As we navigate our new “normal” it is essential that strong leadership is seen throughout an organization. Leadership depending on the type of organization varies on the stakeholder and their contribution to the organization. At the beginning of this course in LRNT 525, we were asked along with our team to rank twenty leadership attributes. As a team we discussed our initial thoughts and discussed why we ranked the attributes as we did and our interpretation of each. We had a significant difference with my prioritization of ambition. I feelt that it is the most important attribute in a leader, while the rest of the group placed it near the bottom of the list. Upon discussion, we determined that there were two possible explanations for the significant difference, I was female and I was also in Health Care. As a contributor to ForbesWomen, Prossack (2018) noted that ambition is often interpreted by women as a negative quality, but that it should be something to be embraced and used for personal and communal gain. I believe that my prioritizing ambition reflects on professional advancement in the Health Field. Studies have shown that the attributes of ambition are reflected in medical students, Kiolbassa (2011) recognized that “‘Future perspective’ and ‘Personal ambition’ were rated as most important reasons for specialty choice by students” (p. 5). As a result, it stands to reason that ambition is a valuable attribute in the Health field.
This past year, has been difficult with the changes that have transpired within my organization with leadership, it is apparent that the pandemic significantly shifted the dynamic and leadership style within our organization. The administration currently lacks clarity, transparency, and purpose, which translates to faculty as lack of trust that the leaders have with each other and faculty. Kouzes and Posner (2011) have recognized that “the majority of people look for and admire leaders who are honest, forward-looking, inspiring, and competent” (p. 4). The pandemic has significantly shifted the way our organization leads its faculty into the new normal of pandemic pedagogy. Currently, we are all navigating our new normal as best we can with little to no direction. It is evident that to lead in education with digital learning environments, our leaders must reflect upon how their leadership style impacts their faculty responses and how students learn. Research has shown that a diffuse leadership model can establish a sense of trust within an institution’s community, creates motivation, and instills confidence within the institution.
As I continue to reflect on my leadership style, I have a greater understanding of what leadership qualities are the most important to myself and the type of qualities I am looking for in a leader to lead our program into the new realm of digital pedagogy during a pandemic. I have also been given and opportunity to lead change within our program and incorporate my learnings from LRNT 525. The biggest take away I have from this specific course is that regardless of your ranking as a stakeholder, we all have a voice and we all lead change in some aspects of our lives.
Kiolbassa, K., Miksch, A., Hermann, K., Loh, A., Szecsenyi, J., Joos, S., & Goetz, K. (2011). Becoming a general practitioner – Which factors have most impact on the career choice of medical students? BMC Family Practice, 12(25), 1–7. https://doi.org/10.1186/1471-2296-12-25
Kouzes, J. M., & Posner, B. Z. (2011). Credibility: How Leaders Gain and Lose It, Why People Demand It,. In Quality Management Journal(Vol. 19, Issue 3, pp. 69–70). https://doi.org/10.1080/10686967.2012.11918075
Schwartzman, R. (2020). Performing pandemic pedagogy. Communication Education, 69(4), 502–517. https://doi.org/10.1080/03634523.2020.1804602
Prossack, A. (2018). This one leadership trait will help both men and women get ahead. ForbesWomen. https://www.forbes.com/sites/ashiraprossack1/2018/05/07/ambition-the-new-trend-driving-womens-leadership/?sh=1bbb04626718