The Qualities of Leadership in Hospital Service in California State From 1985 to 1996


This cased study intends at sifting out and discussing the qualities of leadership in organizing and managing the disarrayed relations in the hospital service providers in California State from 1985 to 1996. C. Duane Dauner on his assumption of charge as the President of California Healthcare Association organized all the stakeholders like hospitals employees, medical associations, public representatives, health bureaucrats and let them vent out their differences to reach a consensus for well-coordinated public health service in California.

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Mr.C.Daune Dauner, the President and Chief Executive of the California Healthcare Association, was also a member of the American hospital association’s board of trustees from 1992 to 1996. He gave a monumental, well-documented, and comprehensive case study of his leadership manifested in the public policy interventions, scope of representation, and advocacy skills to positively intervene in the process of legislation and getting the support of the executive branch. He believed, that up to 1985, when he assumed the charge (of California Hospital Association and California Health Care Association,) all the stakeholders were cognizant of the issues. But there was a lack of understanding in coordination and a deficit of leadership. He interviewed the employees of the hospitals, the advocates, the bureaucrats, the legislators, and the hospital executives. The feedback he received was, that there was pilferage of resources, there were conflicts and confusions, the C.H.A (California Hospital Association) was already rendered ineffective. The people were defecting from C.H.A and there was in-house fighting between various groups. The solutions prescribed were many. A process was suggested to resolve the conflicts within the hospital family. Both individuality and commonality should be allowed to decide in various conflicting situations. The regional associations of C.H.A were reformed and strengthened. They were made responsible and accountable. This process throughout the 1990s fostered a stronger and productive C.H.A. While at a meeting with regional associations and hospital groups, in 1986 Mr. Duane Dauner the President, asked for open discussion on issues and solutions. He gave them extra time for building mutual trust and reciprocal support. With the help of lobbyists and other relative organizations, a new constituency group (C.G) was formed which continued to meet on weekly basis. As a result of the regular and evolutionary process of 14 years. The long outstanding issues in policy options, conflicts, and conflict resolutions are resolved, once and for all. Resultantly all the hospitals and the health systems in California under the able leadership of Duane Dauner started working quite successfully.

The lessons that Duane Dauner learned from his experience with the leadership of C.H.A is that diversity in unity beautifies the relationship under able leadership. The most essential part of a successful leadership remains to be the participation of all stakeholders and joint ownership of the results. The efforts to keep all the stakeholders on board must remain on a continuum for a longer period. Occasional differences should not mar the process of self-discipline.

The specific and salient points that Duane Dauner noted regarding resistance to change are enumerated as follows. People always resist change, they are afraid of the impact of change, their estimation of time and resources required for change is mostly ill-calculated. The differences between people increase as they become more global, however, the diversity in unity is the people’s behavior and attitude can be best managed by an open-minded skillful leadership.

Leadership is an innate quality, skill, and a blend of experience. This is defined as the capability of a person to have and be able to create vision. A leader always envisions his goals. Then he strategies to achieve his goals based on his visionary leadership qualities. He shares his vision with the others and takes them on board. He not only owns his visions and goals but also asserts himself to the full extent with all of his resources and intellectual capabilities to achieve the set goals. A leader in innovative, creative, visionary, magnanimous, holistic, and futuristic approaches. The leadership can be conceptualized in the quality of results and an unfailing, expeditious, progress achieved towards the set up goals. In a true leadership paradigm, the individual glamour sometimes overshadows itself behind the charisma of the achieved results.

The key leadership qualities that emerge out of the above case study and also from the other similar sources can be well presented as following. A leader is a visionary person.He/she envisions the goals for the accomplishment of his/her tasks. He/she takes full ownership and responsibility for the goals and the vision that he/she assumed in the first instance. True leaders always take all the stakeholders on board. Leaders are magnanimous and all accommodative for individual differences; they so often find unity in diversity and diversity in the commonality for the entire benefit of the organization. All the interest holders have to meet regularly, openly, frequently, intensely and devotedly, to resolve the conflicts on one platform of skillful leadership. The leaders have to be patient with the time frame and resource allocation for the real change to come about. The leader has to be vigilant about the results that must be consistent with the goals set out at the first planning. Leaders seldom care about the charisma of their personalities. They, rather hind themselves behind the results. These are the most effective personality traits of the leaders that make the organization successful. The present case study has proved its effectiveness through the experience of Duane Dauner in his position as the President of the California Healthcare Association from 1985 to 1996. He tested all the above-mentioned leadership qualities and made his experience a success. There is no denying the fact that leadership is the blend of skill, ability, and experience with a managerial genius. This has been proved that trust in people, successful relation and letting them speak out their differences makes a congenial atmosphere for the right decisions. Above all the leader has to be patient with the people; he has to be accommodative and visionary for the goals set out for the organization. Good leaders always make good managers. In short, leaders are visionary, innovative, assimilative, and all-encompassing in their nature, training, and experience.