From Our Team
Leadership Essential for Advancing Health
Improving the public’s health in the Paso del Norte region is more critical, challenging, and complex than ever. Looking to the future, I foresee dramatic change in how health problems are prevented and treated. Shaping those changes for the benefit of all residents will require extremely capable and collaborative leadership from government, private industry, nonprofit organizations, educational institutions, hospitals and clinics, families, and others. Only by the hands of strong, transformational leaders will we succeed in making this region a vibrant and healthy place to live.
Leaders are not just CEOs and other people with fancy titles. In fact, there are plenty of people who are leaders. Leaders come from all walks of life and hold positions from Grand Poobah to Grandmother.
I was asking a few people how they define leadership. One friend said, “I just need to know who is giving the orders; if I’m giving the orders that’s fine, if it’s someone else then just make the orders clear.” Another friend told me that she thinks, “…good leadership is when you can delegate, step-back, and let others do their job.” Another friend talked about leaders having traits like integrity, communication skills, ability to think strategically, and a focus on team success.
The truth is that leadership can take many different forms. The trick is to know when and with whom to use different leadership styles. Like in most of life, there isn’t a one size fits all approach.
In response to the need for strong health leaders, the Paso del Norte Health Foundation founded a leadership development program based on sound research, community input, and cutting edge thought. This program, titled REALIZE, is a fifteen-month leadership program that facilitates transformational development of participants through leadership assessments, executive coaching, experiential learning, and application. Nominations for REALIZE are currently being accepted.
In thinking about leadership, I’m reminded of a classic quote by Peter Drucker: “In the traditional organization – the organization of the last one hundred years – the skeleton or internal structure was a combination of rank and power. In the emerging organization, it has to be mutual understanding and responsibility.” Many organizations, especially in this digital and information age, see leadership as a primary source of competitive advantage. We need leaders who enable groups of people to work together in meaningful ways and design creative strategies to complex problems.
Nominations for REALIZE are being accepted until March 15. The nomination process requires submission of the nominee’s name, contact information, and short paragraph on your rationale for nominating the individual or yourself. Nominees should generally work for a health or human services organization. Following your nomination, an application with details will be mailed. Send the nomination email to: REALIZE@pdnhf.org. More information can be found at www.pdnhf.org.
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