Top of the Pyramid-Leaders and Leadership in the Organization

The organization I work for is a community health centre located in a rural area that meets the healthcare needs of the rural population.  The health centre serves a population of about 50, 000 to 75, 000 individuals.  The team that provides the healthcare services includes 2 administrators, 4 physicians, 7 nurses, 7 paramedical staff and 10 other staff.  The health centre offers both inpatient and outpatient services to the patients.  It also offers several radiological and laboratory facilities.  Each physician has a team of nurses, radiologists, laboratory technologists and other staff working under them.  They have to ensure that efficient healthcare services are being provided to patients allocated to each team by monitoring the work and helping the staff out when needed.  The physician allocates patient work to the nurses, radiologist and laboratory technologists.  Each team leader has to report to the administrator, who in turns manages the entire healthcare organization.

The team leader has to ensure that the goals of the healthcare organization are being met.  He has several responsibilities, duties regarding allocation of work, setting targets, development of the team, conflict resolution and developing alternate strategies whenever required.  The leader has to develop commitment and competence amongst his staff and has to motive them to work towards the common goals of the team.  The leader supervises the work of his staff, and the staff members in turn seek advice and directives, whenever there are difficulties during administration of patient care.

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The motivational style (manner in which the leader motivates the staff members to achieve the objectives of the organization) my team leader adopts, varies from one situation to another.  However, the predominant motivational style utilized is a positive leadership style.  The leader tries to maintain positive relationships with the staff.  In case the staff members work in a proper manner, the leader often rewards the staff by praising the respective staff and passing good remarks.  The patients are usually more satisfied in situations when the leader adopts a positive style.  The staff turnover is also lower with a positive leadership style.  If the staff members do not do the work properly, the leader is usually tolerant and helps the staff to overcome difficulties.  However, mistakes repeatedly committed are usually dealt by the leader in a severe manner, either shifting the staff to another department or even suspending them from work.  Staff members, who are more incompetent in their work, spend more time developing excuses and developing strategies to protect themselves.  This rare negative leadership style adopted by the team leader can really de-motivate the staff members, and the organization loses its effectiveness in performing the patient services, during those periods.  However, when the team leader adopts a positive leadership style, the team really flourishes in performing the work.  During such periods, the effectiveness of the organization in performing the patient work really improves.  Hence, it can be demonstrated that the motivational style adopted by the team leader plays a very important role in maintaining the effectiveness of the organization.

The manner in which the leader utilizes power (power-based style) also varies from one-situation to another, ranging from autocratic to democratic.  Generally, the leader makes decisions by him and sometimes involves the staff members.  He usually allows the staff to express their ideas, but the final decision he takes is usually independent.  However, the leader does not force people into doing things, but explains them the reasons for him taking such a decision.  In a clinical situation, I do feel that quick decisions from experienced physicians are always required, and hence the team leader’s power-based style does help to fulfill the objectives of the organization.  However, if the work load is very high, the team leader adopts a more democratic type of leadership style so that the staff members can function better independently.  This type of style adopted during such situations, permits communication of the staff with the leaders and participation in making decisions.  The staff members being to feel motivated and the effectiveness of the organization improve.

I do feel that the team leader should make greater efforts to remove any distrust, ill-feelings, and hatred amongst the staff members, in order to help motivate the staff and improve the effectiveness of the organization.  The staff should be taught to be more self-dependent, self-motivated and make decisions independently.  It is very important that the leader maintains a positive working environment in the organization.  Through a positive environment, the staff would function both efficiently and effectively in the organization.  This will definitely help to improve the quality of care and the effectiveness of the organization.