Leadership styles and traits in today’s health care organizations:
Leaders in most accomplished healthcare practices did not just find themselves successful, they put efforts towards achieving excellently. They set standards which they operate within. They exhibit different leadership styles and traits. First is about business orientation. Leaders consider healthcare practices as a business and not just a calling. Since their professional curriculum doesn’t offer much knowledge on business, successful healthcare leaders go out of their way to read magazines, articles and books on business strategy to be able to make their business more successful. Second is to have a dream and a set of goals. They tend to look beyond current situation, work towards your dream, goals, mission and vision. Healthcare leaders try and incorporate individual/staff desire in the overall healthcare vision and mission (Gandolf, 2012). They measure progress towards achievement of objectives and give credit to employees where it’s due.
Third, they hire great staff. Staff can break or make healthcare practice. Only qualified and skilled individuals should be recruited because they determine the overall performance of a healthcare practice, for example in service delivery to patients. Fourth, they lead by example. Staff in healthcare practice will always respect that leader who operates and works in accordance to the set rules and standards. This is how leaders earn respect. If a leader advocates for one thing and does the opposite, staff will definitely notice, and their desire to cooperate and follow instructions will go down. Fifth, they display a constant quest for improvement. Like other leaders, most accomplished healthcare practice leaders have insatiable curiosity, always learning, reading, studying and taking more and more education courses because they desire to improve more and more (Gandolf, 2012). They are not satisfied with where they are.
Differences between Informal and Formal Power and Leadership
In formal leadership, a person is formally designated as a leader of a group. He is appointed head. For example, a person can be appointed as the teacher at a school, while in informal leadership, a person is not appointed as the group leader officially, and still all other staff or members of his team look up to him for inspiration and motivation. For example, though one may not be the head nurse at a clinic, staff can look up to a fellow colleague whom they consider as sharing their vision and goals, and possesses experience that will assist them to achieve their objectives and goals.
In formal power and leadership, communication takes the forms of directives that staff are expected to follow. Employees’ opinions and inputs are seldom considered, while in informal power and leadership, employees are included in decision making process (Pielstick, 2000). Employees offer ideas and suggestions which are considered and the leader makes the final decision. In informal power and leadership, employees can influence decision making.
In formal power and leadership, employees seek approval from the leaders. Their relationship is usually a little intimidating on the side of employees as they tend to work to please the leader and have their work approved. I informal power and leadership, employees seek advice from leaders. Sometimes they confide in the leader. They share their problems and issues with the leader and are usually ready to take advices and opinions from him. The leader mentors staff and gives guidance.
Gandolf. S, (2012) 13 Traits of Highly Successful Healthcare Business Leaders. Retrieved from http://www.healthcaresuccess.com/articles/highly-successful-practitioners.html
Pielstick, ,C.D. (2000). Formal vs. informal leading: a comparative analysis. The Journal of Leadership Studies,2000,(3).