Beginning a Personal and Professional Development Plan

eadership attributes that I aspire 

Excellent leadership skills and attributes are needed in public health as it ensures that the health of populations is effectively addressed. The field of public health requires skills, experience and leadership attributes that enable a proactive public health approach (Koh, & Jacobson, 2009, p. 199). An effective leader should be able to understand what needs to be done and how to best achieve the results. While it is easy to understand the role of public health, which is to ensure health for all and maintain that, the main challenge comes in achieving the results. This is where effective leadership skills come in. Some of the leadership attributes that I aspire to include:

  • Good communication skills- all leaders must be effective communicators to ensure proper flow of information in the public health system. Good communication skills will ensure that correct messages are sent in the appropriate manner and on time to ensure that things run smoothly. 
  • Adaptable- the public health sector is dynamic and an adaptable leader is necessary to ensure that the appropriate actions are taken each time. Being adaptable would enable me to understand past events, current issues and have a vision of the future.
  • Team player- turning a vision into reality requires forming collaborations and partnerships and working together in teams in order to get things done. As a public health, one should understand that being successful depends on one’s ability to work with others. Being a team player would be critical for my career.
  • Set priorities- a good leader in public health should be able to determine what issues need to be addressed. According to Leeder, Raymond, & Greenberg (2007), priority setting in public health is based on various determinants, and an effective leader should be able to determine issues that should be addressed (p. 533).
  • Visionary- visionary leaders are able to develop a vision, share the vision and encourage commitment to the vision. Being visionary is necessary in public health as it enables one to see beyond challenges and obstacles to important possibilities.
  • Decisiveness- this involves making the appropriate decisions expeditiously and it is very critical in public health. There are numerous challenges in public health, and being decisive would enable me to make the right decisions. 

Leadership attributes I hope to avoid

In my public health career, I hope to avoid a number of attributes that would undermine my leadership capabilities. These include:

  • Poor communication- in public health, good communication is essential in facilitating command and control, and in recognition of a crisis. Poor communication can be very costly in public health as it can lead to a breakdown in command and control, which is important in dealing with public health crisis. Poor communication threatens the health and wellbeing of the general public and so it should be avoided.
  • Indecisiveness- according to Gatherer, Fraser, Hayton, & Moller, (2010), managers and leaders in public health spend so much time on problems and challenges (p. 617). Being indecisive can be costly for public health leaders as it would lead to loss of opportunities and time to make full use of them. 
  • Arrogance- public health leaders engage in continuous interactions with public health professionals, patients, government officials, among other stakeholders. In such a position, arrogance should be avoided as it pushes away people and drain energy from the people around. Arrogance leads to problems, and it makes crises worse as people do not like dealing with arrogant individuals. Avoiding arrogance would enable me to maintain good relationships that would help in getting work done (Lawton, 2013, p. 144) 
  • Stubbornness is another leadership attribute that I would want to avoid in my public health career. Stubbornness makes one dwell on issues that might not be important, and this in turn can affect how issues are addressed in public health. Avoiding stubbornness is important in ensuring that appropriate actions are taken (Gray, 2009, p. 208).

How to achieve the positive attributes

In order to achieve the leadership attributes that I desire, I plan to participate in various leadership development activities including:

  • Get the appropriate educational qualifications- this would enable me to get the needed training in skills necessary in public health leadership.
  • Work in an organization that will provide an opportunity for leadership- this would expose me to opportunities that would help me practice and improve the leadership attributes.
  • Engage in volunteer work- this would increase my ability to practice leadership in teams.
  • Find a mentor in public health leadership- having a mentor would enable me to stay on track and learns from the best when it comes to addressing public health leadership challenges. 
  • Actively take the role of leadership in my place of practice- this would help me build on my experience in leadership and develop the necessary skills.

How to avoid undesirable attributes

In order to avoid the leadership attributes that are undesirable and problematic, I plan to engage in training in emotional intelligence. This would enable me to develop self-regulation, self-awareness, motivation, empathy and social skills. These skills would enable me to avoid most of the negative leadership attributes. 


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