695.

Dugan, J. (2017). Leadership theory: cultivating critical perspectives. Chichester: John Wiley & Sons.

Galleta, M. et al. (2015) ‘The roles of unit leadership and nurse-physician collaboration on nursing turnover intention’. Journal of Advanced Nursing; 69(8), pp. 1771-1784.

Harrison, C. (2018) Leadership research and theory. In Leadership Theory and Research (pp. 15-32). Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.

Hayward, D. et al. (2016) ‘A qualitative study of experienced nurses’ voluntary turnover: learning from their perspectives’. Journal of Clinical Nursing; 25(9), pp. 1336-1345.

Krueger, R.B. et al. (2020) ‘Self-Reflection as a support to evidence-based practice: a grounded theory exploration’. Occupational Therapy in Health Care; 34(4), pp.320-350.

Lindsjorn et al. (2016) ‘Teamwork quality and project success in software development: a survey of agile development teams’ Journal of Systems and Software, 122(1), pp. 274-286.

Lussier, R. and Achua, C. (2015) Leadership: theory, application, & skill development, London: Cengage Learning.

Nevarez, C., Wood, L. and Penrose, R. (2015) Leadership theory and the community college: applying theory to practice. Sterling: Stylus Publishing.

Northouse, P. (2015) Leadership: theory and practice. New York: SAGE.

Northouse, P.G. (2019) Leadership: theory and practice. New York: Sage publications.

Owen, J. (2015) ‘Innovative learning for leadership development: new directions for student leadership’. Chichester: John Wiley & Sons.

Rickards, T. (2015) Dilemmas of leadership, London: Routledge.

Saunders, M., Lewis, P. and Thornhill, A. (2015) Research methods for business students.7th ed., London: Prentice Hall.

Silva, V.L.D.S. et al. (2017) ‘Leadership practices in hospital nursing: a self of manager nurses’. Revista da Escola de Enfermagem da USP, 51.

Xu, J.H. (2017) ‘Leadership theory in clinical practice’. Chinese Nursing Research, 4(4), pp.155-157.

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