He never relied on rigid meeting agendas or formally written contracts most of

He never relied on rigid meeting agendas or formally

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bitterness, Cowan would give a helping hand whenever he could. He never relied on rigid meeting agendas or formally written contracts; most of the deals he made involved smiles and handshakes. This approach worked effectively with unions at SMHC and with time, frosty relations started to soften and existing hatred reduced. Although conflicts arose, they were able to negotiate and solve them reasonably – something SMHC had been incapable of doing for years. According to Henwood (2014), the cultural context of care is vital in innovation. It is impossible to fake genuine care and leaders who falsify this often damage any integrity they may have, thereby stifling possible change in the workplace. An amateur actor will try to fake sadness while an expert truly feels miserable, to show sadness. Similarly, a servant leader must show true empathy to people around them, and really show concern. It would be impossible for Cowan to falsify this compassion since getting in individuals’ faces necessitates sincere frankness, which only a few leaders can embody. They might fool a few people but similar to an actor faking an emotion, the act is easily uncovered. Servant leaders are caring and are not afraid of using their
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7 time to show that they are concerned. This collaborative and caring attitude is an integral aspect of any healthcare change initiative. Servant leaders refrain from talking about themselves; they mention other people and collaborate with them to achieve success. Scott, Simpson, Skelton-Green, and Munro (2018) noted that progress in health care in the West does not rely on how health practitioners go different ways, but on partnerships in which dialogue is the recognized mode of action. For several years, SMHC made demands to CHR, but failed to forge alliances. It was fascinated with making CHR appear bad and falsely believed that CHR existed to provide whatever SMHC demanded, instead of SMHC serving CHR. This reversed servant model instigated a hostile relationship. Cowan’s approach soften CHR’s stance as they viewed SMHC as a beneficial ally, rather than a foe that needed crushing. Notably, he sought ways of making life easier for CHR, which is the essence of servant leadership. Van Dierendonck and Patterson (2018) mentioned that servant leaders are capable of persevering and refining their hypotheses on what serve another’s high priority needs compared to persons who lead first and serve to conform to normative beliefs. Cowan was aware of this and acted appropriately. Although he inherited an organization with a culture of fighting first, he changed the norms and opted to serve first. In one instance, CHR acquired a retail building, which it sought to restructure into health and office complexes. The firm however realised that the plan was unfeasible. Cowan with his charisma, offered to covert the space and program into the SMHC, which was a win for both parties. He could have watched as CHR stumbled but thought of a positive way of turning a former enemy into a strong partner. In view of Henwood (2014), this epitomizes the ideals of servant leadership.
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  • Spring '20
  • Test, Kevin Cowan

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