Example of a Leader

Here’s a beautiful example of a leader that was submitted to us this past week.  It’s from a nursing supervisor in a prominent hospital:

As the Nursing Supervisor in the Community Hospital, I have decided to invest money in new technology.

The new system, Care Web, holds patients medical records and can bring up any part of a person’s health history in a few seconds.  At Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, in Boston, Massachusetts, the technology has proved both effective and efficient.  The Care Web system saves Beth Israel over $1 million each year it is used, reduces errors in patient care by more than 90%, and reduces prescription errors and possible drug conflicts by more than half.  Also, patient histories are available in seconds.  Best of all, patients have been consistently discharged over 30 minutes faster than in the past.

The biggest obstacle in implementing the technology change is employee resistance to introducing the new technology.  Employee resistance is when employees resist a change in an organization.  The resistance of change by these employees stems from fear of the unknown, fear of losing something of value, and the belief that change is not good for the organization.  Since I am the Nursing Supervisor, I must assume the responsibility of being the change agent.

With the aim of lessening employee resistance to the technology change, I need to first educate the employees on the benefits of the new technology in order to help them see the logic behind the change effort.  If the employees resisting the change can help the change along in some way, I will need to increase their involvement and participation; I also will need to allow them to express their feelings, thoughts, and ideas.  Hopefully, this will persuade the resistant employees to be more accepting of the imminent change.  Because this change involves technology alone, it will modify the way the patients are evaluated and it will change some of the equipment used in the hospital.

Even if there is great resistance, I will not back down.  People’s lives are at stake.  This new technology is extremely beneficial and can result in more saved lives.  Not only will our hospital save money each year, but the new Care Web system should help us to become more efficient and effective.

We admire this woman’s tenacity and desire to fight for what she believes in.  That never-give-up trait and willingness to help others will take her far, in addition to getting her buy-in from the key stakeholders that she’ll need to get on board to make her case.

It’s important to remember that true leaders are followed because people want to follow them, not because they are simply in a position of power.  As mentioned in the last post, Mao Zedong was given power, but he did not use it wisely and lost much of his following because of that.  He failed as a leader.  He was able to provide an idea, but could not gather the support of his people due to his method of ruling.