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Leadership development: more than on-the-job training

  • Peter F. Buckley (a1)
Summary

The effective psychiatric leader in clinical administration must possess organisational knowledge, financial acumen, negotiation and conflict resolution skills, and a broad knowledge of our field. Team building, motivating others, mentorship, and the ability to hire excellent colleagues are all important attributes of leadership. It is opportune for our profession to promote training and skill acquisition in leadership development.

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Copyright
This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
References
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BJPsych Bulletin
  • ISSN: 0955-6036
  • EISSN: 1472-1473
  • URL: /core/journals/bjpsych-bulletin
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Leadership development: more than on-the-job training

  • Peter F. Buckley (a1)
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eLetters

Psychiatrists', are we natural leaders?

Vishal Agrawal, Consultant Psychiatrist & Clinical Director
16 November 2009

Professor Buckley is arguing for training in leadership skills for psychiatrists. He has however not made an obvious distinction between leadership and management. There is an argument that these are two separate attributes. Management is more of the here and now, the day to day stuff, the efforts to keep the wheels moving as opposed to leadership which involves almost designing a new or better set of wheels. Leadership is about the future. The ability in some ways to be able to look at the crystal ball, get others to look at it as well and somehow achieve it. Leadership is much more challenging, although day to management looks as if there are no more challenges left. Leadership is of course much more satisfying.

There is also an argument whether leaders are born or can be made. IsPresident Obama a born leader or is he a product of the P.R. gurus workingovertime? Have the public been made to perceive him as a leader or is he aleader? Were Mandela or Gandhi born leaders or just born into a situation that made them leaders?

It is even more difficult to argue that psychiatrists are natural leaders. In our profession it is usually said that we need good communication skills. Every candidate for a post in psychiatry will put down as one of their attributes ‘good communication skills’. What does this mean? What communication skills are we talking about? When we are training, the ‘non verbal communication’ is always pointed out as an important part of assessment. When we talk about communication, are we talking about listening skills? But are well known world leaders good listeners as well? Or do we identify them more with their oratory skills?

It is a myth to think psychiatrists are natural leaders. We must not delude ourselves in thinking so. If anything, we just about match up to the rest of the medical profession. We have had good leaders in psychiatry, but we need better ones. It almost looks we need to make some,they are not born these days.

Declaration of Interest: None
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Conflict of interest: None Declared

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