Whena leader possesses the ability to effectively manage difficult situations theyare better equipped to handle the changing healthcare landscape. Having crucial conversations and managingconflict in a way that leads to a positive outcome will reduce errors andlarger problems. As healthcare demandschange, the ability to manage the issues and difficult situations will preventa facility from falling into chaos. Anexample is the lack of leadership that allowed the Phoenix Veterans Hospital tofall into disorder.
The leadership atthe Phoenix Veterans Hospital not only failed to meet the needs of theveterans, they failed to prevent further damage to the reputation of theVeteran Affairs department. Leaders mustbe able to manage and change not only the reality of the problem, but the perceptionof the problem as well. Many leaders are unable to change perceptionbecause they lack situational awareness. Situational awareness requires a leader to have a clear perception ofthe environment, comprehension of the situation, and a projection of theperceived outcomes (Fore & Sculli, 2013). Many leaders are so focused on what is goingin their own area that the fail to see what is going on around them.
This lack of situational awareness keeps an individualfrom seeing the big picture and how their decisions are impacting the results. A nurse manager once told me, “if you don’tknow what is happening on the night shift, you don’t know what is happening inyour hospital.” Leaders should not bethe last person to know. Strongleaders can inspire others to follow their vision and change, even what initiallymay seem to others to be the impossible.
Historical leaders such as Martin Luther King, Mahatma Gandhi, and JohnF. Kennedy are remembered as some of the best leaders in the world because oftheir vision. They inspired millions tochange deep-rooted problems in society. Itwas their level of commitment to the cause and determination that inspiredmillions of people to follow them.