Last Updated 03 Nov 2022

Effective Leadership Development that Facilitates Strategic Decision Making

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Strategic decisions are based on long term goals and a long term vision, allowing for operation clarity and consistency. Today's leaders are faced with many complex challenges, prioritizing the need for leaders who take into account economic, social, and ecological factors that look beyond the walls of the organization and into the future needs of future generations. In addition, effective leadership development that enhances strategic decision making can develop and enhance value based leadership and integrative thinking.

It is discussed that leaders should have a vision of the person they want to be, which will translate into how they want to lead. The use of mentors is discussed as highly beneficial in shaping the type of leader one wants to be and how to follow through with ensuring that goals are met. Mentors can help enhance the leader’s knowledge and strengthen the decision making process.  Strategic decision making is seen as a direct reflection of the management team and therefore based on experiences, leadership styles, preferences, and interpretation of those involved. There is also mention that leaders need to be flexible and be able to reverse ineffective decisions if needed .

Effective leaders and decision makers understand that having values is critical to achieving one's goals and objectives. They recognize they might not have all the answers. They will approach problems with an open mind, refraining from making assumptions, and use questions to either confirm or reject what they objectively observe. Having an open mind is beneficial because it allows leaders to continually discover new information.

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Leaders are required to make a variety of decisions in health care. These decisions require expertise. As a leader, one must consider evidence base practice in order to assure their decision is not only appropriate, but effective (Pidgeon, 2017). What separates an effective leader from others is the ability to strategically think of potential measures that have not been thought of before (Pidgeon, 2017). In order to be a successful decision maker you have to be an effective communicator, as failure to communicate results in poor decision making.

Reorganizing the organization structure and settings plays a significant role in healthcare leadership and engaging in evidence-based practice is a good strategy to achieve the goals. The evidence based practice was adopted to improve and rebuild work environments, restructure healthcare practitioners, deliver of healthcare services, and improve patient care and safety. Nursing leadership are mainly key party involved in the decision-making of any healthcare organization and clinical decision workflows.

Sound decision making is an instrumental element to a leader’s effectiveness. In order to make sound decisions, leaders must possess strong critical thinking skills and knowledge. Without these qualities, it would be challenging for a leader to be effective for the organization. The use of evidence and sound decision-making skills will enable a leader to be effective and successful in his/her efforts. Additionally, it is important for a leader to understand how to balance both internal and external influences when making decisions. This ability to make sound decisions is challenging and requires a higher level of insight, which is critical for a leader.

Critical thinking is a key element to effective decision making. As Harden and Fulop (2015) point out, effective decision-making in healthcare can be considered one of the exemplars of effective leadership. In order to be an effective leader, especially in the healthcare field, you must be able to think critically, with a patient centered mindset, and make effective decisions.

The study demonstrated that components of emotional intelligence (EI) can indeed mitigate cognitive bias in decision making – emotion and reaction (Keng & Alqudah, 2017). Further, the study identified that leaders need organizational support through acknowledgment of barriers and challenges related to the ability to make decisions autonomously and in the absence of cognitive bias. The findings of the study are generalizable to the ability of healthcare leaders to make effective decisions, and be effective leaders when they are supported, barriers and challenges are mitigated, and that continuing professional development is used to leverage professional practice and patient outcomes

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