Leadership is the act of leading a specific group of people by motivating them into working towards a common goal or objective. A leader is a person who take up the role of leading a group of people into performing certain specific tasks. Leaders can be inform of groups or teams or individual person. In business organizations, leaders are mostly referred to as managers (Ionescu, 2014). Leaders are categorized as people with certain specific and unique features and characters. The leadership traits and qualities can either originate from a person own capability or can be learnt from schools, especially through training (Baldwin, 2013). This means that a leaders can either be born or made by learning particular skills by studying and being trained (Cabeza-Erikson et al, 2008). It is important to note a leaders should a person who has the capability of inspiring others into performing their responsibilities and duties with the aim of achieving a specific goal and objective. Therefore, effective leadership is based entirely on the leader’s ideas and strategies (whether borrowed or original). However, the success of a leaders is basically measured by the end result brought about by the implementation of the ideas (Chuang, 2013). Additionally, for the leader’s ideas to be effectively and efficiently implemented, the leaders must be in a position to communicate effective to their subordinates to convey to the subordinates what should be done at what time, where and by whom for the leader’s expectations and objectives to be achieved. Therefore, leadership is one of the most influential aspects and factors that help shape and determine the organizational culture and structure. This means that every organization should focus on ensuring that their leaders’ behaviors are effective and that they portray efficient and effective strategies and qualities that can be propel the organization towards development and growth in all areas.
In the health sector, most leaders acquire their skills though training and experience (Edmonstone, 2009). In a health sector, the most needed and common skills implemented there are those that relate with individual professionalism and expertise (Frich et al, 2015) e.g., communication skills, teamwork skills, analytical skills, strong work ethic skills, flexibility skill, problem solving skills to name a few. However, other skills and attributes are needed in a health sector especially the original skills of an individual e.g. patience, sympathy, compassionate, positivity, creativity and responsibility among others (Edmonstone, 2011). This is simply because in health sectors, the employees are usually in charge of human life and therefore every caution should be taken. In a health sector, the employees include people like clinicians, managers, psychologists and other physicians (Hao and Yazdanifard, 2015). Therefore, every health sector must ensure that its leaders have the capability to inspire and motivate all these personalities into performing their roles and responsibilities.
Supervisor in a Youth Community Health Development Program
Basically it is the most common leadership role in most organizations. A supervisor can also be called a manager. In my case, I acted as the supervisor of a health program that was being conducted by youths in New South Wales, Australia. The program’s aim was to educate and equip the New South Wales community with knowledge on the how to manage and care for their relatives and loved suffering from chronic diseases like cancer or diabetes. In this program I was chosen to be leader because of my strong interpersonal skills and knowledge on the field. The supervisory was accompanied by some specific roles and responsibilities like managing the youth group to ensure that everyone was to perform their duties. This leadership role involves ensuring that every youth member is included, roles and responsibilities are allocated accordingly, resources like finances are used effectively and efficiently, i.e. to their maximum and that the objective is met (the community is well educated or rather has a good idea on how to care for such patients).
This model states that leaders should always go ahead of their employees or subordinates. The leaders should basically set an example and be role models to their subordinates. This means that they should ensure that they have performed their roles and responsibilities effective and efficiently (Kelloway and Barling, 2010). They should show progress and be ready to work whenever need be. This means that the leaders are the ones that have the ability to set the bar for their employees to aim at (Hunt, 2007). The leaders should focus on creating and implementing policies, standards, strategies and techniques that will motivate and inspire the subordinates into performing their duties to their capability. Through this the leaders will be able to build their credibility which they should use to inspire their subordinates (Renjith et al, 2015). Additionally, through this, the leaders are able to show their quality standards and value for their job.
Discover your voice by clarifying your personal values
In my leadership role, by being the program supervisor, I was able to make my own decisions which were to be followed by the other youths. The decisions however, were based entirely on my capability to implement my own values, quality standards and expectations at the end of every activity carried out.
Set example by aligning actions with shared values (Kouzes and Posner’s, 2012).
As a supervisor, i was in a position to manage the group by directing, planning, organizing and coordinating the youth group and ensured that every activity is carried out and the end result is beyond expectations. I was able to plan the learning and teaching schedule, allocate resources and responsibilities effectively and ensured that the resources were used effectively and to their maximum. Through this, I was able to model the way for the other youth members by showing that I was in charge and ensuring that the end results are perfect.
Leaders have the ability to create and build an image of what and how they would like their future to be. In most cases, the image is usually unique and better developed than the current status of the organization. Almost all leaders are actually driven by their future visions. However, for the visions to be practical and be effectively implemented, the leaders should communicate and share their vision with their subordinates (Kouzes & Posner, 2007). The main purpose for such a vision in a leader is to simply make a difference (positive change) towards the organization. To inspire vision involves the involvement of the subordinates into the future vision which happens when a leader shares the idea with their subordinates. However, they should not only share but include good explanations which will help the subordinates to understand and acquire the vision as if it were their own. It is not possible for a leader to achieve their vision successfully unless the subordinates are also on board and treat the ides as their own (Whaley and Gillis, 2016).
Envisioning and imagining a possible and achievable future
In my role as the youth program supervisor, I was able to create a vision on how the community will work together when caring and attending to any sick person, no matter the disease. The vision was based entirely on community development and togetherness which sums it up as team work enhancement. By educating the community on the best practices and techniques to use when caring for sick people with chronic diseases, the result will be reduction of mortality rates and ensure comfortable and peacefulness environment of the people with such diseases who are near death.
Enlisting others in the vision with the aim of making it a common objective.
Envisioned a community where by the youths were not idle and instead are capable of contributing to community development and growth in a more positive indirect way. In addition to that, I was able to share the vision with the other youths by holding several meetings before the program was officially commenced, through this I was able to acquire additional ideas and opinions from them which I used during the program planning and implementations stages. By having a clear, simple and reasonable vision about the program, I was able to utilize and use the commitments that included in Kouzes and Posner’s (2012) inspire a shared vision model which are: and enlisting others in the vision with the aim of making it a common objective.
Organization leaders should have the ability to be creative and innovative. This means that they should have the guts to challenge their original ideas and opinions with new ones. The main reason for leaders to challenge their ideas is to be able to create and develop new and better strategies, policies, standards and many other things which are more effective and efficient than the previous ones (Ledlow and Stephens, 2017). Leaders may have the required skills and qualifications to manage a certain organization or project but still need to be ready to learn and be innovative to improve themselves in person (Kumar et al, 2014). In this model, leaders are encouraged to treat every responsibility as an adventure and every mistake or failure as a lesson. By seeking out challenging opportunities, leaders are able to improve their skills and tame them to suit and be applicable in many different scenarios and environmental changes (Kouzes and Posner’s, 2012). Through seeking challenging opportunities, the leaders increase their capability to succeed in their own field besides acquiring knowledge in other fields (Leggat, 2007).
To search for new opportunities through innovation, growth and improvement
From my experience as a supervisor, I was able to acquire different skills and attributes that were not only related to the leadership field, but also community development, chronic disease symptoms, medications and best ways to treat and care for the patients with chronic diseases. In addition to that, from the role, I was able to interact with many other youths with different opinions and ideas on identifying and solving certain problems experienced by patients
Conducting experiments as well as taking risks by recognizing the small wins and learning from mistakes made
In my role as a supervisor, I was able to exercise the commitment on searching for new opportunities through innovation by accepting the role itself. Having chosen to specialize in health sector field, I had not imagined of being a leader. Also, I was able to learn from the mistakes that the group made at the end of the program. The risk of taking the supervisory role was basically based on possibility of program failure, under my care.
Leaders with no subordinates are not leaders at all. Additionally, leaders who prefer to work on their own are likely to fail than those that have a team to work with. This model, ensures that every leader has the ability to allow other members or subordinates to work or act on the project as well. Through, this, the whole team will be encouraging cooperation, collaboration and group empowerment (Davis, 2015). Enabling other to act includes encouraging them to be involves in the decision making process and give them freedom of choice (Popa, 2012). Also, it involves allowing other to utilize their effort and energy with the aim of realizing their full potential and optimum production. By enabling others to act, the leaders get the opportunity to entrust and share power and authority with their subordinates which in the end makes the subordinates to feel valued and important. Through this, the leaders are also able to point out and cater for their subordinate’s interests and on the other hand, the subordinates get the chance to feel responsible not only for the organization as a whole but also for their duties (McDonald, 2014).
In this model, there are two commitments involves which are (Kouzes and Posner’s, 2012):
Fostering collaboration and promoting cooperative goals
In my experience as a supervisor, I was able to share power with the other youth by dividing the roles to other group leaders who would help me manage the whole group. Also, I allocated every member a responsibility and objective towards which they should work. I was also able to receive and accept additional advice and opinions from the other youths which I implemented. The idea on keeping the whole group in touch through effective communication was implemented and originated from one of the members.
Building trust and strengthening others by sharing power and discretion
I allowed the members to carry out their responsibilities using their own different methods so long as they worked towards the common goal and objective. By doing this, the youths were certainly able to discover and rate their own performance when the program came to an end by evaluating their final results.
Just as mentioned earlier, leaders must have a unique personality which is capable of motivating and inspiring others. However, there are many other ways through which a leader can inspire and motivate its subordinates. Many leaders simply motivate their employees with the overall aim of achieving the set goals and objectives which means that they expectations (for themselves and subordinates) are always high but reasonable. In most cases, leaders basically motivate their employees through rewards or public recognition, celebrations and victory partying. However, for a subordinate to be recognized or rewarded, they must have performed well and been successful (MacPhee et al, 2013). Encouraging the heart is basically a technique to uplift a person’s spirit and desire to work. The aim of this is to encourage the people not to give up and instead work harder and smarter. However, it is also the responsibility of the leaders to show appreciation to their subordinate’s contribution and work. However, for a leader to be in a position to reward or recognize the employee, they must have set a certain standard boundary or limit which the employee must have achieved. Encouraging the heart basically eases the leaders’ responsibility of ensuring that every employee has performed their duty to its completion and success.
The commitments involved in this model are:
Contribution recognition or rather show appreciation for good job done
In my experience as a youth program supervisor, I got the chance to recognize the youth’s effort and work in the end of the program period.
Value and victory celebrations with the aim of creating community strength
A party was prepared where by the community members were invited and the patients themselves involved. The youth group was publicly recognized especially the most active and actionable youths were mentioned and appreciated with gifts. As a supervisor, I was certainly able to exercise the principle of contribution recognition and value celebration.
Leadership is one of the most fundamental business aspect of an organization that is responsible for ensuring its succession, development and growth. In the health sector, leadership characters and qualifications are mostly most on a person’s expertise, skills, knowledge and experience on the field. This is simply because the leaders in a health care setting or institution are in charge of human life and wellbeing. However, it is important for every leader to be in a position to understand and implement suitable leadership models, especially Kouzes and Posner’s models into their leadership requirement bucket list. Through this, they will certainly be able to exercise the models’ principles and strategic ideas toward effective and efficient leadership in their responsibilities. Being able to model the way, inspire a shared vision, encourage the heart, enable other to act and challenge the process will enable a leader to be more successful and effective in their role than those that do not implement these principles.
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