Are leaders made or born?

Categories: Leadership.

If a ruler hearkens to lies, all his servants [are] wicked (Proverbs 29:12), leadership determines the success or failure of an organization. There has been lots of discussion for decades regarding these issues;

• Are leaders made or born?
• Which came first, the chicken or the egg? 
• To be or not to be?
• Nature versus Nurture? 

Behavioral theory suggest that individuals are mold in to good leaders through; teaching, learning and observation. Leadership is a set of skills that are learned by training, perception, practice and experience. Leadership learning is a lifetime activity. Good leaders seek out development opportunities that will help them learn new skills.

The End of Life Nursing Education Consortium (ELNEC) organized the first of its kind 3-days Leadership workshop in palliative care course in Kenya, held at Kimbilio Hospice in Kipkaren- Eldoret. Kimbilio environment was very suitable for the training with the growling and rumbling sound of the spectacular Kipkaren river flow and chirping sounds of happy birds that soothed our ears as we sat in class to learn. The participants were also delighted with the good work done by the Kimbilio team when they participated in a morning devotion session that involved all the patients and staff members. 

The workshop brought together 11 professionals sampled from Kenya Hospices and Palliative Care Association (KEHPCA), Nairobi Hospice, Nyeri Hospice, Aga Khan Hospital, Kimbilio Hospice and Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital, who are currently offering palliative care services. “This is the first palliative care leadership training in Kenya and I hope we will be able to get more funding to support the training and involve more facilities,” said Dr. Ali, KEHPCA’s Executive Director. 

The training covered several sessions that included; Self care, communication, conflict resolution, the challenges and opportunities for leaders, the issue of changing culture to advance leadership in palliative care among others. The facilitators Pamela Malloy and Diane Parker were well informed with exceptional presentational skills and cultivation. “The facilitators are well informed and have great presenting skills. I wish as I continue to learn, one day I will be as competent and confident as they are,” said one of the participants.  The participants pledged to put in to action what they learned by forming action plans with timelines. 

Some of the tasks they committed to undertake include; development of a self care manual for palliative care providers since it’s a great need currently, support initiatives that help improve communication between various facilities as leaders and conduct sensitization sessions on key areas of need. “We commit ourselves to change our working environment, as leaders we must bring positive change,” A comment from another participant. The workshop ended on a high note with a graduation ceremony and awarding of certificates to the participants. The participants appreciate the ELNEC team for supporting such a worthy course. 

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