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The Impact of Leadership on the Implementation of Projects
Context of the Project
Installing a database for the patients’ information has been a strategy in our organization that is a medium sized hospital in Nigeria. It was a great idea to note that implementing the whole strategy required the team efforts that could be headed by the organization’s leaders. This was a great movement from recording the patients’ information on the papers to storing it in the computers (Weisbord, 2004). Each of the persons that were involved in the entire implementation of the process played a great role and continued to do even after the implementation (Daniels, 2000). During all this time, it is important to understand the role that the leadership plays in the implementation of such strategic projects. The leadership would do all the work of delegation of duties to ensure that the entire project is landing somewhere. The storage of data in computers from the papers in the hospital required the participation of all team members as well as the leaders (Block, 2002).
The leadership in the hospital proved amicable, since it could identify various departments involved and created an implementation team, which was made up of the representatives in various teams. The leaders also designed a structure in order to identify the selected group representatives regarding their duties as well as responsibilities (Hackman, 2002). There was the accountability structure that could ensure that the entire implementation exercise was convenient. The leaders were responsible for making sure that the team members involved in the implementation project met the schedules to ensure that the new program was in place at the right time (Harvey & Brown, 2005). The leaders also played a major task of educating the team members as well as informing us on the need of implementing the program in the hospital. Some of the reasons that the team leader gave included increased speed in processing patients’ information through computers, safety of data, since it should always be available for retrieval in case it is lost. Moreover, ensuring that the patients’ do not have to wait for a long time in the queue, but they can process information from their homes where they will benefit from improved accountability of the various processes in the hospital (Gordon, 2001).
Therefore, the leaders realized the need for urgency on the entire organization and explained the urgent need for implementing the computer program in the hospital. They also explained the setbacks that the organization could face in case it failed to implement the computer system in its operation. It therefore becomes necessary to help the team members remove the drawbacks of failing to make an implementation. In this case, most hospitals in Nigeria had already set up operational computer systems and were steps ahead of our organization (Weisbord, 2004). Failure to implement the system meant that we could still be behind development levels.
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The leadership in the hospital indicated a high proficiency in their personal as well as their professional values. They knew what they valued most in the hospital and were ready to see the whole process implemented (Gordon, 2001). It is plausible that the leaders in the organization realized the need for ethical behaviors in the organization leadership as well as in the subordinate staff. It is important for leaders in any settings to reveal both their ethical as well as their values in their styles and activities. Throughout the implementation process, trust was a crucial value that the leaders demonstrated. Trust is built in the organization through the realization of values by the leaders (Daniels, 2000). To the team members, a clear picture of all was provided during the implementation of the computer program as well as after the implementation process. Since the opening of the hospital, the leadership team has identified their values with the team members as well as shared them through communication, and this has helped to build trust in the organization. Therefore, implementing the computer program in the hospital was not a big challenge.
The leadership team also showed high levels of ethical conduct during the implementation process (Drucker, 2007). This enabled them to influence the team members towards meeting the goals of the organization. In their leadership values, they portrayed high values of ambition, individuality, integrity, competency, responsibility, improvement desire, innovativeness, dedication, accountability, as well as empowerment and courage to the team members. These are just but a few values that leaders should exhibit in order to work towards successful implementation of development in organizations (Gordon, 2001).
Moreover, the leadership roles were also plausible during the implementation process, and this led to the effective application of the computer programs to store the patients’ information instead of having it on the papers. The leaders played a role in offering the direction of the implementation process through setting the goals of the process. The goals set were achievable and measurable and were within what the organization could afford at that time. The program was to work according to the stipulated missions and visions of the hospital (Daniels, 2000). The other leadership role shown by the leadership team was the ability to manage the changes that came with the project. They were able to take the risks that came with the entire process including some computer breakdown, which was not immense, including some staff members who were initially not able to operate the computers. Some of the staff members seemed to oppose the entire program, but the leaders were at a position to convince them on the benefits that the entire program would earn for the hospital. This indicates that they were capable of handling any resistance to change (Drucker, 2007).
Leadership Roles, Skills and Theories
Due to leadership roles skills as well as theories, the hospital is now able to operate a computer system with mass data storage. The main leadership role that evolved in the leadership team was the ability to lead by example. Most of the leaders in the higher departments started using the computers immediately after the implementation of the same. This set a good example to the rest of team members who seemed comfortable that the managers actually initiated the entire system (Watkins, 2003).
Communication appears to be the greatest pillar in the successful implementation of the computers in the hospital. The leaders communicated through meetings to address their concerns about the organization. They ensured that they too the opinions of the team members to enhance full participation (Drucker, 2007). Engagement of every team member was necessary in order to enhance that everyone was working towards the aims and objectives of the organization. Clear guidelines were given openly and honestly. The expectations by the leaders were also clearly communicated as all team members engaged in decision-making. Communication in the organization promotes motivation as well as offers clarification to what ought to be done by employees. Communication is the source of information that is used to make sound decisions by the members of the organization, as it assists greatly in identifying as well as assessing the alternatives of any course of actions. The leaders in the hospital devoted much of their time to communication to the team members. Communication in the hospital is done through telephones or through meetings with the leaders (Daniels, 2000). There was the use of letters, reports or memos in case they were not at a point of delivering oral information (Hackman, 2002). Through communication, the attitudes of the staff members could be assessed through their feedbacks. Therefore, communication by the leaders and the team members has played a huge role in enhancing better implementation of the computer system into the hospital.
Implementation of the computer project could not be easy without the skills portrayed by the leadership. These skills include the passion, being organized, delegation skills, great honesty, listening skills as well as great knowledge of the team members and following some of the decisions stipulated. It appears that any leader lacking a passion fails to be a leader (Gordon, 2001). Passion drove the entire project in the hospital since there was much enthusiasm from the members. Delegation also played a major role in the implementation, since the leaders showed high levels of delegation skills. Delegation was done according to level of qualifications and the abilities of the various team members.
Being brave and honest is also a leadership skill in that the leaders should not portray cowardice during the implementation of strategic decisions. In addition, the leaders followed some of the decisions made by the team players meaning that they followed the value of the team members (Drucker, 2007). Through these leadership skills, many computers were acquired by the hospital with every office now operating using a computer. This has helped to increase the numbers of patients serviced per day with an easier and faster way of storing patients’ information (Hackman, 2002).
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In addition, the leadership theories applied to the entire implementation process had a reason for its success. There happen to be wide as well as ever-growing theories that explain concepts as well as the leadership practices (Hill, 2003). Most theories applied by leadership are founded on one or more perspectives. These perspectives view the leadership as the process or the relationship; other perspectives view leadership to be the combination of the traits or personalities, while still others view leadership as a code of behavioral ethics. In this case, the leadership theory applied was the transactional theory. In this theory, there is exchange that always happens between the leaders and the followers. The reality in this theory is that it lays foundation on the notion that the leader’s duty involves creating structures making it clear of the expectations from the followers as well as the consequences for performing or failing to perform (Weisbord, 2004). This is a theory adapted by most organizations in the world. The leadership in the hospital made the plans to buy the computers and had them installed in various offices. The team members had to use them to store the patients’ information meaning that it was and will always be a requirement by the leadership. The leadership led to a faster implementation since the members had to comply with the change or leave the organization. There are always the disadvantages that come along with this leadership theory in that members perform in low Morales when they are not being supervised (Daniels, 2000). There was a need to adapt the transformational theory of leadership. The transformational theory states that the leadership process is whereby an individual relates with others and hence is in a point to create the connection that in return heightens the motivation as well as the morality of the followers and leaders alike (Hill, 2003).
The leadership paid much attention to the implementation of the project for the organizational benefits and left a very small portion for the needs as well as the motives of the team members. The transformational theory would play a great part in ensuring that the employees meet their full potentials unlike the transactional theory of leadership that led to people working under pressure (Goldsmith, 2007). In addition, the transformational theory of leadership attempts to describe the ways in which leaders should initiate, implement as well as develop the crucial changes in the organization. In this case, the transformational theory of leadership totally contrasts with the used transactional theory. In the implementation process of the computer program in the hospital, some team members seemed to be in low emotions, since the computers only went to some designated members in the hospital. The computers should have been evenly distributed to all the departments including the subordinate staff (Drucker, 2007).
Moreover, evaluation of the entire implementation procedure was necessary. Various evaluation techniques were applied including comparing the performance of the hospital before the implementation of the computer program and after the implementation. During evaluation procedures, various techniques were applied such as distribution of questionnaires to the team members about how they felt about the new system (Daniels, 2000). In this, many seemed satisfied suggesting that the program enables them to carry on their routines conveniently. Comparisons were made concerning the number of patients attended per day after the implementation and before the implementation as well as the number of patients’ complaints. It was found out that there was a drastic increase in the number of patients attended to per day as compared to before the computer program when some patients were forced to wait until their information was retrieved (Block, 2000). Therefore, the new computer system seems to work for the benefits of both patients and the hospital itself. Healthcare services have improved from the implementation stage with many people offering plausible comments to the new way of storing patients’ information in computers (Drucker, 2007). The system should be adapted by the many private as well as public hospitals that still use papers in recording information. It is convenient for all the members of sttaff as well as for the community seeking health services. Out of the efforts of the leadership, the hospital now remains technical in its data storage. In the disposal of services, the hospital provides services to diversified people in the country. Therefore, the leaders were able to develop plans through which the hospital could offer high quality services to people. Nigeria remains a highly populated country and the hospital as an organization offers services to anyone who comes to seek for it. Therefore, the open system in the organization made it easier to see that the program was implemented. The leadership sector of the hospital enabled the hospital to be an open system through making purchases at the initial stages of the hospital development (Drucker, 2007).
Self Evaluation and Reflection
The entire process is a learning experience in that it reveals the process of leadership and the importance of leadership qualities in development. I have realized that it is always important to develop the right skills of leadership in our own settings to enhance proper decisions in implementation procedures. From the experience of writing this paper, my strengths and weaknesses appear clearly as well as the areas that I require to change. There are many times that I always ignored the concept of communication either in teamwork or else in other settings. However, it has become clear that communication among people in an organization is a leadership quality that requires consideration (Drucker, 2007). Every leader should communicate effectively and efficiently to the followers to enhance involvement as well as knowledge of the implementation plans (Bradford & Burke, 2005). Acting as a leader required me to be a role model to the followers by setting an example and being the first to take initiatives (a team leader).
I have also realized that as a leader, one should also develop proper conceptual as well as professional skills to deal with the various situations in their organizations. Conceptual skills would play a great part in formulation of solutions to complexities and challenges in a group. Moreover, having professional skills would enhance that I am involved in directing the people towards the right directions in all areas that I will be specialized. My attitudes as well as my ethical behaviors should offer good example to be followed by the other members of the organization. From this case, the team members, mostly nurses, could get tired as they tried to peruse through the files in order to retrieve the patients’ information meaning that the entire process required a lot of time. Some of the information could be lost and never retrieved, because it was either misplaced or taken by someone. Therefore, information storage remained a major challenge for the organization until the implementation of the computers that could record massive information (Daniels, 2000). The leadership looked deeper into these problems and formulated a program that would lead to successful as well as convenient hospital operations. With a very high population in Nigeria, the hospital is able to offer health services to almost 40 percent of the people in the community meaning that implementation of the project was a big boost to the healthcare services in the country. Therefore, sound leadership in healthcare centers should be effective to enhance the successful implementation of projects (Goldsmith, 2007).
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I have realized that I always perceived organization structure as a theory rather than a practical idea that should be practiced in all organizations that wish to succeed. As a leader, one should try to structure the organization to the system that best fits itself and the entire community it serves (Cummings & Worley, 2005). From this case, healthcare centers require amicable leadership styles as well as theories in order to meet the many changes in the entire health sector. I now realize that the health sector remains the most changing sector in the entire economy that requires project advancements every now and then. Therefore, it is only through sound leaders that the implementation of projects can be achieved at the most successful way.
Writing this paper has influenced much knowledge of leadership to me. As much as being a leader appears prestigious, there are responsibilities that come with the prestige (Hill, 2003). On the contrary, there was implementation complexities that the leaders were required to solve. It appears that dealing with the work complexities in organization is continually becoming a challenge for most leaders. The fact remains that as the work becomes complex, the ethics remain a dilemma. It is hard to make decisions sometimes as it was revealed in the process of implementing computers into the hospital. It was clear that the team members had been used to the paperwork rather than the computer usage meaning that a change in the organization was to be adopted. Therefore, the ability of thinking by the complex problems acted as an asset towards the individual leaders as well as to the organization.
Moreover, from this project, leaders were supposed to apply their technical skills in order to reach the final implementation stages where every staff member in the office could use a computer (Goldsmith, 2007). They were able to deal with any ambiguity as well as the contradictory findings during the process. Thinking across various dimensions by the leaders played a great part towards the successful implementation of the project. Today, the hospital stands to be the best performing hospital in Nigeria with many patients comfortable of the speed at which they are attended. The computers have played a role in retrieving the patients’ data as fast as it may be required during treatment. Therefore, it is clear that I need to improve more on my technical skills since they should be practical rather than mere theories.
From my understanding, it is important for leaders to realize the system of their organizations. In this case, organization system also acted as a pillar to the development of the project. The hospital operates as an open system, which means it acquires resources or inputs from the environment as well as disposes the services to those in the environment (Goldsmith, 2007). In this case, the computers were obtained from Lenovo Company. The hospital had obtained finances through a loan from a local bank and the money was used to purchase a large number of computers. Therefore, the fact that the organization is an open system enabled the leaders to obtain the computers from an outside source unlike the closed system of an organization that prevents organization from interacting with the external environment. From this context, I now realize how important an open system of an organization can be since all elements are able to relate with the environment.
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