Leadership has been identified as a critical aspect that determines the effective functioning of an organization. Several leadership theories have been associated with the different types of leadership that critically exist within different diverse sectors. The pattern of leadership widely depends upon the operational functions carried out by the concerned organization and the nature of the organizational policies. Typically it has been found that the best form of leadership for an organization comprises of effective coordination and smooth flow of communication among the administration post holders and the employee workforce. This assignment intends to discuss the case scenario of Ms. Helen who is an efficient General Practitioner. The assignment would delve deeper into the complexities associated with Ms. Helen being appointed as the public health leader. It would critically discuss the appropriate form of leadership that could be assumed by Helen so as to deliver positive outcomes. Further, it would also reflect upon the correct implication of the applied leadership style and accordingly derive an effective conclusion.
On critically analysing the case scenario, a number of cues can be retrieved. Helen who was 35 years old had been working in Warnambool as a General Practitioner for a period of five years. Warnambool is a rural area that is located in the state of Victoria. Helen had been delivering a great service and had been immensely successful as a general practitioner. Helen had started practising in Warnambool after moving from Melbourne and on account of Warnambool being a rural region, her primary focus of treatment was to deliver primary care. However, the end of 2018, witnessed a number of health issues in terms of increase in infection rate and mortality, minimal immunization among children and improper sanitation and disease prevention programs. The plight of the local residents alarmed the council of Warnambool and a need to incorporate a public health awareness was felt deeply. Helen seemed to be an appropriate candidate and thus, the council proceeded with nominating Helen as an illegible candidate for the post of public health leader. However, the council was perturbed by the thought of Helen being able to justify the designation. This is primarily because the introvert and timid nature of Helen and her independent living. It should be noted here that the designation required Helen to interact and maintain end to end coordination with a total of 10 workers who would be working under her. That seemed as a challenge on account of the contrasting demeanour of Helen and raised a question mark on her leadership skills.
In order to sustain as an effective leader, it is utmost important to stringently adapt an appropriate leadership style. In context of the health care sector, the transformational style of leadership is extremely common and widely followed. However, it should be critically noted here that in the Australian context of heath care organization, the most prevalent style of leadership is the Australian health leadership framework. The Health LEADS Australia: the Australian health leadership framework is an initiative that has been taken up the Australian government. The initiative aims to render an effective leadership that concentrates on the creating a people-focused health care system that is equitable, effective and at the same time sustainable. There are five vital components of the framework that includes, leading self, shaping up the system, driving innovation, engaging others and achieving positive outcomes. An effective leadership is often associated with attaining positive patient outcomes and increased client satisfaction. In this case, on critically evaluating the case study in alignment with the Australian health and leadership framework, it can be said that, Helen as a leader needs to take care of a lot of critical considerations (Aims.org.au, 2018). The first consideration in this regard would include, evaluating the prime challenges operating in the domain of health in the Warnambool region of Australia. Further, as a health promotion officer, the responsibility would primarily include, improving health related outcomes for the indigenous aboriginal and Torres islander inhabitants residing within the premises of the community. Also, balancing the disease burden with improved health outcomes and improvement in the hospital infrastructure would form an essential aspect of rendering positive health outcomes. Issues such as addressing the financial aid and the quality maintenance of care at length should also be given prime importance. In addition to this, improving the sustainability of workforce, maintaining quality at all levels and building trust amongst the diverse professionals operating within the health care setting should also be maintained by Helen. In addition to the above, handling challenges and complexities of the health care system is also carried out by the health promotion officer (Doody & Doody, 2012). Maintaining an effective coordination between the patients, families, consumers and carers. Proper maintenance of all the interdisciplinary department is important so as to yield positive outcomes. The principle idea of maintaining an effective style of leadership is to ensure that everyone owns leadership, developing capable leaders to build health leadership capacity and enhancing the existing leader within an individual (Aims.org.au, 2018). As an effective health officer, Helen must ensure that employees commit themselves to sharing responsibilities and take ownership of the responsibility. In order to maintain this Helen at all times must involve in constant monitoring of the activities and responsibilities being undertaken by the respective professionals. According to studies, it has been said that an effective leadership is majorly concerned with developing the skillset of the employee workforce which must be manage by the leader (Aims.org.au, 2018). In this regard, it can be said that arranging ample training programs to provide training opportunities to the employees can help in improving the skill set and also help in developing additional skills (Wong et al., 2013). Also, as an effective leader, Helen should constantly aim at improving the quality of the services provided so as to attain positive patient outcomes. In order to enhance the quality of the services provided, application of the quality value cycle can be effective (Aims.org.au, 2018). It can effectively help in conducting a review about the existing strategies in the market and accordingly include reforms.
This section would talk about the utility of the self-assessment tool in order to perform an effective self-assessment. The leadership self-assessment tool can be defined as an integral tool that renders high quality of health care services by stringently evaluating the effectiveness of the leadership (Aims.org.au, 2018). The tool widely comprises of seven aspects which include, demonstration of the personal qualities and working with other executives. In addition to this, managing different services, improving the quality of the existing services and setting guidelines for the employees working as a part of the process can effectively help in achieving the seventh component which is known as creating a vision for delivering the process (Avolio & Yammarino, 2013). It should be critically noted here with reference to the case study that while nominating Helen’s name for the post of the health officers, the supervisory board was extremely sceptical about her abilities on account of her usual behaviour. The Council members held a firm belief that Helen was introvert and independent which might be major obstacles for her while assuming the role of a health officer as that would load her with heaps of responsibilities and the handle a lot of people under her. Therefore, it can be said that Helen’s leadership qualities are being questioned and in order to analyse her potential as a leader, a self-evaluation assessment must be undertaken that would underpin the self-assessment tool.
It is important to consider that under the first aspect of the self-assessment tool four key factors can be highlighted. The factors being, her ability to create self-awareness, her ability to sustain independently, her keenness on undertaking personal development and working with integrity exemplify that Helen can effectively assume leadership responsibilities. Also, it was estimated from the assessment that Helen remained calm and focused during critical situations and firmly acted according to her beliefs and morals. Also, it should be noted that, she reflected upon her behaviour and strived hard to maintain a diverse environment in order to work with people belonging to different customs, traditions and different religious beliefs. Hence, the sum total of her assessment score clearly reflected that she could carry out the responsibility in an efficient manner.
The next segment of the assessment considered factors such as developing networks, maintaining relationships and motivating the team mates. In this aspect as well, Helen scored positive on account of her willingness and honesty to work with a team of professionals. It should be critically noted here that, Helen’s introvert nature can be treated as a weakness or rather as a limitation in being able to justify her designation. This is primarily because the role of a health officer primarily involves the maintenance of smooth communication strategies (Braun et al., 2013). Helen’s introvert behaviour can serve as a barrier in ensuring smooth communication. The third aspect comprised of domains that included planning and managing resources. In this aspect as well Helen scored in positive which clearly implied that Helen was extremely devoted and determined to her work. This clearly indicated that Helen could proficiently manage the team of professionals and deliver the best so as to deliver quality in terms of output. The next component of the self-evaluation investigated Helen’s potential to maintain patient safety and ensure positive patient outcomes. In this regard as well, Helen’s scored in positive and in accordance with her previous work experiences, it can be said that Helen could efficiently provide care to the patient and maintain patient safety. Finally, the penultimate and the ultimate aspects of self-assessment comprised of delivering a strategy, creating a vision and setting guidelines for the employee workforce (Breevaart et al., 2014). It should be significantly notes that in each of the aspects Helen scored in positive which reveals that she could effectively assume the role as a health promotional officer and serve to the best of her capabilities.
On critically reflecting upon the conditional evidence furnished by the case study, it can be said that the leadership style that I would have adapted in this scenario would be the transformational style of leadership. As has already been mentioned, the transformational leadership has been considered to be the best form of leadership for the health care sector (Carter et al., 2013); (Kark & Shamir, 2013). It majorly comprises of driving a change into the existing operating pattern of an organization in order to attain positive outcomes (McCleskey, 2014). Two strengths have been associated with the successful implementation of the transformational style of leadership that includes, ensuring effective communication, enhancing the elements of motivation and self-esteem so as to maintain a positive working environment (Noruzy et al., 2013). Another critical aspect of the transformational style of the leadership includes, working on the weakness of the employees so as to transform the weakness to strength and essentially maintain a positive outcome (Odumeru & Ogbonna, 2013); (Brach et al., 2012). In this scenario the effectiveness of the transformational style of leadership would help in maintaining effective communication at all levels (Van Knippenberg & Sitkin, 2013); (Frich et al., 2015). On considering the self-evaluation tool, I feel that I would have also achieved positive scores across each elements and my score would be somewhat similar to Helen. However, considering one aspect it can be said that a fine gap in terms of maintaining effective communication would be observed between the leadership style implemented by Helen and me. Through transformational leadership I would effectively ensure a smooth flow of communication and keep the workforce motivated so as to attain positive outcomes (Noruzy et al., 2013). In order to enhance my communicating ability, I would try to work on my communication skills within a span of seven days. I would enhance the same by working with my supervisors and seniors and exchange vital information about the condition of the patients and convey it to their families. This would help me in strengthening my communication and decision making skills so as to render quality in terms of service delivery.
Hence, to conclude it can be said that there are different styles of leadership that affectively facilitates smooth operation of an organization. In this case, Helen could possibly adapt strategies as per the Australian leadership framework and incorporate positive elements of the transformational style of leadership so as to maintain a positive working environment and yield better service delivery.
Aims.org.au. (2018). Retrieved from https://www.aims.org.au/documents/item/352
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