Leadership in Long Term Care Question
Leadership in Long Term Care Question
Based upon your reading in the textbook and the guidelines proposed by the American College of Health Care Administrators, prepare a 3-4 page paper which details the characteristics needed for leadership in the long-term care industry today. Support each identified characteristic with the rationale (reason why this is a critical characteristic for a leader!) and appropriate citations.
- Introduction to Leadership and Long-Term Care and why it is so important
- Identification of 3-4 essential characteristics of leadership in Long-Term Care
- Rationale and citation for each of the 3-4 characteristics selected
Points Possible: 30
20 points for body content including discussion of the items in the outline
5 points for introduction and conclusion
5 points for utilization of writing guidelines – LEVEL 2
Leaders: Who Are They?
Who are the leaders in long-term care (or other) organizations? There are a number of questions, assumptions, and misunderstandings about who leaders are. Let us look at some of them with the goal of understanding leaders better.
Are Leaders Born or Created?
The question has long been asked whether leaders are born or made. Actually, what is really being asked is whether anyone can be a leader or only a few. James Kouzes and Barry Posner, authors of the highly successful text, The Leadership Challenge, answer the question emphatically and definitively, saying, “It’s just pure myth that only a few can ever understand the intricacies of leadership. Leadership is not a gene, and it’s not a secret code that can’t be deciphered by ordinary people” (Kouzes & Posner, 2007, p. 145). Leadership is not only for a few.
Granted, leadership comes more easily to some than others, but it is a set of skills that can be learned. Anyone can have the fundamental requirements necessary for the leadership role. It has been said that there’s only one thing that a person needs to actually be born with in order to be a leader later in life: intelligence. A leader needs to be smart enough, but effective leaders aren’t necessarily the smartest people. They do have to know enough to do the job. We discuss those skills and how they are acquired and applied in considerable detail later in this chapter.
Leaders Are Prescient Visionaries
Are leaders more farsighted than others? Can they foretell the future? Do they know what tomorrow will bring? The answer to all of these questions is no. They are obviously intelligent enough to look at trends and try to proactively anticipate what may happen, but they have no special prophetic gifts. They study the past and learn from it. They apply skills such as strategic thinking and planning, which we explore later.
Leaders Are Charismatic, Possess a Special Gift
Leaders have the ability to convince others to follow them, but is that a special gift? Is it charisma—defined as “a personal magic of leadership arousing special popular loyalty or enthusiasm for a public figure (as a political leader) or a special magnetic charm or appeal” (Merriam-Webster, 2014)? Leaders certainly have charm and appeal that arouse loyalty, but again, it’s not something special that only a few have.
Leadership Is Associated With a Superior Position
Leadership does not automatically relate to a position as supervisor or boss. In an ideal situation, all managers will be leaders, but that is not always the case. Some managers are unable to make the transition to leader. Similarly, not all leaders are managers. In any organization or work group, there will likely be one or two individuals to whom others routinely turn for advice or counsel, regardless of their job or position. They are leaders.
Leadership Is a Matter of Control
There was a time (long ago) when managers were taught that they had to control those they supervised, meaning to dominate, manipulate, or rule them. It implied that those supervised could not be trusted to do what is right. That is not leadership. Leadership means getting those others to want to do what is needed. A leader “is one who converts followers to leaders” (Bennis & Nanus, 1985, p. 3).
Leaders Are Remote and Distant
Another outdated management belief is that managers must be detached from their subordinates; they must be remote and distant. The idea was that they had to be seen as superior and could not break down the barrier between them and their employees. Actually, all that demonstrated was the insecurity of the managers. Leadership requires just the opposite—that leaders be seen as approachable by their followers.