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Effective Leaders in Business

Throughout the text and various articles, the need for leaders to find a balance in their work and work life is mentioned consistently. Please provide a minimum of three examples (more are acceptable) of leadership skills which need to be balanced and explain why?

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Leaders are supposed to provide a lead not only by calling on others to follow suit but by their acts and behavior as well. Leader in a true sense is the one who leads the people around him/her, provides motivation, support and guidance at the time of need. A manager with leadership qualities can set an example for all his colleagues and subordinates to follow. This way not only the working environment remains congenial, but the overall efficiency of the team increases to optimum levels. The leader is indeed a human being; therefore he has a life beyond the work as well. But an with all an effective leader is the one who continues to inspire beyond the working hours. If we take an example on the political horizon, the Presidential election campaigns are going on for electing the next President of USA. The two contenders for the top post Sen. Barak Obama and Sen. John McCain are being scrutinized for the incidents of their private, how they behave, what kind of dresses they put on, who all are their companions etc. It can be said for sure that everybody is entitled to his or her life beyond the working hours, but the levels of acceptance depends on the extent to which people try to emulate their leaders. This certainly puts some pressure on the leader, as this might result in putting some restrictions on the personal ‘freedom’, but for becoming an acceptable leader, particularly in today’s competitive environment, one has to forgo the liberty of being an independent individual beyond working hours. For example, some such traits can be explained as below:

  1. Every individual has his or her own needs. This is true for a leader as well, who happens to be an individual in his own right. But a leader is entrusted with the twin tasks of getting things done while mentoring the team members. Therefore, at times, situation demands that the leader will have to accord secondary priority to his own needs as compared to the needs of the team and team members. This helps in inspiring the team and earning respect from team members.
  2. The leader has to be a role model for others to follow. The leader must be able to display workmanship at work and a person with decent wit and character beyond the work. Even during the working hours, how the leader behaves with team members, subordinates etc. often proves crucial in shaping the overall acceptability pattern around him.
  3. A leader has to be good negotiator at the work place as well as when the team members require him in resolving some personal problems. Workplace issues like availability of raw material, electricity, office equipment, machinery, maintenance etc are all such tasks which the leader is supposed to handle with the top management. But there are issues like domestic problems of some team member, issues pertaining to non-availability of someone, pending payment issues etc. On such issues, though the rule book is silent as far as the role of the leader is concerned, but for being an acceptable leader, he will have to make use of all his negotiating skills to resolve the issues in such a manner that the team members feel satisfied.
  4. A team leader is supposed to be a coach as well. Though the skilled worker on the production floor might be theoretically well versed with the method and processes. The skilled worker might also have undergone some training prior to joining the work. But there’s something called experience, which certainly has no parallel. Therefore the leader will have to impart some valuable tips to the team members without denigrating the abilities and qualification of the new incumbent in any form. Such coaching helps in molding the overall working environment.

Change is constant in all industries and healthcare is not an exception to the rule. Address the skills set (s) to effectively lead and/or manage change in a healthcare environment.

It is said that ‘change is the only permanent thing in life’. This statement in itself summarizes the importance in life. The general environment around us, the working environment, or daily routines etc. have all undergone varying degree of change. While there have been changes on many counts, technology has proved to be a key element in driving changes all around us. Healthcare industry is certainly no exception. Healthcare services are a very crucial and integral part of the society. Right from the way we diagnose the ailment to the means of documentation and providing medication everything has undergone a sea change over the years. Some of the tasks undertaken by the human beings have been taken over by the machines while there are some specialized jobs requiring special skills and training. This requires implementing requisite change in such a manner that nobody feels insecure and offended. While carrying out the changes might be in the interest of the organization, the leader has to make sure that the welfare of the worker is taken care off. The process of change is said to pass through a series of steps requiring a considerable length of time. In general eight such steps for implementing change include;

  1. Establishing a sense of urgency: Such an urgency comes from the marketing environment and strategies being adopted by the competitors
  2. Forming a powerful guiding coalition: Such a guiding coalition requires to be headed by a leader, who can devise strategies to adopt the changes
  3. Creating a vision: A leader has to be a visionary who can realistically visualize to some extent the impact of change implementation on the company and on the workforce.
  4. Communicating the vision: The leader has to communicate the vision to fellow team members so that they can put in efforts in right perspective for the development of the organization. This in fact helps in building a consensus around the issue.
  5. Empowering others to act on the vision: The vision needs to be percolated down to the last member in the chain. In addition, proper skills, equipment and other kinds of support need to be provided to the members to realize the vision.
  6. Planning for and creating short-term wins: Short term targets not only help in assessing the execution of change, but it also helps in motivating the workforce to move ahead with enthusiasm.
  7. Consolidating improvements and producing still more change: Once the change is implemented and being periodically reviewed by the team, there needs to be periodical adjustments. If the feedback is found encouraging, the team can ahead for still more changes, and if some problems are noticed, adjustments could be made accordingly.
  8. Institutionalizing new approaches: Whatever changes are being implemented must be provided adequate institutional support, so that others in the line can take a look at these changes and the process in future.

Innovation, excellence, customer satisfaction and value go hand in hand in today’s competitive environment. How the company is able to reach out the customers holds the key to a value proposition. For a healthcare industry what constitutes value is, to what extent the customers can get their bodies in shape and how soon they start living a healthy living. Porter’s value chain explains the operational and strategic architecture for quality standards in an industry. Porter identifies primary and support activities. Primary activities are the ones which generate a profit margin by adding value. These activities can be instrumental in providing a sustainable competitive advantage for the organization either collectively or individually. The ‘customer’ will prefer to deal with the healthcare organization which values its association with the customer, keeps updating its services with the times and comes out with cotemporary services. This helps in retaining the customer base.

The text and the additional readings make references to the concept of the art of leadership as opposed to the science of management. At times the difference is dramatically apparent. Explore the differences and explain “how” and “when” an individual passes over the chasm to leadership.

It is said that, “Management is an art, struggling to become science”. The role of a leader is to manage the team in such a manner that the work is done in such a manner that its completion implies fulfillment of the organizational goals on the one hand and the objectives of the human being on the other hand. How a person behaves to a particular situation depends upon the kind of stimulus being provided to the individual and the circumstances around the person. The actual suitability of a person depends on a lot of factors like the work climate in the company, the nature and behavior of bosses, colleagues and subordinates, job satisfaction, status and remuneration package, knowledge, skills attitude and capability. But the key to success often boils down to one single thing: it is the attitude of the employee that truly determines success or failure. The problem is that nobody, for sure, can say how attitudes and capabilities are developed and applied by a person. Moreover the same developmental tools applied on different people yield different degrees of impact from negative to zero to positive, because different people respond differently to similar situations. The big question, therefore, is to figure out what determines the way a person behaves. If we take recourse to the science of management, we may not be able to find out the answers to all our queries, but the art of leadership might be able to have a solution for all situations. The impact of such solutions will of course depend upon a variety of factors. To figure out the differences between the art of leadership and the science of management some of the observations are listed below:

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  • Despite the availability of best Medicare facilities available around them, some people prefer to go to their traditional family doctor first.
  • The ‘art of living’ gurus and ‘Yoga’ training schools are doing exceptionally well, even in times when hospitals are all out to woo the ‘customers’ with a number of quality offerings. In fact some corporate houses have now starting such sessions during the ‘official breaks’ from routine jobs, in order to recharge their workforce.

The purpose of these observations is to suggest that all of us behave in a way which we feel comfortable with. To modify such behavior, we need to modify their formation – at least at the outset. This formation is based on certain physical and chemical properties ascertained by ‘NATURE’. And this is the way the entire ‘NATURAL UNIVERSE’ works. Being a part of the whole universal structure, human beings are no way different: they, too, are ‘formed’ in a particular way. Now a days, even some managers have started studying the scientific techniques of ‘Physiognomy’, a natural science that believes that a person behaves as per his (or her) formation. This science helps in analyzing the formation of the individual. The sign of his or her formation is reflected in the face of every individual. But it is too far-fetched an idea as of now, and by all account it is the leader is the one who has to devise policies when he is faced with challenging circumstances. Technology and science at best can be reliable tools for carrying out the task. An individual passes over the chasms to leadership when:

  • He is able to find acceptance across the board, amongst the majority of the workforce, be it amongst the subordinates or the management.
  • He is able to bring about a change even during adverse circumstances and produce results defying the worst skeptics.

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1. StudyCorgi. "Effective Leaders in Business." October 22, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/effective-leaders-in-business/.


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