Servant Leadership in Healthcare

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Doug Parker
BHA 315
April 4, 2012
Christian Worldview in Servant Leadership in Healthcare
Professor: Zonzie McLaurin

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Abstract
This paper is about implementing servant leadership into healthcare. It gives insight on how to use servant-leadership qualities by giving the reader guidelines to follow in order to achieve these goals. Some key points of this paper are how to be a true servant-leader. One definition that I found for a servant-leader is that these individuals simply place the serving of others as the number one priority. Servant- leaders are drawn to a purpose greater than themselves and are great listeners that have empathy for the well- being of others.

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Christian Worldview in Servant Leadership in Healthcare
Health care provision is the largest service economy in the United States and has an inherent servant nature. Transformation of health care organizations into learning organizations will occur only under the guidance of leaders who can amply demonstrate emotional intelligence and ethical behavior, as well as technical competencies. Furthermore, these characteristics modeled by leaders must be successfully transferred across the entire organization. Such leadership will move beyond transactional exchange to engender emotional commitment of the employees and stimulate intellectual capital. Competitive 21st-century health care firms will be characterized as adaptable, creative, relationship oriented, communicative, team driven, having flattened hierarchies, and able to retain employees and engender loyalty in customers.

Given the call to move the health care organizational culture from transactional leadership to transformational servant leadership, how should leaders initiate change? We need to implement a multilevel strategy that combines a fierce resolve of primary organizational leader with the target of a discrete department or specialty area. This approach ensures initiation of change at macro and micro levels. Second, we suggest following the change agent insights gained from research to create a leadership development process with an impact on every level of the organization. The best hope of engineering change is to create multiple advocates and champions of change throughout the enterprise.

Measures of effectiveness using internal and external comparison groups provide tangible markers for change effectiveness. A commitment to continuous improvement linked with a nonnegotiable resolve toward servant leadership creates a more responsive system. Continuous

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improvement programs might include process improvement teams, utilization management reviews, benchmarking, and targeted cost management. By using these tools, health care needs are met and the opportunity for a transforming experience is created. In addition, patients enjoy improved care physically while receiving the effective, intangible benefits of customer focused service. As patients experience the benefit of customer- focused health care, they have the incentive for choosing enhanced-quality health care over mere service for fee rendered.

If service is what inspires leaders to provide, community is where this is expressed. In healthcare, leaders have to find ways to meet the needs of their diverse communities and forge alliances that use the most appropriate assets of each to meet shared goals. Servant leaders stand out in their willingness to serve and value others without the need to be defensive, even if provoked. Their sole interest is in developing those whom they lead and those with whom they collaborate. Some advantages in servant leadership:

* Value People
* Enables others to develop and flourish
* Shows commitment to the community
* Expresses a human face in an often impersonal environment * Puts back the concept of caring to healthcare

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* Seeks to improve...
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