Leadership Characteristics

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Today, in our society, especially in healthcare, the word leadership is on everyone’s mind. Finding good leaders has become one of the highest priorities in large and small organizations. But how we define leadership and what should we be looking for in a good leader will be the questions we explore in this paper. This paper is meant to be a summarized reflection of my thoughts and beliefs on leadership. It will evaluate where I stand at the beginning of this course with regard to the characteristics of leadership I possess. It will explore some of the realities that confront leaders within the healthcare industry. It will examine some of my past experiences, personal and professional, in order to learn who I am as a leader and where I need to go to be an effective leader.

key word: self awareness, leadership, realities

In the 21st century when globalization and open business opportunity among countries has created an atmosphere of either flourish or perish, the necessity of dynamic and effective leadership is gaining prime importance all over the world. Successful leaders are becoming the scarcest resource of any business enterprise. Over the past years the health care industry has evolved putting more pressure on the health care leaders of today. Success in the long run for these leaders can be insured only through effective leadership. William Shakespeare once said, “To be or not to be that is the question”. The question every inspiring leader in today’s society must ask of themselves.

Leadership according to Northouse (2007, p.3) “is a process whereby an individual influences a group of individuals to achieve a common goal”. As I continue to read and research this definition of leadership it has brought me to question how does a leader influence others to achieve that common goal? Where do I stand within this leadership definition and what do I need to accomplish as I pursue my leadership desire? In order to accomplish my desire to become a good leader I must understand the characteristics I possess and those I do not. Leaders, whether good or bad influence people, maybe not in the way that the organization benefits from but influence just the same. A good leader will have good work ethics, good communication skills, lead by example, have a desire to achieve the vision and goals of the organization, obtain trust from the organization and their team members, have a drive and desire to see a need for change and act on it when needed, and have a desire to learn from others within the team.

Some of the realities that face leaders today are the ever changing work environments. As technology evolves, as our workforce becomes more diverse in skills and culture we as leaders need to be adaptable and ready to make changes. Good leaders need to continue educating themselves through any means possible and be willing to educate those on their teams. As a leader in the health care industry I agree with some current trends confronting the health care system today as seen in Exhibit 1.1 in our text Leadership in Healthcare (Dye, 2010. p.5)

Growing number of uninsured
Increased emphasis on patient safety and equality
Diminished revenue sources and decreased reimbursement
Uncertain implications of healthcare reform
Pressures to invest in electronic record systems and other clinical/information technologies
Demands to hold down costs
Closer scrutiny of pay-for-performance schemes
Aging of the population and changes in worker and patient ethic/cultural demographics Higher expectations from consumers
Professional shortages and decreasing recruitment pools
Need for building renovation/construction and equipment purchase
Rise of social media, Internet commerce, and wireless functionality
Advances in Pharmaceuticals, genomics, and medical interventions
Public calls for transparency and...
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