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Leadership in Action Project: Maternal Child Health Clinic Research Paper


There are many definitions of leadership almost amounting to the number of persons who have ever attempted to define this concept. Leadership refers to a way of directing a team of people geared towards achieving the same goals and objectives collectively. Leaders have managerial roles that can be decisional, interpersonal, or informational (Vugt & Ahuja, 2011).

My interest in the amazing field of medical sciences prompted me to volunteer in a local health center. The latter is a Maternal Child Health (MCH) clinic. The scope of services rendered includes; antenatal care, immunization, laboratory facilities, nutrition care, family planning, and maternity services, among others. The health center conducts an outreach mission every Friday.

On this particular Friday, the health care team was targeting children less than five years old. The goal was to offer health education to their mothers and to locate children who had defected from their immunization schedule. The outreach team comprised of two team leaders, two social workers, two nurses, and one volunteer. The team was divided into two equal groups (A and B) each to start at different locations. The outreach was to run from 10.30 am to 4 pm.

I was a member of team A for the first half of the outreach. Our team leader, who was the deputy in charge of the hospital, ensured both groups had all the necessary supplies, which comprised immunization kits, posters, and medication. In doing this, he was fulfilling his managerial role as a resource allocator. Being the figurehead, the team leader also briefed us on the goals and objectives we set out to achieve by the end of the outreach. We left the center and headed for a door to door mission (Lussier & Achua, 2012).

On our way, we put posters in strategic public places such as shopping centers to inform society about a forthcoming medical camp. The medical camp was to be held at a local primary school in two weeks. It was part of community mobilization and sensitization whose aim was to create awareness concerning health development or upcoming projects. We went door to door educating mothers on the care of under-fives who form part of the “most at-risk populations.”

Mothers were educated on danger signs, which they should observe for in sick children, and when to seek medical attention. Children suffering from various degrees of dehydration were also treated, using various medications that required reconstitution. The teams were also able to identify a few children who had defected from immunization. They were given their due doses, and their mothers counseled on the importance of adherence. I worked with team A for two and a half hours and switched to team B, where I worked for another two and a half hours.

Being a member of both teams, I was able to note some striking differences in terms of leadership styles. Team leader A appeared to be more accommodating, understanding, and tolerant of my rather inquisitive nature and taught me the basics about the different vaccines. It was contrary to team leader B, who was aloof and barely had the will to give me some orientation. It was an aspect of the Trait theory, which postulates that people have inborn qualities or personalities that make one better suited for leadership than others (Vugt & Ahuja, 2011).

According to Blake and Mouton’s leadership theory, team leader A adopted a sound/team leadership style that translates to high productivity/high people. He explained to us the goals of the outreach and also enquired about my objectives. Through orientation and after a few demonstrations, I helped in the proper storage of the vaccines and showed the mothers how to reconstitute medication using different solutions.

The style adopted was effective in that at the end of the session, I had achieved my personal and team objectives. Team leader B adopted an authoritarian/ compliance leadership style, which translates to high product/low people. His objective was to get the work done without taking into consideration the interests of other parties involved. It was not an effective style because the procedures were novel to me.

Therefore, I lacked many opportunities to be hands-on as the other members of the team who were more conversant with the procedures did most of the work. This theory is based on two behavioral dimensions; concern for the people and concern for the product. The approach team leader B used could also prove the theory true in that the people, the type of work, and the environment all determine which leadership style can be used. It is also true that not every leader can shift from one style to another based upon circumstances.

The above also appears to agree with the Situational leadership theory by Hersey and Blanchard, which postulates that effective leadership is dependent on the task to be accomplished. Team leader A adopted S3: participating leadership style whereby I was accorded the necessary guidance to enable me to engage in tasks. Team leader B adopted S1; telling. He gave the directives, and the team implemented. It was not the most appropriate style based on my level of maturity, which could be graded at 3. I could not take sole responsibility for the task, but I was willing to work at it. It diminished my enthusiasm because the leadership style adopted was not supportive.

I was able to create rapport with Team leader A as opposed to team leader B. Team leader A was more sociable, ensured I was okay, and I was not side-lined in any activity by constantly checking on my status. It is contrary to team leader B, whereby interaction was minimal and could easily lead to disillusionment (Scouller, 2011).

It is given the Relationship theory also, known as a transformational theory, which is based on the leader-follower relationship. The leader is charismatic and able to easily mingle with the team members resulting in increased motivation in what they do. More so, the leader can pay attention and understand their needs enabling them to give their best thus, increasing performance and the overall team output. In the end, from a collective effort, the group or organization as a whole can achieve its goals and set targets.

In conclusion, leadership is a broad concept and dynamic. The leadership style adopted is based on multiple factors ranging from varying situations to inborn characteristics.

References

Lussier, N., & Achua, C. F. (2012). Leadership: theory, application, skill development. (5th Ed.). Mason, Ohio: Thomson/South-Western.

Scouller, J. (2011). The Three Levels of Leadership: How to Develop Your Leadership Presence, Knowhow and Skill. Cirencester, UK: Management Books.

Vugt, M., & Ahuja, A. (2011). Naturally Selected: the Evolutionary Science of Leadership. New York, NY: Harper Business.

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IvyPanda. (2021, January 13). Leadership in Action Project: Maternal Child Health Clinic. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/leadership-in-action-project-maternal-child-health-clinic/

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"Leadership in Action Project: Maternal Child Health Clinic." IvyPanda, 13 Jan. 2021, ivypanda.com/essays/leadership-in-action-project-maternal-child-health-clinic/.

1. IvyPanda. "Leadership in Action Project: Maternal Child Health Clinic." January 13, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/leadership-in-action-project-maternal-child-health-clinic/.


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IvyPanda. "Leadership in Action Project: Maternal Child Health Clinic." January 13, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/leadership-in-action-project-maternal-child-health-clinic/.

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IvyPanda. 2021. "Leadership in Action Project: Maternal Child Health Clinic." January 13, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/leadership-in-action-project-maternal-child-health-clinic/.

References

IvyPanda. (2021) 'Leadership in Action Project: Maternal Child Health Clinic'. 13 January.

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