An important part of this portfolio is to critically evaluate the philosophies, values and principles that guide me as an aspiring leader – not just in the healthcare industry, but in other areas of work and life in general. My viewpoint of leadership has changed in the last decade, which coincided with the period when I completed my Bachelor’s and when I joined the workforce. Many definitions of leadership exist, however, I believe leadership is authority, influence, responsibility, ownership and successfully leading a group of people. It is the ability to lead others to greatness, and setting the same standards you would like the other team members to follow. Leadership makes an individual live by great morals. Leaders are born and made. While certain individuals are born with some leadership traits, many others have developed themselves to be leaders. In fact, leadership skills can be developed by constant participation in development and leadership programmes; taking up more responsibilities; being accountable; listening to renowned leaders. As an aspiring leader, I value integrity, accountability, discipline and innovation. My goal is to make my followers feel valued through a constant display of empathy, listening to them and valuing their contributions. The importance of role models in this new dispensation cannot be overemphasized. Role models provide valuable mentorship and guidance to aspiring leaders. I particularly admire the leadership behaviour of former US President, Barack Obama. He is charismatic and skilled at taking charge of situations. He is also disciplined, responsible, accountable, and bold. He is a problem-solver and takes pride in listening to his followers.
In summary, leadership is responsibility and it cuts across all aspects of life. A good leader has to be fully responsible for his actions and those of his followers. A leader who is disciplined with the personal affairs of his life will most likely be able to lead rightly in his family and work affairs.
Continuous leadership development and growth are essential to maintaining productivity and effectiveness within a healthcare organisation. Continuous leadership development can contribute to the growth and success of an organisation. Leaders seeking to develop an organisation must also seek ways to continuously enhance their leadership skills and portfolios. Although, my education and previous professional experience did introduce me to leadership and management; I still desire continuous development through practical training and experience to continually leverage my academic knowledge on leadership with practical scenarios in the workplace. I would also attend leadership programmes, seminars and trainings and critically assess my leadership skills using structured leadership assessment tools and questionnaires, to understand my leadership behaviour and to check for areas of weakness and draw out realistic plans to improve on these aspects. I would take feedbacks from professional evaluations seriously and address the gaps reported. I would also seek informal feedback from colleagues and fellow team members in formal and informal settings, especially on completion of a project.