Principled Leadership in Mental Health Systems and Programs

Leadership in Health Services

ISSN: 1751-1879

Article publication date: 17 July 2009




(2009), "Principled Leadership in Mental Health Systems and Programs", Leadership in Health Services, Vol. 22 No. 3.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2009, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Principled Leadership in Mental Health Systems and Programs

Principled Leadership in Mental Health Systems and Programs

Article Type: Recent publications From: Leadership in Health Services, Volume 22, Issue 3

Please note these are not reviews of the titles given. They are descriptions of the book, based on information provided by the publishers.

William A. Anthony and Kevin Ann Huckshorn,Boston University,ISBN 978-1-878512-22-2

Keywords: Leadership in mental healthcare, Customer centred care, Effective leadership, Principles of leadership

Why do some organizations prosper while others deteriorate? Why do some flourish during a period of change while others calcify? Why do some, previously known for their mediocrity, become exemplary?

While there have been many attempts to answer these questions in the corporate, for-profit world, Anthony and Huckshorn set out to find out what makes a difference in the world of mental health. More specifically, they wanted to learn how mental health organizations become successful and responsive systems of care that are recovery oriented, consumer centered, and non-coercive.

To this end, Anthony and Huckshorn interviewed leaders at all levels in the mental health field who have shown the ability to transform their organizations – federal administrators, commissioners, agency directors, program managers. What they found is that big or small, public or private, and independent of professional discipline – it is the quality and effectiveness of its leadership that fuels a successful organization.

From their extensive interviews with these exemplary leaders, Anthony and Huckshorn advance eight leadership principles and accompanying tasks that they found to be critical for effective leadership. They contend that staff at all levels can become the “CEO” in their own spheres of influence, and they provide the template for doing so. While Anthony and Huckshorn focus specifically on the field of mental health, the principles advanced in Principled Leadership are relevant and critical to effective leadership in all organizations.

Contents include:

  • Principle 1: leaders communicate a shared vision.

  • Principle 2: leaders centralize by mission and decentralize by operations.

  • Principle 3: leaders create an organizational culture that identifies and tries to live by key values.

  • Principle 4: leaders create an organizational structure and culture that empowers their employees and themselves.

  • Principle 5: leaders ensure that staff are trained in a human technology that can translate vision into reality.

  • Principle 6: leaders relate constructively to employees.

  • Principle 7: leaders access and use information to make change a constant ingredient of their organization.

  • Principle 8: leaders build their organization around exemplary performers.

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