• Jill Barr and Lesley Dowding Leadership in Health Care (2008) London: Sage

    Jill Barr and Lesley Dowding have just published the book 'Leadership in Health Care (2008) London: Sage, so I thought I would make a brief comment on the style and content.

    The book focuses on healthcare but it is applicable to all allied professions, is not overly focused on the UK or NHS, and it does a good job of introducing key theories and highlighting how to apply these in practice.

    It covers a broad range of areas, and perhaps for that reason has more breadth than depth. Still the authors do not take an overly simplistic approach, as they do offer criticisms of key concepts and theories.

    The book starts by focusing on the individual and the nature of leadership. Different views of what makes a leader, and the difference between leaders and managers are discussed. It also gives a very brief overview of psychometric ways of assessing your own leadership abilities. Diversity and cultural aspects are also covered, and then it jumps back to theories of leadership - again giving a good range as an introduction, including discussions of the 'anti-leadership' era and the importance of 'followership'.

    The second part focuses on the team, areas such as group unity and conflict, communication (with a brief discussion of NLP), problem solving, and managing conflict. The third and final section covers the level of analysis of the organization. After highlighting strategies, structures and systems, a full chapter on quality outlines the importance of clinical governance, audit, effectiveness and risk management. A final chapter on leadership for change does a good job in my view of emphasizing the importance of the emotional aspects of change as well as highlighting issues when change is unsuccessful.

    The conclusion draws everything together and discusses the use of future scenario thinking and forward planning.

    Overall this is a very good introduction to leadership specific to health, with a set of tools included that will be worth trying out.

    kind regards
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Jill Barr and Lesley Dowding Leadership in Health Care (2008) London: Sage started by stephanie View original post