Public Health Administration and Leadership | Week 2
Week 2: Leadership Skills, Competencies, and Theories
Theories of leadership have their inception in ancient times. Among early thought leaders, Plato in his Republic wrote of leadership in terms of wisdom and selflessness (Carlyle, 1997). Between 335 and 323 B.C., in his treatise Politics, Aristotle taught that some are marked from birth for subjugation and others for command (Everson, 1996). The Renaissance continued the focus on the ability to control followers. Thomas Carlyle was credited with founding the Great Man theory in the 1800s.
Most in contemporary society abhor any justification of dominance, yet throughout the ages, the right of certain individuals to lead other individuals has been widely accepted. The notion of whether true leaders are born with or learn these styles and competencies is more debatable, however.
From viewing effective leaders as charismatic battlefield warriors to today’s more collaborative, humble team players, organizational perceptions of leadership in general have evolved. Yet, the urgent demands of public health call for its own set of unique leadership competencies and skills. What qualities do you possess already, and on which do you need to build to be an effective public administrator?
This week, you explore personal styles and competencies, including your own, needed to lead in the field of public health.
- Evaluate personal leadership styles and competencies
- Analyze competencies needed for public health leadership positions
- Identify key terms and concepts related to theories of leadership and management
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Note: To access this week’s required library resources, please click on the link to the Course Readings List, found in the Course Materials section of your Syllabus.
Shi, L., & Johnson, J. A. (2014). Novick and Morrow’s public health administration: Principles for population-based management (3rd ed.). Sudbury, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.
Chapter 12, “Leadership for Public Health” (pp. 241–246, 248–265)
Association of Schools of Public Health. (n.d.). Public health leadership competency framework. Retrieved March 11, 2016, from https://web.archive.org/web/20150714115618/http://www.heartlandcenters.slu.edu/nln/about/framework.pdf
Center for Creative Leadership. (2011). Addressing the leadership gap in health care: What’s needed when it comes to leader talent? [White paper]. Retrieved from http://www.ccl.org/leadership/pdf/research/addressingleadershipGapHealthcare.pdf
Rabarison, K., Ingram, R. C., & Holsinger, J. W., Jr. (2013). Application of situational leadership to the national voluntary public health accreditation process. Frontiers in Public Health, 1(26), 1–4.
Note: You will access this article from the Walden Library databases.
Laureate Education (Producer). (2009a). Organizational development and leadership: Leadership [Video file]. Baltimore, MD: Author.
Note: The approximate length of this media piece is 10 minutes.
50 Lessons (Producer). (n.d.). Warren Bennis: A leader is shaped by his team [Video file]. Nashua, NH: Skillsoft.
Note: The approximate length of this media piece is 4 minutes.
Assignment: Leadership Development Plan
Great leadership is often obvious in hindsight, when history reveals the end of a particular event or story. Predicting the types of leaders needed to take public health into the future, however, remains elusive. Many theories and types of leadership abound, from situational to adaptive to transformational and beyond. As a future public health professional, it is important to grasp these frameworks, but within these are leadership competencies that are constantly evolving and shifting as the landscape of public health shifts.
Developing into an effective leader is a lifelong process. Shi and Johnson liken it to the Native American symbol of the ever-ascending spiral (2014) with upward progress based on goals. The critical need for leadership training has long been noted. Yet, any training must begin with a baseline of self-awareness of leadership competencies an individual possesses as well as a plan for developing those competencies still needed to effectively lead. But with any journey toward a goal, one must have a clear destination in mind. The National Public Health Leadership Network has developed the “Public Health Leadership Competency Framework,” which provides a good starting point for gaining self-awareness.
For this week’s Assignment, review the Learning Resources. Complete one of the assessments (e.g., Turning Point Assessment) of your leadership style and competencies. Use the results from the assessment as a starting point for developing your leadership development plan.
The Assignment (3–5 pages):
Complete a leadership development plan that includes the following:
- Your current strengths and weaknesses as a leader
- Opportunities and threats to developing and further enhancing your leadership capacity as a change agent (e.g., social change)
Justify your responses with specific examples.
Using the “Public Health Leadership Competency Framework,” developed by the National Public Health Leadership Network as a guide (refer to the article posted in the weekly Resources), describe a leadership plan to develop the following over the next 3–5 years. Include the following:
- Your core transformational competencies (visionary leadership, sense of mission, effective change agent)
- Political competencies (political processes, negotiation, ethics and power, marketing and education)
- Organizational competencies
- Team-building competencies
- Personality factors
- Crisis abilities
Justify your rationale for your selections.