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What traits and skills are necessary for effective leadership?


Around five articles were published during 2007 in The Lancet which deals with the mental health of individuals globally focusing on countries where Middle-income and low-income people reside. The last published article among five articles highlighted some of the tactics and gave evidence about the number of services given to individuals facing mental disorders that fall under human rights perspective rights (Power, 2010).

In 2008, the World Health Organisation started a program that solves the services gap the Mental Health Gap Action Programme (Aarons, 2006). There are ten main strategies which the Mental Health World Federation recommends: “Non-government organizations to increase the number of facilities provided to the individuals facing mental disorders.”

Global Mental Health Movement ( started as soon as the articles appeared in The Lancet. These actions showed that one of the major issues that the world is facing at the moment is mental health. Mental illness that can be diagnosed increases from 12 per cent of the population to 15 per cent of the population around 2020 (Green, Miller, and Aarons, 2013). Almost 450 to 500 million individuals have any mental disorder around the globe (Abdulmalik, Fadahunsi, Kola, Nwefoh, Minas, Eaton and Gureje, 2014).  Illness, which is related to the mental health of a person is one of the major causes of life filled with disability in between 15-44 age groups during 2005 disorders which is related to neuropsychiatric included almost 28% of non-diagnoseable diseases which led to disability throughout the lifetime. Almost one individual among every four faced mental conditions at some period of life. There are many reasons for mental strain including social issues, economic costs, war, and forced migration from one place to another, which leads to debt and shame (Abdulmalik et al., 2014).

Many current activities including the articles series in The Lancet played their part in raising awareness about the mental health of individuals globally and trying to introduce a way to deal with it. To complete aims regarding the enhancement of mental health, the coming generation must be trained leaders of mental disorders in developed areas and third-world countries as well as where there are low-income and middle-class people (Beinecke, 2009). A non-profit organization named Annapolis Coalition is focusing on the improvement of the workforce in the United States, in the behavioural health study, stated that “the development of leadership, as a calculated aim, needs more capability to change the behavioural health positively (Beinecke, 2009).

Many issues are occurring in the public leadership. Almost 7.5 per cent of the total workforce of the United States is below 30 years, while almost 40 per cent of the workforce is above 50 years. Around 2006, almost 31 per cent of the total federal workforce will be about to retire. Overall, 15 per cent and almost 50 per cent of workers working in different agencies will retire (Spors and Fialka, 2002). During 2004, almost seven out of ten managers in the federal government who are on top will ask for pensions. The same situation is in the public sector. Around 40 per cent of senior-level managers in health, public and private institutions and other organizations will reach the retirement age in the time span of 5 years in the United States and other countries (Gureje, Lasebikan, Ephraim-Oluwanuga, Olley and Kola, 2005). Most of the people among these became leaders and got training for management tasks when there were funded programs. However, until we pay attention to this issue and provide resources, the coming generation dealing with mental health and other leaders in public administration jobs will not have enough power to initiate new functions that are assumed.

The meaning of leadership altered during the 1990s. Skills and traits are now not linked with leadership and their relationships with other employees (behavioural approach), and scenarios they face (contingency approach) are still considered significant. For instance, a leader should take steps carefully as certain elements that may not fall in the current scenario are defined. In different settings, there are many different types of leaders. Such leadership is considered effective and includes both situations and the required characteristics (Green, Miller, and Aarons, 2013). Skillful leaders try to deal with situations differently by focusing on their knowledge regarding any issue and try to be creative and flexible if needed.

The modern theory of leadership is all about how to lead and manage complex systems, including large networks of many stakeholders. Simply put, it is about the productive system with the main focus on flexible behaviour, quality work, speed dealing, adaptability, and experimenting with new ideas. Systematic leadership deals with shared meanings, authorized and responsible employees and proper ways of communicating and sharing information on critical issues (Gureje et al., 2005). There is a large amount of discussion and theories on leadership types available in the books. Most of the types deal with various leadership aspects. In the current literature on mental health, thinking policy, transformation “is now vital for every mental health system whether public or private” (Beinecke, 2009). Before these concepts, they were considered important leadership concepts. The difference in between transformational and transactional leadership is derived by Burns Aarons (2006), “Transactional leadership is all about the relationship among leader and their followers – leaders guide their followers in the process of trading things from one individual to another.” Such a leader is a part of a system and works internally. On the other hand, a transforming leader “finds promising intentions in people, fulfils the needs of the higher level, and tries to include every characteristic of a follower. Transforming leadership results in a relationship between the followers and leader based on mutual understanding and incentives that can transform followers and leaders and convert them into morally good individuals” (Aarons, 2006).

IIHML conducted a survey with many different results presenting countries with IIHML as of the view that the development of leadership is a crucial challenge which should be tried not only for mental disorders and using it later but also for health and public administration issues. There are many theories as well as debates on this issue, and many institutions and individuals are trying to define various models and needs (Beinecke, 2009).

It was concluded that leadership competency for mental diseases is not divergent from the public administration or health and abilities do not change from state to state in which these abilities are applied. The core competencies of leadership are the same around the globe. On the contrary, information required for policy building and programs initiated are distinct for mental conditions rather than health, and it varies from country to country in which it will be used.

Studies are by the view of Annapolis Coalition which says that training of leaders is required to deal with many different stakeholders including consumers, their families, and administrators. No matter whether the core skills are the same in almost all training types; the specific skills may differ from a change in a target audience (Beinecke, 2009).

As mentioned earlier, transactional skills refer to those that are acquired through training. Anyhow, it is true that many individuals working at a lower level or clinical positions move upward to management and leadership level with time, and abilities are not gained by experience or training; they are part of personality. Skills like management performance, systems of information, and quality enhancement have become significant recently and now must be studied by leaders and managers.

An experienced leader must be powerful in almost all competencies in a perfect world. However, in reality, this is impossible. Every individual has certain strengths as well as certain weak areas. A solution for this problem is that the leader must surround and support those team members with skills that the leader is weak in. Another way of dealing with your weaknesses is to learn continuously, get training, and experience self-restoration – introspection (Federal Leadership Needed to Create National Mental Health System, 2008).

One of the dominant obstructions in training leaders is a lack of funding. The United States government funding for training leaders decreased during the 1980s, and today, it is available in a limited amount (National Center for Healthcare Leadership, 2005). However, the resources of public agencies expanded due to training demands in certain areas, such as information technology systems. The Budget of the countries is limited. The important thing that can be done is to develop professionals and supervisors. No matter, there are many pressures on using time for services, seminars, and conferences (Hoge and Morris, 2002). Most agencies focus on the present circumstances and prepare themselves for the future.


There is a strong need for the development, promotion and linking of public administration’s various leadership training programs with academic curricula and inducing education. We must also try to work on the script of programs designed to transform our existing systems of the 21st century. Everyone must also try to improve, update, and issue a list of the main leadership programs and initiate easy access to them. We should also try to find and make forums like conferences where critical issues are discussed for the success of organizations. We must focus on the ways through which these schemes can be taught to individuals in an efficient way so that people can learn easily and enhance their leadership abilities. If we work on all of these elements, it will be easy to eliminate issues concerning leadership which we are facing and guarantee that our schemes are well-planned and will lead to success.


Aarons, G. A. (2006). Transformational and transactional leadership: Association with attitudes toward evidence-based practice. Psychiatric Services, 57(8), 1162-9.

Abdulmalik, J., Fadahunsi, W., Kola, L., Nwefoh, E., Minas, H., Eaton, J., & Gureje, O. (2014). The mental health leadership and advocacy program (mhLAP): A pioneering response to the neglect of mental health in anglophone West Africa. International Journal of Mental Health Systems, 8

Beinecke, R. H. (2009). Leadership Training Programs and Competencies for Mental Health, Health, Public Administration, and Business in Seven Countries. Retrieved from

Federal leadership needed to create national mental health system. (2008, Sep 24). Canada NewsWire

Green, A. E., Miller, E. A., & Aarons, G. A. (2013). Transformational leadership moderates the relationship between emotional exhaustion and turnover intention among community mental health providers. Community Mental Health Journal, 49(4), 373-9.

Gureje O, Lasebikan V. O., Ephraim-Oluwanuga O., Olley B. O. & Kola, L. (2005). Community study of knowledge of and attitude to mental illness in Nigeria. Br J Psychiatry 2005, 186:436–441.

Hoge, M.A., and Morris, J.A. (2002). Special Double Issue: Behavioral Health Workforce and Training. Administration and Policy in Mental Health.

National Center for Healthcare Leadership (NCHL) (2005). Healthcare Leadership Resource Guide. NCHL: Chicago.

Power, A. K. (2010). Transforming the nation’s health: Next steps in mental health promotion. American Journal of Public Health, 100(12), 2343-6.

Spors, K.K. and Fialka, J.J. (2002). Filling a public-service void: Federal workforce faces retirement bubble, personnel shortfall. Wall Street Journal, p. A4



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