Health Sector Leadership Program: Ethical Leadership

22 August 2016 By Karen Martin, Frank Kazantzis, Geetha Soosay, Jacquelyn Towns



Accountability and decisions

Deontology and teleology

Ethical decisions

Reasoning and justification

Scenario based discussions

Health leaders

Introductions and buddy chats

Positive, not really…. Don’t crush the kittens!

Having not known what to expect, we arrived in the beautiful treasury building surrounded by many smiling faces, and greeted by a high school big band, there was no need to be ‘anxious’ at all. (The band may or may not have been for us). Our Program Facilitator, Tony, set the tone of the day with talk of music and energisers to keep the feel of the room at a happy and attentive level.

The first session of this module was all about the fundamentals of leadership, and we were all surprised. LV CEO Richard introduced us to the graph of leadership which we all found most interesting. To be comfortable is not great and to be panicked and overwhelmed, well no one wants to be that - not for long anyway! The tone of the room became more anxious as Richard spoke about leaders taking their crew into the overwhelmed and anxious zone, perhaps we were a little more anxious than other groups after all...

Leadership programs are always very interesting, but throw in a mix of Health Professionals from a range of disciplines, and it makes for very lively discussion! 

The second session delivered exactly what it promised. We were confronted, we were challenged, we were made to think outside our comfort zones about both our own leadership styles, and those of prominent world leaders. Through the magnifying glass of ethical dilemmas, some more believable than others, we thought about the competing roles of our own moral compass, that of organisations, communities, and more globally to nations.

Tony returned and we took what we learned into our third session where we were challenged to put our wits to the test and tackle a real life ethical scenario. Deciding right from wrong was not the hurdle, that was the easy part, we all had opinions on that. Dissecting conflicting values and analysing a path to resolution was where the skill was at. The discussions continued and we found we were equal to the task.

Most importantly we were reminded that despite all of this, that with consideration, thought, honesty and humour, we are all well-equipped (and more so now) to take up these challenges.

All this from the beauty of a graceful old building in the thriving CBD, what more could we ask for!