This course involved a thorough consideration of numerous notions that are central to leadership in healthcare information technology (HIT). The book by Snedaker (2016), which offers a comprehensive overview of HIT leadership, has been helpful in the review of these topics. Apart from that, Maxwell’s (2007) book The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership has also proven to be insightful in a reflection on leadership in general. As the course is coming to its conclusion, the books will be used to review the concept of a “good leader” and its implications for HIT leadership.
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According to Snedaker (2016), good leaders need to demonstrate certain competencies. For instance, the author mentions the skills that are related to communication, organization, management, innovation, and strategic and visionary alignment. Similar conclusions can be drawn from other sources. For example, Ingebrigtsen et al. (2014), Shirey (2017), and Trastek, Hamilton, and Niles (2014) highlight interpersonal skills, especially those related to empowerment and human resource development.
Furthermore, Shirey (2017) focuses on vision, Trastek et al. (2014) emphasize innovation and change, and Ingebrigtsen et al. (2014) discuss both. Maxwell (2007) uses a more creative approach to leadership definition, introducing multiple “laws” that can affect its quality, but within these laws, similar patterns can be found. For example, the law of solid ground is connected to the topic of interpersonal skills because it reviews a leader’s ability to build relationships. Similarly, several laws, including the law of buy-in, point out the importance of visionary leadership. Thus, similar ideas on good leadership can be found in different sources, including those focusing specifically on HIT leadership.
Moreover, the same patterns can be detected in the presentation by John Maxwell on the five levels of leadership (JohnMaxwellCo, 2013). According to the speaker, the first level is that of the position: in this case, a person holds a leadership position but does not demonstrate leadership competencies, which is why they cannot be called a leader. A person only becomes a leader after achieving the second (permission) level.
This level is enabled through building trust-based relationships with the followers, which corresponds to Maxwell’s (2007) law of solid ground that describes the same kind of relationships. Therefore, a second-level leader is good at social skills, which are mentioned by Snedaker (2016) and other authors. Moreover, this course has also introduced these skills from several perspectives, for instance, as a component of lean approaches to management. Thus, the significance of these skills for HIT leadership is established.
Similar connections can be found for other levels and skills. According to the presentation, the third level of leadership is called the production level, and it is determined by the effectiveness of the leader, which hints at the organizational and managerial skills mentioned by Snedaker (2016). Moreover, most of the course’s concepts, including those of innovation, value creation, governance, and lean management, may be helpful for a third-level leader. Among Maxwell’s (2007) laws, those of navigation and “big mo” (momentum) might be mentioned here since they describe the way a leader can be productive and affect the productivity of a company. Thus, the third-level skills of leadership are also well-documented.
The fourth level, which the presentation defines as the people development level, includes the ability to empower and develop the followers. In the book, Maxwell (2007) describes follower empowerment in detail, suggesting that sharing power is difficult and can only be performed by secure leaders, which constitutes the law of empowerment. This skill is also directly mentioned by Ingebrigtsen et al. (2014) and Trastek et al. (2014); apart from that, it may be connected to the social and organizational abilities of a leader cited by Snedaker (2016). Thus, human resource development is indeed a requirement for a good leader.
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Finally, the fifth step (the pinnacle) is achieved when followers respect and admire the leader. Maxwell (2007) supports this step with multiple laws, including the law of respect, which states that people are likely to follow a strong leader who instills the feeling. Moreover, this ability can be connected to visionary leadership, which is mentioned by Ingebrigtsen et al. (2014) and Snedaker (2016), and the first topic of this course (the alignment of strategy, vision, and goals) also refers to it. Thus, the mentioned skills and topics are significant for HIT leadership and can be used to become a good leader.
It is also noteworthy that, as stated by Maxwell (2007), leadership abilities are crucial for success. The author employs the case study of McDonald’s, showing that the brothers who established the company proved to be good managers but did not demonstrate good leadership, which prevented them from expanding the business. However, their partnership with Ray Kroc, who could be viewed as a better leader, led the company to success. This case indicates the significance of the development of leadership skills and becoming a good leader.
The analysis presented in this paper demonstrates that there is some agreement on primary leadership skills and competencies. By addressing them, the present course, as well as all its readings, can guide a person towards becoming a better leader. Therefore, the major lesson that can be learned from this course is the fact that continuous self-development is required for becoming an effective leader.
Ingebrigtsen, T., Georgiou, A., Clay-Williams, R., Magrabi, F., Hordern, A., Prgomet, M.,… Braithwaite, J. (2014). The impact of clinical leadership on health information technology adoption: Systematic review. International Journal of Medical Informatics, 83(6), 393-405. Web.
JohnMaxwellCo. (2013). John Maxwell: The 5 levels of leadership. Web.
Maxwell, J. C. (2007). The 21 irrefutable laws of leadership: follow them and people will follow you. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.
Shirey, M. (2017). Leadership practices for healthy work environments. Nursing Management (Springhouse), 48(5), 42-50. Web.
Snedaker, S. (2016). Leading healthcare IT. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press.
Trastek, V., Hamilton, N., & Niles, E. (2014). Leadership models in health care. Mayo Clinic Proceedings, 89(3), 374-381. Web.