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In order to understand fully the concept of leadership in health care it is imperative to realize the meaning of a good leader. A good leader is the one who puts away the personal ambitions that he or she has for the better good of the community and the organization taken as a whole. Therefore, he or she is able to unite and lead the workers to teamwork as they aspire to come out with the best out of the business world. So as much as the success of business depends on the employees, it also depends on the type of leadership that is given. Consequently, true leadership means that the leader has to come out with new ways and means of ensuring that the outcomes of every decision are positive. This can be done through critical monitoring and analysis of the employees at the workplace. One other concept about leadership is that it requires constant fine tuning and this means that the employers should always be on their feet getting the best qualified leaders to do the job that they require. The concept is the same in healthcare (Oliver, 2006). Therefore, healthcare practitioners constantly need to revise the way they understand the concept of leadership and this means that they have to come out with newer and better ways of tackling the problem of conceptualizing the attributes that a true leader should posses. The meaning of a word is that the leader has evolved drastically from the normal meaning of someone whom is leading to someone who has the authority over his or her subjects but uses it appropriately. Therefore, an empowered leader is the one who is needed by an organization in order to prosper. In the modern world healthcare units, leadership is identified as a common but essential role that is needed to empower the organization and move the ideas that the practitioners have towards better side in terms of provision of services. Thus, leadership is no longer something that the health care practitioners can do without. There are numerous styles that are usually employed in the health care system in order to attain the kind of leadership that is not oppressive but at the same time is still not reluctant. There are usually a lot of similarities in the health care environment and also differences that are yet to be discovered. However, one factor that stands out is that the new healthcare environment does not employ the same kind of leadership that was employed in the past years but in contrast, the new leadership styles are not only diverse but also they are more effective.
Nonetheless, the most common type of leadership is the open door type of one that is very common amongst the leaders of complex healthcare organizations. This type of leaders does not rely on one aspect but in contrast, the leaders are decentralized and this means that they are more participative in the issues of the organization. However, the type of leadership that is rarely seen is the autocratic leadership which has dictatorial tendencies. In the recent past, there was a new wave of revolution that has required that leaders change the way that they focus on ideologies and come out with newer ways and means of controlling their employees. So this means that the leaders have had to reconsider the way that they carry out their duties and in overall this means a reconsideration of roles (Goodwin, 2005). Employees in the new type of leadership are unwilling to work under authoritarian rule due to the fact that they have been enlightened of their rights and the ways and means that they can change the paternalistic leadership towards being an open door leadership style. The new type of employees have greater need than the ones of the past century and this means that they have to come out with newer ideas since they can no longer work in oppressive environments like the olden day workers. On the contrary, many contemporary organizations still operate on the same basic concepts as the ones that were used by our forefathers. Employees have started demanding the type of leaders that are not only intelligent but also thoughtful. This means that leadership has moved from a central figure to being distributive across the field. For that reason, the mismanagement of employees by their leaders in the healthcare organizations in order to achieve the goals that the organization has set forth is not possible longer.
Roles and Responsibilities
The roles of leaders in the organization has been considerably changing from being overseers to becoming the radical and complex people who champion the rights of their employees while they are knowledgeable and also not self centered (Barr & Dowding, 2008). The new roles that they have taken include:
- Inspiring and giving the employees’ confidence
- Empowering the employees
- Improving the performance through clinical supervision
- Rewarding and recognizing individual efforts
- Recognizing the needs for service
- Leading and developing services through the implementation of change
- They act as a bridge between the senior managers and workers
- Supporting the organization with knowledge
- Ensuring the goals of the organization are in line with the needs of the society and the government
As aforementioned, the roles of the leaders in the healthcare organization have become even more diverse than they used to be. The leaders first and foremost are viewed by the employees and the senior members who employed them as teachers. This means that they are the ones who are to supervise them and also guide the way that they carry out their duties and this should be through dialogue and not through dictatorship. It also means that they are the ones who are supposed to come out with new ideas that would greatly help the healthcare organization to move forward in terms of growth. The other role that the leader plays is to give the employees overall confidence in the work that they are doing in order to work them harder. This is indirectly some form of incentive (Shanks, 2011). Inspiring the employees is a key role in ensuring that the organization meets its goals as an organization that does not have inspired employees usually failing to succeed. In the new healthcare leadership system, the other new role is to empower the employees in order to give them an idea that they are better than other employees in other organizations. When the employees are empowered it will mean that they will want to be associated with the organization in order to ensure that they portray the image that they have been bestowed. The other role of the leader in a healthcare organization is to reward the employees who have worked diligently in order to boost their morale and also encourage other employees to join the initiative of working harder in order to become better and recognized. In order for a leader to be respected, the first and foremost duty that he or she has to carry ensuring that the services of the employee are recognized. This will later grow into appreciation and, therefore, the whole process will lead to better understanding between the employer and an employee.
The style of leadership that a leader uses usually depends on countless number of factors. However, one factor that stands out is that the leader is the one who has the key when it comes to the matter of running the show. However, this supposition does not mean that the leader is in any way tyrannical as the modern day health workers are aware of their rights. There are different types of leadership styles in the new era organization. However, the most common one as aforementioned is the open door leader. The types of leadership are discussed below.
Open-door Leadership Style
This type of leadership style involves an open minded leader who is collegial in terms of the way that he or she runs the team. The leadership style is the most common nowadays due to various reasons and the most common reason as to why it is liked due to the fact that it leads to common satisfaction to both the leader and the employees. The ideas that are important move freely in a team are greatly encouraged. Therefore, this leadership style is one that is liked and very important in ensuring that an organization is steady and grows positively. The leadership style also ensures that everyone in the organization is given a chance to air out the ideas that he or she has in order to better the overall idea that would come out. One of the positive aspects of this type of leadership is the fact that it provides creative groups. This means that there is the flow of ideas amongst the team members and this overly leads to positive growth. In addition to that, it creates new concepts and idea. The other positive aspect is that this type of leadership involves consulting. This is a major component that makes this leadership globally acceptable. The possibilities are widely explored before the final decision is made that would encompass all the ideas that are important (McConnell, 2011). The other positive aspect of this type of leadership is that it is very applicable to much of the service industry. This means that there are new ideas that help in the creation of a flexible environment. This in addition means that it is easily applicable since the demands of the patients are always considered. The other good aspect about this type of leadership is that it requires knowledge and, therefore, it is imperative that the leader who uses it has some basic education. This is in line with the modern way of leadership that requires knowledgeable leaders. In addition to these positives, this type of leadership is also quite effective considering some facts about it. The first factor is that this type of leadership enables open communication. This type of communication is one that is open for business and also helpful since it helps to avert situations like strikes amongst health workers due to miscommunication. The leadership style is based on the notion that everyone needs to be free and willing to contribute whenever a matter of concern is raised. From the factors being discussed, it is evident that the open door style is the kind of leadership style that is bound to be present for a long period of time. On the other hand, one factor that the leader should always keep in mind is the boundaries that it creates and this is made to ensure that the employee does not have the notion that the leader does not require respect. This is good for both the organization and the individual.
Authoritarian type of rule is linked to miscommunication and the unwillingness by leaders to share ideas and support unity amongst the employees. This type of leadership was considerably witnessed during the golden era but nowadays it is unheard of it in the health care system as the employees would no agree to it. The failure of a leader means that the whole health care system fails. In the past, the employees of numerous organizations did not get support from their heads and this meant that they had to involve themselves in activities that were not productive. In the healthcare system where this type of leadership was practiced, the new employees did not feel welcome and secure even if they were offered job security packages. This is obviously translated to low productivity in the job area which meant that there was an overall failure by the company vis-à-vis the health care organization (Pelote, 2007). When these types of leaders are told of the wrongs that they are doing, the best response that they give is being even more aggressive and that is why this type of leadership is not welcome in the healthcare profession. Authoritarian leadership is not widely practiced but if it were, there would be numerous oppositions across the nursing world since the workers have come to know of their rights more clearly and would not accept the oppressions that it brings forth. However, one factor that stands out is that the
Theories of Leadership in Western Health Care
There are four major theories of leadership in western health care. The first one is the participative theory. This theory presupposes that the ideal type of leadership is one that takes the ideas of other people into account. Therefore, this type of leadership is centered on the unity of ideas and the will by people to come together and share whatever they have for the overall benefit of the health care organization. It is widely practiced in the western healthcare institutions as the new generation of employees prefers this type of leadership to the authoritarian rule. On the other hand, it is the leader who allows the input of specific members. The other leadership hypothesis is the management theory. This type of leadership is also referred to as transactional theory and is mainly focused on supervision of the workers. The other main focus is group performance as the aforementioned theory. This theory bases the leadership on rewards or punishments. That is, if an employee works hard, he or she is rewarded and if he or she fails, he or she is punished. This type of leadership is also greatly and vastly used in the healthcare system. The third theory is the relationship theory which is also referred to as transformational theory and focuses on good connection between the healthcare leaders and the employees. Therefore, the leaders motivate and inspire their subjects as discussed earlier in this paper to come out with an overall good type of leadership. Thus, the main focus is unity for help. The other focus of this type of leadership is focus on positive performance and therefore, it is an important one at the job market and also the society on the whole (O'Grady, 2010). The members are additionally encouraged to focus on ways and means that they can fulfill their goals of excellent performance. Ethics and morals are what guide a leader of this type. The final theory of leadership style in western healthcare is the trait theory. This theory presupposes that people inherit some traits that carry the way that they perform and relate in the job area. These types of leaders assume some social class and traits that are not common amongst any type of leader and that is why they are viewed as unique ones. In overall, these theories of leadership in western health care are excellent since all of them subject to performance and unity plus universal decision making in the job area.
There is the distance between the 'heroic' concepts of leadership and the present day reality of health care
A heroic leader is one who uses the power that he or she has in his or her position to make unilateral decisions. Consequently, this type of leadership assumes all the blame that befalls on the employees and is something that is quite obvious in history. However, the new types of leadership are defined as post heroism leaderships. With that noted, there is a great distance between the concepts of heroic leadership and the current reality. In the current reality, the type of leadership that is happening is one that encourages individual participation unlike the heroic leader who is deemed as superior and the one who makes all the decisions. The heroic leader is someone who is focused on one goal while the present day healthcare leaders even though they deal primarily with the health care system are the diverse in thoughts and actions (Benington & Hartley, 2010). A good example would be to look at the governance that was in the olden day health care institutions and the one that has been assumed in the contemporary health care institutions to note the great difference in the way the leader was revered but not respected unlike the contemporary leaders. Therefore, the two type of leadership not only have differences but also diverse ones that are born with time and ideas that the employees have on leadership. In the past, the employees preferred a leader who was authoritarian and the legal system could not assist them come out strongly unlike the current times. Sometime the heroic leader was usually defined more of a state than a realistic version. This is because this type of leader is not easily found in the society due to the fact that he or she is the one who takes the blame of the team. It is highly unlikely that a leader like this would be effective in terms of decision making and that is why the new breed of leaders are the best as long as they do not encourage tyrannical rule. Heroism does not really help when it comes to matters of decision making due to the reasons that have be listed above. The new world order is quite different and that is why the role of the health practitioners in addition to the ideologies are changing and that is why democracy which sometimes is referred to open minded leadership is the one that contemporary leaders really use. The discussion above clearly shows the pros of being a good leader which are known to cause the success or failure of a company vis-à-vis in this case scenario of the healthcare centers.
In the health care system just like any other system, the way a leader behaves greatly influences on the way that the employees will behave. A team-centered leadership is one that has all the expertise scattered across different people. Therefore, the individuals in the team have varying contribution which are equally important in the decision making process. The split of ideas is something that creates a competitive nature amongst individuals and this literary leads to the overall unity amongst the employees who are the decision makers. The information and expertise are farther scattered in such a way that it is not one individual that has all the information but all of the members have a part of the information which they pull together to come out with the overall sound decision. In addition to that, there is the need of participation which ensures that there is necessary commitment that is quite effective one ensuring that the employees and the decision makers come out with sound ideas that are helpful in the creation of one module and being unity. This type of leadership is rarely seen but it is quite effective in the healthcare system as it helps the entire employees involved in the decision making to come out with a neutral idea that supports the ideas that they have as a group. When there is not any unity and it is only one player in the team, who makes the decision, it hurts the whole team and that is why this type of leadership encourages unity and is one that makes every contributor feel as if his or her contribution mattered. This type of decision making team is quite efficient when there is the need to have decisions on unpopular subjects. This is because this type of decision making process encourages all the views that there is on that matter and this means that all the employees and the decision makers would say what they have to say on that matter to come out with a sound approach in the end. In addition to that, this type of leadership empowers all the members and so this creates sense of responsibility as the final decision will have to be followed through by all the decision makers (Maddux, 2003). This in the end leads to a dedicated workforce that is creative and in the end benefits the healthcare organization with ideas and unity to ensure that the decision making process that is taken is quite effective. This not only leads to the growth of the organization but also to the admiration by other health practitioners who would wish to join the system. In addition to this, this type of leadership also offers the leaders some aspects of success through various ways and means. The leaders are able to understand the general moods of the employees through non verbal cues. This is effective in studying the emotions and feeling that they have which would help to know the popular and unpopular decisions in the organization. Thus, the leader helps to create unity and this type of leadership is known for the sound unilateral decision making process. For that reason, it is much favored in the decision making process. The leader in this type of leadership has various responsibilities including serving as a consultant. Therefore, the leader has diverse knowledge and ideas and this means that he or she has to be the referral point when coming to a conclusion being something that is easy and having taken a long time. The leader is also the facilitator and it means that he or she has the right to deny meeting or continue with it. Therefore, contrary to beliefs, this type of leadership style does not mean that the leader is absolutely powerless. Like any other team, this type of leadership team is governed by the leader who is its chief advisor and also the teacher. The leader in this situation is also responsible for modeling the appropriate leadership behaviors which are beneficial in enabling the team to know the people who can head it and those who cannot. It is in the view of every individual that he or she comes up with an idea that is supported in order to gain respect amongst his peers. This type of leadership team is quite essential in grooming the members to come out with excellent ideas as for the aforementioned reason. Therefore, the members learn on ways and means of performing well early in the decision making process. A team centered leadership is the type of team leadership that is widely practiced in the current world. This is because it carries with it all the virtues that are deemed as important and very indulging to the employees. It is usually unlike the team spirit that there are failures and that is where the team centered leadership is strong. It is usually easy to come out with ideas as a team since this helps overly to come out with a decision that has passed through a rigorous testing and debating and therefore, it is highly unlikely that the final decision would be wrong. Unlike other team models, a team centered model is always accurate since it creates a perception that there is unity in terms of decisions and also participation. It is wise to involve the whole team in decision making if the head would wish to come out with the best results. On the other hand, there is the leader-centered leadership that is discussed below. This type of leadership is usually not the right one to follow since it is in some sense tyrannical. It is not in the wishes of any employee to run a tyrannical business since it would mean that there would be no unity amongst the team members. Fear would also be created which in overall would lead to the loss of participation by the members. This and other factors about the leader-centered leadership are discussed below in comparison to the team-centered leadership.
How team-centered leadership differs from the leader-centered approach to decision-making
The way that a leader encourages the ideas of the team is a great determinant as to whether the members will come out with a unilateral ideology. Therefore, the leader-centered approach and the team-centered approach greatly differ with regard to the way that the overall ideas are arrived. In this type of leadership, the leader usually adopts the authoritarian approach and he or she is viewed as the final decision maker. However, the team-centered leader is the direct opposite as he or she does not have a direct linkage to the way the leader of the prior approach operates. On the contrary, the leader in a team-centered approach is viewed as a member and this means that the final decision making process is usually affected in one way or the other. The decision making approach in this type of leadership is quite fast as opposed to the team-centered type of leadership. Nevertheless, the decisions that are arrived upon in this type of leadership are not usually effective as they are not well thought over. Therefore, it means that the ideas of a team are not put together which means that there is no clear unity as opposed to the aforementioned decision making process. Due to the central decision making process, the team members usually become reluctant and this so leads to the overall failure by the decision making organ to be effective and sound. The team members are controlled and this means that they cannot be given a chance to come out with free but well thought ideas and what this means is that they are not the best members to consultant whenever there is a matter of concern. This is in the contrary to the team-centered approach to decision making as all the members in the group are encouraged and independent to come out with their own ideas; therefore, this means that there would be variety and, hence, the final decision is usually the best in term of ideas. Many contemporary healthcare organizations prefer this type of decision making process whenever they want to come out with a good decision (Block, 2011). In addition to the aforementioned contrast in the approach to decision making, this type of decision making team is different to the team-leadership since the leader of the team always focuses on tasks and does not consider the feelings of different members of the team and, therefore, it means that the decision that is arrived upon is not usually the best and has a lot of loopholes. The final decision being met does not have the approval of all the members and this is contrary to the team-leadership decision making approach and, therefore, the difference in this situation clearly spells itself out. The other difference between them is that in the leader-centered approach to decision making, the leaders seeks the opinions of the team members and also encourages them but when it ones to the ultimate decision, he or she if the one who makes it all by him or herself. This is on the contrary to the approach that is put forth by the people who want to make decisions using the team centered leadership since all of the good ideas are always incorporated and it is through this compromising mode that the final decision is usually very excellent. The leader-centered type of leadership does not have freedom as the leader usually stays in control of all the meetings that are called forth and it is traditionally known that when people feel that they are not equal, they tend to hold their ideas to themselves. This is one of the negative attributes of the leader-centered approach to decision making. On the other hand, when it comes to team centered leadership, the leader is not always in charge of the meetings and these leads to openness by the employees or the decision makers which in return leads to very productive ideas that are very important in ensuring that the whole team feels welcome in one way or the other.
Challenges that health care leaders are faced with in terms of decision making within the team environment
When it comes to decision making within an environmental team, there are bound to be a lot of challenges that may come up. This is because within a team, different people hold different views and yet they have to come out with one concrete view. Therefore, this means that when it comes to decision making, there is need to be consultation. One of the major challenges that the healthcare leaders face is divergent views. This means that each and every individual comes out with his or her own opinion concerning an issue and they may vary slightly or be quite different. This is usually the case when the matter is contentious. In the modern world, the views of each and every individual are welcome and this means that in this situation, the leader has to find out a way in which he or she can consolidate all of the opinions that each and every member has to offer in order to create clearer understanding and in this process, to make sure that every member is happy with the conclusion being made. It is very tasking when this process is practical as opposed to theoretical. The other challenge that the leaders face is that they have to be part and parcel of the team when the decision making process is going on and their views consequently are treated like that of an ordinary member. This is challenging because the leaders may feel the need to be the supreme decision makers since by the virtue that they are superior to all the members in the team which is not the case. Therefore, in the decision making process, this is a challenge to the leader since he has to present views that are not divergent but consolidate all the views that have been aired. Another problem that is bound to arise is the fact that the leader has to gather all the people to come out and participate in the decision making process. This is something that does not easily happen and it means that the leader may or may not be successful in gathering the individuals. This means that each and every individual has different duties that he or she partakes and, therefore, it would not be easy to easily come up with a single time that all of them are free (NAGELKERK, 2006). In the modern world, the professions of healthcare practitioners vary and so this means that the leader has to consolidate the times of all the members which are easier said than done. The other challenge is obtaining commitment. It is not easy to make all the members be committed to the decision making process and this means that the team leader may face a lot of challenges in ensuring that there is thorough commitment so that each member contributes a worthy point in the discussion. The other challenge is the concentration of power. The team leader has to ensure that his or her powers are not concentrated in order to be rational and just in the decision making process. As aforementioned, if the leader is not flexible with his powers, then the members tend to withhold their ideas and this ruined the whole decision making process. The other challenge is that there would always be unpopular decisions amongst the team members and the leader has to accept them as input as towards the decision making process which is something that is not easy to do as it may lead to a fallout within the members of the team. The other key problem in the process is that the leader has to relinquish the powers that he or she has and let the team be in control which is something that is not easy as all the team members have to feel that they are in control whilst the leader would always want to show that he or she is in control of the debate. The final challenge that the leaser faces is that he or she has to ensure that there is a climate of approval amongst the members since if not standard decision is reached then the whole decision making process by the team would be deemed to have failed.
How leaders attempt to address these challenges in health care
There are various ways and means that a leader takes into account in order to ensure that he or she has addressed the aforementioned challenges. The first option of him or her is to come out with a strategy in which all the members know that they have to meet at certain time at certain venues and therefore, they have to create some time to come together. This can be done through a memo that is distributed through all the members in the decision making panel and it is something that can easily help to come out with a quick and effective solution to the related problem. The other solution that the team leader may come out with is to ensure that the matters being discussed are completely integrated into the decision making process and this would help to ensure that each and every member feel that he or she is a part of the team and is always willing to bring the idea that they have on board (Barr & Dowding, 2008). It is also challenging for the leader to be part of a team and yet he is the supreme member. Therefore, the leaders in the healthcare system adopt the servant leader position and this greatly helps them to be part of a team and yet they are heading it. The team leader also welcomes the divergent views that all the members have due to the fact that all the views that are presented usually matter and that is something that the healthcare professionals usually use to make sure that whatever the decision that they come out with, is always welcome by the members. The aforementioned challenges are not easy to address but the leader is always the person who comes out with the right decision and in addition to a concrete one in the process and this gives the whole team satisfaction and also the will to continue working with the team. In order to run a successful business, it means that there is the need of adversity. Thus, this means that the managers of the new business try as much as they can come out with neutral grounds to cover up these challenges in order to ensure that they achieve the goals that they have set out to achieve. It is not in the entire sense very likely that covering up these problems belittles someone or the leaders in any sense but it somehow shows the levels that they have reached in terms of adversity. It the real sense, it is impossible to come out with the right measurers if the aforementioned matters are not adequately addressed. The new management world requires that the employees and the employer unite when they are forming ideas and this includes when they are dealing with team matters. The team is that makes the overall success of the business since when running a business, what matters is the ideas that are put forth. The healthcare industry is a sensitive one since it deals with matters of the human survival and, therefore, this means that there is need of the key players to take adequate care when they want to ensure that they do not mess up the whole nation. This is why the leaders usually come out with ways and means that they are certainly would help to counter the problem of decision making in a team. Therefore, the ideologies that are spread in the aforementioned research are such ones that help the whole society come out with better skilled leaders who are able to challenge diversity. As aforementioned, the leader of the team is the senior most members and, thus and so, he or she is the one who is in charge with the running. However, some factors that makes the job of being a leader in a healthcare environment is the commitment that is presented forth by the members of the various sub committees.