Leadership Interview Assignment
Summary of Interviews
Leadership is an important aspect that ensures the success of the activities involved in every profession. Leadership takes different definitions in various career fields and by different professionals in the fields. As identified by Jonas, Mc Cay, and Keogh (2011), leadership in healthcare is vital to the success of the health care related organizations. Clinical leadership is necessary at every level and is multidisciplinary. In search of a better understanding of leadership in health care organizations, I had an opportunity to interview two leaders in different positions of leadership. My first interviewee was Dr. Adnan Dhafer Alwadie, who is an assistant executive director and Director of the Learning Institute, King Fahas Medical City, Riyadh. He is a charge of academic and training affairs and has served the role since June 2014 to present. I also interviewed Dr. Ahmad Aboshaiqah, who works as the dean, College of Nursing, at King Saud University. He started working at the University on May 22, 2014, till present.
Dr. Adnan has been in the health care field for more than 20 years and has served in different leadership positions during the period. He has worked as an ICU Respiratory Therapist in both the adult and pediatric divisions, senior respiratory therapist, as an educator/clinical instructor and clinical evaluator for a health science college. He has served as a chairperson of the collaboration and marketing department and also in the respiratory care training department at King Fahad Medical City. He worked as an acting chairperson in the scholarship department before assuming his current leadership position. Dr. Adnan has also given lectures on various topics in health care and also acted as a team leader to coordinate and operate agreements between King Fahad Medical City and other institutions. He has also undertaken various projects whose presentations and publications are documented in various journals. The different leadership positions have enabled him to develop his leadership characteristics to the person he is today. He is a trustworthy and reliable leader in every position he holds that has earned him significant recognition.
He acquired an associate degree in Science under respiratory care, a bachelor’s degree in the same field, and a master’s degree in health and hospital administration. He developed passion in teaching and acquired a graduate certificate in college and university teaching as well as online teaching. His philosophy degree regards instructional technology in human performance technology which he acquired from Wayne State University in 2011. I chose to interview him for his success in different leadership positions that places him in a good position to share his experiences. I found him to be inspiring to scholars aspiring to become leaders in the health care sector.
Dr. Ahmad has been in the health care sector since 1998 to date and has served in various positions that required an application of his leadership traits. He worked as a medical supplies manager at a General Hospital in the Ministry of Health at the start of his career life. He moved on to ambulatory care services representative and later as a staff nurse in the medical unit at King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center. He later worked as a head of academic affairs at Institute of health sciences and later as a Nurse Educator before becoming the head of Nursing Career Development Unit in Saudi. He served as a chairman of Nursing Administration and Education Department for three years and later a vice dean for academic affairs in the college of Nursing, King Saud University. At present, he works as a dean, college of Nursing at King Saud University. His leadership profile in the different positions has enabled him to have publications and many professional achievements as well as participate in several symposiums and workshops. All his publications are in the nursing field and have been informative to scholars in the field. His leadership skills are evident in every position he has held in the past that enabled him to be promoted.
Dr. Ahmad acquired a bachelor’s degree in Health Sciences and administration and a post graduate certificate in Quality Improvement. He has a master’s degree in health system management and Health and Hospital administration. His recent qualifications were acquiring a Ph.D. in nursing and passed excellently. I chose him for his outstanding leadership profile that involves guiding people towards a common goal. His leadership traits have enabled him to soar to great heights in his career in the nursing field.
The two interviews have a different perception of leadership and have diverse work experiences that shaped their career life. They are both in the health care sector and concentrated in the learning institutions where they continually learn more about leadership. Their views in various leadership aspects merge, but with slight differences in application.
Dr. Adnan defines leadership as being able to influence people to work in teams to achieve the set organizational goals. For Dr. Ahmad, leadership is guiding a group of people towards a common goal. Both view leadership as a practice of dealing with people and organizing them into groups for a common goal. The various fields motivate the definitions they have worked and the interaction with different people. According to Dr. Ahmad, leadership is an art that involves directing others to perform particular tasks that make the leader accountable to their roles. He perceives leadership as a privilege and not a job that one has to boast about because it requires dedication and willingness to lead others in a particular direction.
Employee motivation is a crucial aspect of leadership. Dr. Adnan motivates others by helping them to set goals and be clear about their expectations. Thus, he works hard to support them in achieving the set goals. He also sets boundaries but gives each of the employees the responsibilities that align with their personality and point of strength. As a leader, he is committed to guiding the employees towards achieving their goals. On his part, Dr. Ahmad motivates others by sharing his vision to the organization and rationalizing the decisions he makes. He explained that he listens to what the people want to do and identify their goals and dreams. As a leader, he is willing to encourage others towards achieving their dreams and making follow ups of the progress made. Leadership involves working with people and thus important to encourage them to strive towards achieving their goals.
Every leader has certain people whom he looks up to as either mentors or role models. They enable them to remain focused in their leadership positions. Dr. Adnan admires leaders who can select the right employees in the leadership positions and delegate responsibilities to them. He also likes following leaders who maintain a balance between authority and responsibility in their work. Ahmad identifies that it is challenging to define his leadership style, but he admires benchmarking on situational leaders. He applies the theories by leadership experts Hersey and Blanchard on situational leadership in which leaders adapt their style to the situation. Dr. Ahmad admires firm and just leaders. He identifies that every successful leader ought to have firm decision-making approaches that influence the others to admire them. A leader who demonstrates justice and compassion considers the benefits of the majority and not the few. I believe that leadership is an art and the people who aspire to become leaders ought to learn from others to advance their skills. Leaders who demonstrate good traits are admired and act as role models shaping the leadership profiles of other leaders.
Different leaders have their source of inspiration in the work they undertake that involves theory, mentor, or philosophy. As such, they subscribe to them as a guide to their practice in the everyday activities. Dr. Adnan has a personal philosophy in the belief that every person has strengths and weaknesses. A smart leader identifies the strengths in every employee and offers them a level of responsibility that aligns with their strengths. I find it to be an important aspect of leadership since different employees have diverse abilities which can be utilized for the common good of the organization. Dr. Ahmad has a philosophy that, the greatest leader is not the one who does the greatest things. Instead, is the one who get people to do the greatest things. According to him, in leadership, it is important to walk beside others when leading them to achieve the greatest things. The best leaders are not noticed since after the work is completed, the people give credit to themselves and not the leader. As explained by Ahmad, leadership requires strong dedication to a team and enhancement of collaboration. A leader ought to join others in the work they do rather than leaving directing them to work in his absentia.
There is a major misconception about the aspect of leaders being born or developed. I sought to acquire the views of the interviewees who gave different explanations. According to Adnan, leadership is a set of skills developed through experiences acquired since birth. The skills are enhanced by acquiring formal education and progressive training in various capacities. For Ahmad, leaders are born. However, he subscribes to Lewins’ research that postulated that leaders are not just born, but can also be made. He recognizes the influence of the team members on an individual’s leadership style.
I also assessed their leadership strengths and the areas that require improvement. Every leader has certain aspects that drive their passion to what they do. However, they also have some areas that require improvement to enhance efficiency in leadership. Dr. Adnan maintains a close contact with the staff and motivates them as well as supporting them to succeed. He fulfills the mandate by having frequent feedback and guidance that give them credit for their positive achievements. He stated that he required developing his delegation skills as a major point of weakness. Ahmad believes in the saying that, a mediocre teacher tells, a good teacher explains, and a superior teacher demonstrates. He believes that inspiration helps people to achieve their career goals and ensures that he gets feedback from the people he works with in college. He is also willing to guide others in the college to utilize their full potential in achieving their goals. Despite the strengths in leadership, Ahmad needs to develop a better means of communication in the college to cater for the needs of the non-Arabic students. He identifies the need to recognize failures and to learn from own mistakes that help leaders to be strong.
Personal characteristics are a major contributor to the leadership traits of an individual. The two leaders interviewed have different personality characteristics that made them be good leaders. Dr. Adnan shares of his ability to understand the differences, accept the ideas from others and being ready to accept criticism. Dr. Ahmad focuses on what other people teach about leadership and its association with the personal characteristics. He outlines the characteristics such as responsibility, intelligence, decisiveness, awareness, maintaining focus, accountability, confidence, and honesty among others. Leaders ought to be optimistic and with the right attitude towards their work.
From the interview sessions with Dr. Adnan and Ahmad, several leadership practices have been discussed. As a matter of fact, leadership characteristics vary among individuals by their experiences. Both Adnan and Ahmad come from diverse backgrounds and leadership styles, but share some similar views about their understanding of leadership and what they do to motivate others. They both believe in leadership as guiding people towards achieving a common goal which I agree. Both explain that motivation arises from identifying the potential of others and helping them to work towards it. Jonas, Mc Cay and Keogh (2011) explain that leadership involves setting a vision for people and inspiring and setting organizational values and strategic direction. Thus, a leader ought to be visionary as identified in the personal characteristics explained by both Ahmad and Adnan in what makes good leaders.
Both leaders follow certain philosophies in their work. Personal philosophies are effective in guiding the mode of conduct for different leaders in their positions. As identified by the two leaders, leadership requires dedication and the willingness to work with others by identifying and nurturing their strengths. It is interesting to learn that leaders are born, but they require developing skills in leadership through experiences, formal education, and progressive training. Also, leaders can be made through recognizing the influence of team members on a leadership style that prompts an individual to conduct further research about the expectations in leadership.
I realized both leaders are keen on encouraging team work with the people they work with to achieve the organizational goals. Their professions involve working in an institution-based environment where team work is crucial. Leaders ought to demonstrate willingness to work with teams and also obtain feedback from them. Following the interview sessions, I identified that some process of leadership are dominant practice. For instance, in leadership, it is necessary to have decision making skills due to the many issues that arise in the day-to-day operations.
Summary of Interviews
I believe that there are different leadership styles, but all leaders who strive to achieve their goals in leadership eventually succeed. Thus, the traits demonstrated by Ahmad and Adnan are crucial in defining what great leaders should be. Dr. Adnan demonstrates participative leadership style by valuing the input of the team members, but having to make the final decision. His personal characteristics entail accepting the thoughts of others and accepting criticism which are evident in participative leaders. On his part, Dr. Ahmad is a transformational leader who depends on high levels of communication to meet his goals. He motivates the employees to enhance productivity and efficiency through communication and visibility. He explains that good leaders have a good attitude which enables them to work with others in a transformative approach.
As a future leader, I would like to adopt the philosophies exhibited by the two leaders and utilize them in enhancing my leadership skills. The leaders have demonstrated the importance of acquiring skills and experience through education and interacting with others in different work environments. Thus, I aspire to develop my leadership skills through education and work experiences as well as acknowledging the need to improve other people’s abilities.
Jonas S., Mc Cay L., & Keogh B. (2011) The importance of Clinical Leadership: Chapter 1 of the ABC of Clinical leadership. BMJ Books series