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The Quarterly

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RE:  Leadership practicalities: A wealth of experience

In her article, Dr Gruner reviews an article in Victoria’s Age newspaper by John Howard regarding his take on leadership, and in particular how the features he felt were effectively translated into practices that we, as medical leaders and members of RACMA can benefit from.
Certainly, as medical leaders we are the leading force to manage change in our organisations and in health care in general.  We need to learn from the best to enable us to provide the most appropriate, most sustainable health care we are able to for our country and for future generations.
The six “secrets” presented by John Howard and Dr Gruner are areas we can relate to and implement as medical managers and leaders.
“Time to think” is an area that can easily be dismissed in favour of more urgent, perhaps every-day tasks, yet is vital to ensure we are leading our organisation in a direction that is purposeful and appropriate. Without this time to think, decisions will be reactionary, incohesive and lack direction. Our roles are often a combination of “management” which often means enforcing decisions already made, and “leadership” which needs to be decisive and deliberate.  This needs contemplative time.
How many of us end up with desks full of “yet to complete” jobs, that potentially don’t get completed because by the time you get to them, the deadline has passed. We need systems that analyse what needs doing, what time to spend on it, and what can be let go or delegated. That way we can spend time on the management aspect of our job as well as the leadership.
With direction from within we can accomplish so much more. That direction can only occur after time is spent analysing the pros and cons, assessing the possibilities and options and coming to a conclusion. This self-reflective time that needs to be set aside for just that. It is not time that can be arbitrarily assigned to other more pressing, or urgent tasks, but protected time. This time is not a luxury but a necessity.
John Howard is an Australian example of a leader we can learn from. While our political views may differ, it is worthwhile to contemplate what he achieved and how he achieved it, and see how we can use his lessons in our daily practice.
Dr Daryl-Anne Elias
RACMA Candidate

Last Updated on Thursday, 29 June 2017 11:29