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“Transition to the dark side: Evidence based strategies for managing the critical challenges confronting new Clinician Managers”

Author: Singithi Chandrasiri, Published: The Quarterly 2015.

I write this editorial to add two points to this article, one about the traits and characteristics of leaders and second about rural area leadership.

‘Are the leaders born or made?’ The question remains enigmatic ever since the beginning of formal studies on leadership. Behavioural studies believe that people can become leaders through the process of teaching, learning and observation, however, history suggests that many great leaders did not have any formal training. In the transition to the dark side, traits and characteristic of the clinicians play a significant role in their success, along with several factors described by the author (1).

The work environment adds challenges and complexities to the leadership profile. Transitioning to the dark side would require leaders to use various leadership styles in different settings. In this article, the author has discussed leadership in tertiary settings, however rural area leadership is yet another challenge. Community engagement, understanding the behaviour of people and integrity are at the core of rural and remote leadership. Literature is sparse on rural leadership, however personal experience and initial impressions of my research suggest that  emotional intelligence and leading from the centre are the core traits for rural leadership (2).

Traits and characteristics of leaders may require modifications according to the settings and situations(3). Emphasis is to learn and develop along the way for the new clinical managers. Classroom lessons can certainly help, but taking the boat off shore is the only way to gain the real insight into the currents of the ocean. Unlike the set curriculum and defined path of clinical learning, the leadership game has little in the way of set rules and paths. Hence the clinicians who wish to pursue the path of leadership need to be aware of the ‘the big five’, which are  openness to experience, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness and neuroticism (4).

Dr Deepak Doshi

1. Leroy, Hannes, Michael E. Palanski, and Tony Simons. "Authentic leadership and behavioral integrity as drivers of follower commitment and performance." Journal of Business Ethics 107.3 (2012): 255-264.
2. Morrison, Tracy, et al. "Faculty development, Leadership and Organizational culture in a rural medical school–a case study." The Summer 2nd International Symposium on Integrating Research, Education and Problem Solving: Summer IREPS 2012 (Professor Nagib C Callaos 17-20 July 2012). The University Simon Bolivar, 2012.
3. Lord, Robert G., Christy L. De Vader, and George M. Alliger. "A meta-analysis of the relation between personality traits and leadership perceptions: An application of validity generalization procedures." Journal of Applied Psychology 71.3 (1986): 402.
4. Zhao, H., & Seibert, S. E. (2006). The big five personality dimensions and entrepreneurial status: a meta-analytical review. Journal of applied psychology, 91(2), 259.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 12 April 2017 16:57