In these turbulent times the health and social care sector is under increasing pressure to deliver more and more for less and less. In this context it is essential to ensure that the best equipped managers and leaders are in place to guarantee appropriate service provision for the 21st century. But what sort of managers? And what types of leaders? What skills do they need, what qualities should they display, and how can they negotiate the complexities of the system they work within?
There is a lot of emphasis on leadership within the health and social care sector these days, but let’s tackle a few myths first. Myth number one, leadership is only for those in management positions. Wrong, there are many different sorts of leadership, and not all are wedded to management roles. You can lead patients or clients, offer temporary project leadership, provide leadership to a student or colleague. Myth number two, leadership is a complex and inaccessible subject that practitioners take years to master. Wrong, leadership can be studied incrementally and with gradually increasing levels of complexity. Anyone can benefit from exploring their own leadership style, strengths and development needs, whatever stage of their career they are at.
Myth number three, leadership is a knack, an aptitude or style, something that cannot be learned or readily improved upon. Wrong again, most people have skills that are relevant to leadership (e.g. listening, explaining, guiding, planning) and all can be developed further through our leadership and management courses. Whatever challenges are thrown its way, the health and social care system will always need self-assured managers and responsive leaders to facilitate the delivery of safe, good quality care. With The Open University you will discover a caring yet critical approach to leadership and management which can support you in your skill and confidence as a manager and leader of others.