A PUB-660: Leadership and Management in Public Health course applies principles of strategic leadership and management of public health services within different sectors. Cultural differences in leadership and management are explored to build partnerships leveraging community and organizational strengths.
There is particular emphasis on the collaborative nature of public health, developing cross-cultural competence, and the unique aspects of leadership within various types of agencies, including faith-based organizations. Moreover, students have the opportunity to hone their communication, negotiation, and servant leadership skills to empower and influence others working together to improve the health of populations.
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What are public health leadership and public health management?
Public health leadership relates to the ability of an individual to influence, motivate, and enable others to contribute toward the effectiveness and success of their community and/or the organization in which they work. Most importantly, these public health leaders are supposed to provide mentoring, coaching, and recognition.
On the other hand, public health management refers to the individuals that cover the administrative and managerial capacities, organizational structures, and systems needed to finance and deliver health services more efficiently, effectively, and equitably.
Qualities of a good public health leader.
A good public health leader should possess the following qualities:
- Vision and decision making: creating a vision; decision making; planning (including setting goals and prioritization) and problem-solving.
- Communications: communication (including clarity and accuracy); oral presentations; advocacy.
- Managing people: should be able to manage conflict, performance and to mentor and coach others.
- Technical capacity: intelligence gathering; technical credibility; evaluation.
- Emotional intelligence I: reflection; self-awareness: self-regulation; time management (self-organization)
- Emotional intelligence II: A good leader should have empathy, social skills, and networking (influencing and relationship building) as well as being able to motivate others.
Types of leadership in public health.
The types of leadership in public health are namely: transactional leadership, transformational leadership, transcendent leadership, and servant leadership.
Transactional leadership involves giving a reward for good work, and punishment/correction for poor work, where staff complies with rules and operational guidelines. Therefore, in transactional leadership, there is little focus on the professional relationship between the leader and staff members.
Transformational leadership encompasses establishing oneself as a model by gaining followers’ trust and confidence, by defining future goals, developing plans to achieve those goals, and innovating, even when the organization is generally successful. Under transformational leadership, there is another style of transformational leadership known as charismatic leadership. This special type of transformational leadership involves a leader who uses his or her communication skills, persuasiveness, and charm to influence others. Thus, charismatic leaders, given their ability to connect with people on a deep level, are especially valuable within organizations that are facing a crisis or are struggling to move forward.
Transcendent leadership comprises collective decision-making through dialogue and group consensus, and creative and divergent thinking. Additionally, it identifies the imperative for leaders to be aware of their own weaknesses and biases and exercise self-regulation in order to align their values and intentions with their decision-making and actions.
Servant leadership indicates that the servant-leader is servant first, that is, the needs of his/her subordinates come first before his/her needs. Thus, servant leaders are sharply different from other leaders (whose needs come first). In short, a servant leader’s primary focus is on the growth and well-being of people and the communities to which they belong. The difference between servant leadership and traditional leadership is that traditional leadership involves the accumulation and exercise of power by one at the top of the pyramid whereas a servant-leader shares power and puts the needs of others first and helps people develop and perform as highly as possible.