First was a discussion about what makes an effective leader;
- A leader has followers and a vision
- They are a motivator
- Good communicator
- Caring personality
- Agile and adaptive
- Understands the importance of failure
What are the challenges we face in leadership;
- Constant change
- Having to work at the interface of health and education
- Maintaining accreditation and professional standards
- Systems that are often misaligned to the curriculum
- Working with professionals, patients & students - each has different needs and demands
- Top level leaders are sometimes out of touch with educational change and innovation.
What are the strategies and solutions to these challenges?
- change is the only constant - leaders need to be comfortable with managing and leading change.
- need expertise in health and education systems
- be able to understand and work within quality systems
- need capacity for leadership and management
- need an agile and flexible curricula in line with educational best practice and society's need
- develop communication and networking between groups
- work with stakeholders to meet and manage expectations
- keep up to date
How do we best manage change?
- Be flexible
- Develop a trusting environment
- Have good communication strategies
- Be well embedded with your stakeholders
- Sell your vision
What is a team?
- A team is a group of people who share common objectives
- They have the opportunity to meet regularly to review performance and to plan for success
- Team performance goes through a number of different stages - forming, storming, norming and the performing
There are seven essential aspects of team working:
- team identity
- team objectives
- role clarity
- team decision making
- team communication
- constructive debate
- inter-team working
There are many different leadership styles, which can be broadly grouped into;
- theories that focus on the personality of the leader as an individual
- theories relating to the interaction of the leader with others
- theories which seek to explain leadership behaviours in relation to the environment or system.
Some examples of different leadership styles that were discussed include;
- Collaborative leadership - relationship in which all parties startegically choose to cooperate in order to accomplish a shared outcome - Rubin, 2002
- Transformational leadership - involves influence, motivation, stimulation and consideration. Bass, 1985 describes the 4 I's of transformational leadership - idealized influence, inspirational motivation, intellectual stimulation & individualized consideration.
- Charismatic leadership - combines transformational leadership with trait theories
- Servant leadership - leader is a servant first
- Distributed leadership - also known as shared leadership. This is leadership as a process placing importance on social capital
- Collective leadership - this is where there is a natural transformation form led to follow to lead or a passive approach leading to engaged approach
- Adaptive leadership - used when you are facing adaptive challenges (systemic problems without a ready answer)
Discussion about differences between a leader and a manager.
Effective managers are;
- Good planners
- Know the constraints of the system
- Know the resources available
- Work within existing paradigms, solve problems and manage existing resources
- Adaptive to change
Separation of management from leadership is dangerous - it can encourage a disconnected style leading to a destructive environment (Gosling & Minzberg, 2003)
Recommendation for an excellent book on leadership - "Leadership - All you need to know by David Pendleton and Adrian Furnham"
- Inspire - inspiration has an intellectual and emotional component. It requires vision.
- Focus - transforms enthusiasm into productive effort
- Enable - enabled people are clear about what they are trying to achieve
- Learn - turns failure into success and competence into excellence
Four pillars of leadership - Souba (2011)
- Awareness - be a perceptive observer
Leadership is a lifelong journey. You should be curious, know what's on offer locally, step up and be responsible. You need to be connected, resilient, ambitious and be yourself. You should aim to be any-ones equal, no-one is superior to anyone else.
Leadership practice and development should be evidence based. You should work collaboratively and share resources. You need to have an active sucession plan. Think about how you approach a problem and how you work within a team.