Help or Hinder?: Clinician Credibility, Value, Reputation, and Professional Persona After Assuming a Leadership Position

Take a position on the following Point-Counterpoint statements:

  • Clinicians lose their credibility & value if they assume a leadership role as part of their professional persona.
  • Clinicians enhance their reputation and professional persona if they assume a leadership role as part of their professional persona.

Provide your rationale and perspective for your position.

(Adapted from my post in Course 6 Module 3 – Collaborating for Partnership and Teaming)

I am writing in support of the latter statement: Clinicians enhance their reputation and professional persona if they assume a leadership role as part of their professional persona.

I normally go out of my way to avoid taking a strong position, but in this case I am more than willing. The reason I am able to do that is because of the specific wording of the statements; in particular, I am focused on the word “leadership”.

When clinicians take on leadership roles, their reputation and professional persona are enhanced BECAUSE they are already competent leaders, and the new role or title simply sanctions that. It isn’t necessarily sequential, as in: take on leadership position, then increase reputation and professional persona. Rather, it’s more of a concomitant happenstance: work as a clinician AND at the same time display leadership competencies, all the while reputation and professional persona will increase, until eventually reaching the point where leadership is recognized via an official leadership role.

When you are already demonstrating leadership competencies such as developing self awareness, acting with integrity, critically evaluating, and making decisions<1>, you are on the right trajectory to have your reputation and professional persona increase, and at the same time, you’ll be positioning yourself well for future leadership positions. If I were taking on a leadership position and was losing credibility and value (as noted in the former position statement), the first place I would look would be at leadership competencies<1>, because I would suspect there is room for improvement.

If the position statements instead had used the word “management” in place of “leadership”, I would be taking the exact opposite position (Ie, “Clinicians lose their credibility & value if they assume a MANAGEMENT role as part of their professional persona”). If you advance into a position and demonstrate only management competencies, I think the risk of losing credibility and value is high (it’s not absolute, but the risk is high). By demonstrating leadership qualities, however, we can reduce that risk.

 Help or Hinder?: Clinician Credibility, Value, Reputation, and Professional Persona After Assuming a Leadership Position

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