Leadership is one of the most serious issues confronting modern organizations. The need is taxing, and for any individual or organization to reach its potential, this will only be accomplished through effective leadership. According to Jenkins (2012), leadership is an interpersonal relationship directed towards the achievement of desired goal or objectives. Gustafson (2013) points out leadership dynamics to be a template of leadership developed to assist teams or organizations to change their way of thinking and lead to critical decisions based on the right decisions. In reference to Gustafson (2013), leadership is a changing relationship built on common purpose and mutual influence between collaborators and leaders in which both are motivated and develop morally as they impact real and intended change. In this aspect, leadership deals with inspiration, change, influence and motivation. The key elements of the above definitions are goals, influence and interpersonal. A goal is the end means one strives to attain. Influence refers to the power or authority to affect others. The term interpersonal means that a leader has more than one person to lead. This article highlights leadership dynamics in Spring Valley Mental Health Center (SVMHC).
Leadership Dynamics in Spring Valley Mental Health Center (SVMHC) and the Reasons behind It
Leadership Dynamics employs leadership characteristics and strategies which impact on CEOs, business owners and directors in organizations to improve their level of influence and develop more strategic leaders around them (Vecchio, 2007). Spring Valley Mental Health Center (SVMHC) is a profit oriented medical center located in Denver, Colorado, with distributed offices in across the metropolitan area. The mission of this center is to “to promote wellness in all areas of mental health and to provide high-quality care to all adults and children regardless of economic or social status.”
One aspect of dynamic leadership in SVMHC is experience and knowledge. The CEO, Benjamin Lee, PhD, had served as CEO of SVMHC for 11 years. Benjamin championed SVMHC’s outreach program but still remained on the job despite being criticized for being conservative regarding the ailing budget. Before this position, he had worked as an operations director in Denver Hospital. The former, CEO took two months to interviewing potential candidates for the position of the Director of Outpatient Services. Dr Jennifer Johnson was hired for the position and considering her background she is talented having worked with the current CEO in Denver Hospital. She also moved from California to Colorado because of a better pay at SVMHC and a good outdoor experience in Colorado
Dr. Johnson is responsive and visionary. She could project that The Sierra Center could be hit the hardest financially after Medicaid cut reimbursement rates. She is open to learn and consult. This is seen when she approached a professional friend for an insight on the whether to shut down the center or lay off some workers. These are traits of a transformational leader (Jenkins, 2012). In spite of the CEO being knowledgeable and experienced, he could only come up with old measures of solving budgetary problems. The CEO is conservative and less innovative. Dr. Lee is also an autocratic leader, and that is why people could not criticize or question his stand on the budget issues.
SVMHC depicts a bureaucratic leadership style. Its leaders firmly adhere to the organizational policies and rules. Also, they ensure that their subordinates or teams strictly follow the institutional rules and procedures. Promotions and hiring are based on an employees’ ability to perform with reference to the organizational rules. Bureaucratic leadership style progressively develops over time. According to Northouse (2004), bureaucracy is more suitable for the health center due to the required quality and safe work conditions. However, it discourages creativity and individual motivation.
Leadership Dynamics and Critical Leadership Competencies
According to Jenkins (2012), critical leadership competency means espousing critical and creative thinking skills in all dimensions of leadership decision making in any context. Leaders must lead critically, that is, apply critical and creative thinking skills to strategic decisions about leadership actions in various scenarios. Nevertheless, stakeholders and leaders in global leadership landscape must embrace this challenge in order to make critical and rational decisions in global contexts. Some of the primary competencies of effective leaders include integrity, visioning, result focus, optimism, accountability and care for others (Jenkins, 2012; Daft & Marcic, 2007). Excellent leaders hire and surround themselves with talented people (Roussel, 2013). For example, Dr Johnson’s was hired based on the successful working relationship with Dr. Lee.
The reason for emphasizing on Leadership dynamics approach at SVMHC is to outline the need for an effective leadership in the current challenging times. Gustafson (2013) adds that leadership dynamics enables leaders to articulate a mission and motivate the employees together with putting the health center before self is highly needed. The logic is that, unless the current leaders display transformational leadership is these turbulent times, the health center they head would not be able to withstand the hurdles of the turbulence and withstand the harsh forces of competition.
Transactional leaders, such as Dr. Lee, guide an organization in the direction of established goals by defining the role and task requirements. However, transformational leaders, who are visionary and charismatic, can inspire subordinates to rise above their own self-interest for the good of their team or organization. Some of the transformational leadership behaviors that influence followers include framing, vision and impression management (Vecchio, 2007; Swansburg & Swansburg, 2002). Framing is a process whereby a leader defines the purpose of his or her course in highly meaningful terms. A visionary leader is one who brings people of different background together with an idea. Lastly, impression management is the attempt to influence the impressions that others perceive about a leader by cultivating more attractive and appealing behaviors to others. Vecchio (2007) indicates that business transformation in terms of leadership and technology is strongly correlated with higher productivity, lower turnover rates and higher employee satisfaction.
Furthermore, leadership dynamics instills feelings of admiration, confidence and commitment in a working environment. Dr Johnson’s is charismatic and articulates a vision with which the SVMHC employees would identify and work towards it. She should ensure that each employee is advised, coached, and delegated some authority as per the job descriptions. Leadership dynamics stimulates employees intellectually, eventually arousing them to be creative and innovative in solving problems. According to the Management Study Guide (2013), contingent rewards may also be used to positively reinforce individual performances that are consistent with the organization’s goals. Leadership dynamics strategies commit employees to action and translate followers into leaders (Gustafson, 2013). For example, Dr Johnson’s has the appropriate orientation defining tasks and managing interrelationships.
Methodologies and Tools used in Data Collections
Transformational leadership goes beyond the conventional leadership as the term implies. This results in complete rejuvenation of an organization and transformation of its status in the cooperate world. In this context, it is upon SVMCH to restructure its personnel and human resource management. The health centre can conduct quarterly employee’s performance reviewing and deciding where one fits and the needed training. According to Roussel (2013), competency assessments can be carried out to ensure that a health centre has the right workforce. This can be achieved through direct observation of the candidate while working and structured interviews. Other methods that can be used include development dialogues, exercise simulations and Aptitude Tests/Psychometric assessments (Swansburg & Swansburg, 2002; Burke & Cooper, 2008). Some of the tools that can be used to increase productivity and maximize leaders’ potential include pocket planners and wallets, weekly planner, task coordinator and goal cards. Leadership inventory can also be used to establish a baseline and monitor progress. Questionnaires can also be used to collect relevant data. Online survey forms can also be sent to targeted candidates to collect the necessary data. An assessor can also rate emerging leaders using a rating scale of 1 to 10, with the lowest value indicating a need for improvement and 10 indicating excellence (Management-Study-Guide, 2013; Northouse, 2004).
Recommendations and Conclusion
The need for performance is taxing, and for any organization to reach its potential, effective leadership is a prerequisite. The big question is how to determine and implement an effective leadership. Leadership is a process, and for any process, preparations are very essential for both the expected and unexpected hurdles. Therefore, to ensure a leadership efficiency and success, the involved stakeholders need the right equipment and direction. SVMHS needs a blend of flexible strategies and leadership style that is flexible to meet sensitivity of the functional areas in the health center. The organization also needs to integrate the beliefs and values of individuals with that of the organization. SVMHS needs a hybrid model of leadership to succeed in the current competitive business landscape.
Considering the first aspect of an integrated leadership, strategy should be dynamic to reflect the fluid market in which there is a rapid turnover in trends and ideas (Daft & Marcic, 2007). This means that strategy has to be continuously rethought and refined. In this model, strategy should be transformed with each relevant change of the market trends. Dr Lee and his team must assess the relevance of the competitor’s trend to the health center and strategize accordingly. Furthermore, the management needs flexible strategies in place to address any economic shifts in the health industry and the global economy. Lastly, SVMHC leadership should be responsive to ambiguity, uncertainty and complexity. The CEO should accept change in spite his experience in the sector. It is evident that the current leadership does not only depend on experience and knowledge. As a dynamic leader, the CEO needs to blend knowledge, experience and aspects of strategy and leadership.
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