Leadership lessons

Lynne McKinlay
Med J Aust 2017; 207 (11): . || doi: 10.5694/mja17.00312
Published online: 11 December 2017

Clinicians can bring to leadership a deep understanding of patients’ needs and the expertise to make a real difference

In the year I turned 40, I was appointed director of a children’s rehabilitation service and became a clinician manager. I had a role description, some natural skills and a growing pile of “how to be a leader” books, but little formal training. From being responsible for my patients and their families and taking a collegiate interest in my peers, I now felt responsible for a whole team, all the patients, and was accountable for centre costs and clinical outcomes. It was terrifying. I suspect that, like other clinicians turned managers, I was a little naive when I pushed “send” on my job application.

  • Cognitive Institute, Brisbane, QLD

Competing interests:

No relevant disclosures.

  • 1. Gardner W, Carlson J. Authentic leadership. In: International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences 2015: pp 245-250.
  • 2. Uhl-Bien M, Riggio RE, Lowe KB, Carsten MK. Followership theory: a review and research agenda. Leadersh Q 2014; 25: 83-104.
  • 3. Braynion P. Power and leadership. J Health Organ 2004; 18: 447-463.


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