Leadership and Strategy in Material Management Term Paper

Pages: 10 (2858 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1+  ·  Level: College Sophomore  ·  Topic: Leadership

Leadership Attributes

Effective Leadership in Healthcare Management

Effective management means more than the bottom line. It means being able to inspire people to do their best and to act in an ethical manner. Effective management is more than numbers. It gets to the heart and soul of the individual. An effective manager will not only have a balanced budget, but will make the workplace into a source of inspiration for all of those that work in the environment. There following will explore three of Steve Covey's Seven Habits of Effective People, as well as three other leadership attributes, in relation to a material manager's position at a major hospital.

The healthcare industry as a whole has an ethical responsibility to provide quality service for the population that they serve. They must make certain that they strive to achieve the highest level of quality possible. People's lives depend on them. Even if they are not directly involved in patient care, their job must be done with integrity and ethics. The materials manager is responsible for making certain that everyone on the healthcare team has what they need when they need it. This is perhaps more crucial in the hospital setting than in any other industry. Lives depend on the supplies needed for their treatment. The following explains how I will personally strive to integrate three of Steve Covey's habits into the daily management of my department.

Habit 1: Principle of Personal Vision

This principle was chosen because it is the most important of all of the 7 habits described by Covey. All of the other principles build on this one; therefore, it will be analyzed first. No one starts on a trip without at least a destination in mind. Personal vision is much like a roadmap that helps a manager to establish where they want to go and a good idea of what they hope to find when they get there. Without personal vision, the manager simply wanders aimlessly, performing their day-to-day tasks. They may be able to get the job done, but they will not be able to take the organization to the next level. The first "job" of any manager is to get a clear picture of their personal vision.

According to Covey (1989), personal vision means being self-aware and having a clear picture of how other people see you. One must realize that the way people see you may not be the way you with to appear. However, when one begins to develop personal vision, they can change those things about themselves that do not match their ideal. One must look at their circle of influence and decide if it needs to be changed in any way. One must be willing to accept the consequences of one's actions and be responsible in keeping one's commitments.

The formal job description of the Materials Manager at the hospital involves more than simple administrative tasks. The manager is responsible for developing departmental goals and vision. They are responsible for the development of effective policies to help the department achieve those goals. Before the manager can begin to formulate departmental goals and visions, they must first have a clear picture of their own goals and vision in mind. These two visionary levels must be compatible and completely in alignment with one another.

As a materials manager, the vision must include the delivery of sufficient supplies of the correct materials on time. It must include and assessment of the needs of various departments on all levels to seek continuous improvement in the ability to do so. It must also include looking for new ways to improve upon this ability. Feedback from persons within the various departments is an important tool for assessing the effectiveness of the materials supply. The manager must get evaluations of various products offered and be willing to seek better sources when it becomes necessary due to quality or functionality issues. The manager must realize that cheaper is not always better. The only way to determine departmental effectiveness in this area is to ask those that use the products on a daily basis. The products should not be a source of frustration for other employees, either because they do not function properly or because they simply are not there when they are needed.

Habit 2: The Principle of Personal Management

This principle means organizing one's time so that they can achieve their personal goals and visions, as well as departmental goals and visions. It means putting one's plans into action. The commitment and belief in success is the most important part of the formula for success. The second part of this principle means putting a plan into action that will lead to this success. This principle has more to do with administrative tasks than the first one, which involves vision.

As materials manager, the first tasks listed on the job description are daily administrative duties. The manager is responsible for preparing job descriptions for the staff, developing performance standards, and communicating job expectations to the staff. The manager is also responsible for assigning responsibilities, projects and the workload to staff members. They are responsible for scheduling the staff and acting as a consultant for other staff members. These responsibilities are listed first in the formal job description for the materials manager at this hospital. Whereas, developing goals and vision is placed last, almost as an afterthought. Administrative tasks are important, but without a set of concrete goals and vision, it is not likely that the department will operate with the speed and efficiency that it desires.

The manager must have the final product in mind, so that they can perform these administrative tasks in keeping with that goal. Administrative tasks are the meat of the operation, but they will not lead to greater efficiency, or perhaps a reduction in errors, if they are not scheduled and carried out in accordance with company goals and objectives. Personal management represents the means to achieve goals and vision. As materials manager, I must set aside an appropriate amount of time each week so that they are kept up and not allowed to build. This will allow time for any situations that may arise during the week.

Habit 3: Principle and Emphatic Communication

The first two habits were hosen for discussion because of their importance to effective management. Without the first two principles, the job simply would not be done. The third habit was chosen because communication plays a direct role in the materials management position. The materials manager must coordinate the needs and materials acquisitions of many departments. Communication is one of the most important aspects of the material manager's job.

Communication is a two way street and the effective leader must be as good at listening as they are at sending communication themselves. The leader must be able to gain a thorough understanding of the other's position. Listening and good communication builds good will among the various elements of the communication chain. Being a good listener helps to build respect and advance an atmosphere of cooperation. Communication is the backbone of building good morale. For the materials manager it also means the ability to meet job expectations and the proper delivery of services as well. The materials manager must be able to diagnose the problem so that they can prescribe the best remedy for the problem.

Communication for the materials manager can be divided into two major types. There is communication that is involved in daily administration tasks, such as posted schedules and changes to the work. This could be considered routine communication. There is also communication that is situational and does not fall within the realm of daily operations. This communication may be a part of departmental planning or troubleshooting. It may involve the resolution of personal conflicts or other such circumstances. These two types of communication have different characteristics.

Communication that involves daily activities can be systematic and a part of the daily schedule. The materials manager must be adept in both written and oral communication. Establishing a set pattern of communication is paramount to its effectiveness, in this case. For instance, workers must know where and when changes are posted. They must know who to go to when a problem arises. Routine communication needs to be accurate, timely and consistent.

Communication that falls outside the realm of daily communication has different characteristics than that described above. Non-routine communication requires the manager to be adaptable. They must listen to all sides of a situation and consider the opinions of many different players. They must be able to be non-judgmental and fair to all parties. This type of communication requires more skill as a listener and a communicator in order to be effective. The materials manager must be able to distinguish the two types of communication needed and must be able to accomplish both effectively.

Leadership Attributes

Aside from the 7 habits of effective leaders found in Covey, leaders also possess certain attributes. These attributes are what distinguishes a true leader… [END OF PREVIEW]

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