Effective Leaders

This discussion question describes what I think an effective leader “looks” like.People who are considered to be effective leaders usually have the following traits and skills: creative, knowledgeable about group tasks, diplomatic/tactful, cooperative, dependable, adaptable to situations, persistent, willingness to assume responsibility, moral, decisive, and organized.

In order for a group or organization to be successful, there needs to be effective leadership. Effective leadership starts with passion and vision. Success depends on one's ability to look failure in the face and still keep going. Effective leaders find ways to get through adversity because they are able to make good judgments as well as communicate with those whom they are working for and with.

I believe that our country has a pretty good list of effective leaders because of the freedoms we have here. The US wouldn't be the country it is if people weren't free to take risks. Part of our freedom to take risks also allows us to be creative. Leaders often rely on creativity for success to evolve. In my opinion, a creative leader is one who can think outside of the box. They are able to not only make situations "work" because they are creative, they are able to get others to do things that they may not "normally" do.

When I think of an effective leader with whom I've worked, I think of one of the superintendents I've had. A first impression based on his physical presence was "wow - he's tall." He was a tall, broad-shouldered veteran of school leadership. His name was well known throughout the state because he was great at what he did - lead. Upon speaking with this man, it was evident that he was a "gentle giant." His words were powerful, but his manners were elegant. There was no intimidation other than the intimidation one may get when they are speaking/working with someone who is 110% dedicated to their profession and who's passion is visible in his eyes. I realize this may sound like a cheesy description, but honestly, words don't accurately describe the type of leader this man represented.

This question started by stating the characteristics of an effective leader (i.e. creative, knowledgeable about group tasks, diplomatic/tactful, cooperative, dependable, adaptable to situations, persistent, willingness to assume responsibility, moral, decisive, and organized). Mr. Jones (alias) was all of these things. He successfully led multiple school districts (including ours) out of financial instability with what many would call “creative” use of funds. Teachers learned quickly what his expectations were and realized that they were capable of meeting those expectations because he re-instilled pride in the district with his ability to work with everyone, make things happen, and do what he said he would do.

The characteristics of an effective leader (the characteristics of Mr. Jones) are necessary for success. Effective leaders make time in their lives for their organization; leadership requires commitment (DeKlein, 1997). In order for a healthcare organization to be both successful and effective, it’s leader(s) need to be willing and able to make the tough decisions while maintaining trust and respect within the organization; they need to be able to get their employees/colleagues to believe in the vision/mission of the organization so their goal(s) is/are common and all hands are working together. With the ever-changing healthcare environment along with our ever growing and ever-needy population, healthcare leaders need to be comfortable stepping into unknown territory. The need a vision that they are willing to pursue with action. As John H. Anthony said, "The future will require those of us in such positions to keep our eyes, ears and minds open. It will require us to listen and to involve, to coach and to develop, to enrich and to motivate, to risk and to credit, to care and to express concern, and to laugh - especially at ourselves (DeKlein, 1997)."

DeKlein, K. (1997). How you can be an effective leader. Retrieved from