What did you learn this week that you did not know before or that you found interesting? What outside resources did you use this week? Your submission should be 1 page APA formatted paper, not including your title page.
In pursuit of my Associate in Science (A.S.) Degree in Health Care Administration, a little over a year ago, I was taking a course called Principles in Healthcare Administration and was tasked with reading the text book “Health Care Management”. I approached this book much like my any other text book which is a tool to learn the information needed to excel in the course and nothing more. It seemed like so much generic information about how health care facilities are set up, how to deal with patients and professionals and basically how to be a proficient manager in the health care environment. Then I came across this statement that completely revolutionized my way of thinking about management and leadership:
“Leadership is the process of inspiring others to work hard to accomplish important tasks – is one of the most popular management topics (Lombard, Schermerhorn Jr, & Kramer, 2007).”
Apparently my brain was able to pick out this sentence out of the many other sentences in that book to show me how to become a transformational leader in health care management instead of just a boss.
Transformational leaders are charismatic, inspirational, intellectually stimulating, and and always considers the individual as well as the big picture. Charismatic leaders tend to embody confidence, self-direction, and are void of internal conflict. Furthermore, transformational leaders possess insight into their employee’s needs and then uses this information to influence their employees in a positive, healthy way. A transformational leader is motivational, inspirational, determined, and able to speak on the medical facility’s vision and then encourage pride within those facility walls. Finally, though certainly not exhaustively, transformational leaders in health care, clinical intellectually stimulate their employees by encouraging the use of evidence-based practice and then address the “what”, the “why” and of course, the “how” of certain clinical actions. From what I’ve research, there appears to be at least four main characteristics of transformational leaders: the ability to effectively communicate, the ability to inspire, and is quick to promote teamwork (Smith, 2011).
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A transformational leader excels in communication by focusing closely on what others are attempting to communicate and what aspects of his or her position are also important to those individuals. These effective communicators will then adapt their style of communicating to the base it on each person’s ability to process and then comprehend the process. This is vital because each person has a different way of communicating, and these styles can vary greatly based on how the information given is processed and then perceived. Furthermore, transformational leaders need to both understand and respect the diversity that is found among the facility’s various cultures. Therefore, by allowing for opportunities to adapt to communication styles when interacting with individuals from different cultural backgrounds (Smith, 2011).
A second trait of a transformational leader is that they embody the very essence of inspirational persona. Interpersonal persona, in my mind is a fancy way of saying that transformational leaders are optimistic, passionate, respected, honest, and of course charismatic. These characteristics enable the transformational leader to obtain the trust and confidence of others. This is vital if a leader wishes the commitment and the responsibility of his or her employees. Furthermore, the transformational leader in health care has a strong, vision of where the health care facility or organization should be five to ten years from now and then clearly communicates his or her vision to the staff. When the staff witnesses the leader’s commitment to his or her vision he or she then inspires and attracts like-minded, individuals who will work alongside the leader to attain and then maintain the vision (Smith, 2011).
A third trait of a transformational leader is their ability to be trustworthy. Trust is a necessary trait of the transformational leader. This is because trust is the base of any and every healthy relationship including a work-relationship. If that leader breaks a trust, he or she then suffers chaos, disorganization, and fear among his or her employees. For this reason, transformational leaders absolutely must win the trust of his or her employees. Cultivating and then maintaining this trust needs to be a primary objective for the transformational leader.
A fourth but certainly not final trait of a transformational leader in healthcare is the ability to engage the stakeholders in the organization’s leadership process. Stakeholders who are in the healthcare industry include, tend to be healthcare providers, other health care organizations, and healthcare-based institutions; government representatives; healthcare scholars; and patients. Other stakeholders that are in the community and who should be involve during transformational seasons are often policy makers, those in healthcare administration, media staff, patient family members, law enforcement personnel, religious organizations, and caregivers.
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A key aspect of inspiring leadership involves promoting teamwork and collaboration. Collaboration and teamwork will generate an environment for open and honest communication. This freedom then allows for alternative methods of delivering healthcare that are acknowledged, encouraged, and welcomed. When transformational leaders engage all members of the healthcare team, he or she can then promote participation in the health care facility’s vision. Therefore, involving stakeholders will increase the potential of achieving the facility’s goals (Smith, 2011).
Based on what I’ve read, transformational leaders move others to lead as well through communication, inspiration, trust, and the participation of other stakeholders. When I think of transformational leaders, I think of Martin Luther King who engaged his community as well as those outside his community to boycott the busses, take part in sit-ins and rebel against segregation without any violence. He did much to transform a nation and I hope I come to leaded in a way that transforms my own neighborhood as well as the healthcare facility in which I hope to work for some day.
Lombard, D. N., Schermerhorn Jr, J. R., & Kramer, B. E. (2011). Chapter 9, Leading Others. In D. N. Lombard, J. R. Schermerhorn Jr, & B. E. Kramer, Health Care Managment (p. 245). Hoboken : Wiley and Sons, Inc.
Smith, M. A.-B. (2011, Septembeer 1). Are you a transformational leader? Retrieved March 22, 2014, from Nursing Managment: http://journals.lww.com/nursingmanagement/Fulltext/2011/09000/Are_you_a_transformational_leader_.8.aspx
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