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The Mirrors of Leadership – Reflections and Learnings from my ongoing Leadership Journey (By Kosta Katsaros)

By Kosta Katsaros

1st Year Management Intern

The Mirrors of Leadership – Reflections and Learnings from my ongoing Leadership Journey

My leadership journey had commenced during my adolescent years, with idolising my sporting heroes and attempting to model their behaviours and example they led by on the field. My leadership since has developed substantially throughout my academic studies, professional career, and various social interactions, where I looked to take every opportunity to ‘be a leader’.

As part of the internship program, I was tasked with defining my own ‘leadership philosophy’; being how I view myself in the role of a leader. This was initially a difficult task for me, where I reflected on my preferred leadership style, considered my goals, and thought about my personal values. I also took the opportunity to talk with other leaders, with seeking advice on how they lead and what skills and values they bring to their respective leadership roles. I landed on my personal leadership philosophy of “leading by example and empowering others through transformational leadership. Striving to create a collaborative and inclusive environment where everyone’s ideas are encouraged and valued.” This philosophy had stemmed from self-reflections on my past experiences, which have helped me mature and identify my skill & knowledge gaps that require further development.

Since commencing the internship program, I have developed a leadership action plan to address these skill and knowledge gaps. This plan encompassed my formal learnings (e.g. competency development, courses, professional development sessions) and informal learnings (e.g. team activities, social interactions, mentoring). An example of these during my first placement where I was fortunate to have attended board and executive meetings at a regional hospital. From these meetings, I observed how differently the directors and managers communicated, delegated, and negotiated with each other. As I continue to seek and take on more leadership roles, which although challenging, will require myself to adapt, become less hesitant to take risks, and be more confident in my own abilities.

As a result of the learnings and self-reflections  over the last six months, my understanding of leadership has changed and evolved. Initially, I had believed that leaders are born and not made, where some people just have the ‘natural leader instincts’. However, I now acknowledge this was misguided view. My future career plans and goals always involved leadership in some capacity, where I’ll continue to develop in my competencies as well as identify any gaps for improvements and learnings. Currently, my desired short-term outcome from completing the internship program is to be a qualified and skilled entry-level quality and safety manager in the healthcare system.

From reflection on my leadership development since commencing the internship program, I can clearly see the evidence on how I have continued to progress as a leader. I’ll continue to maintain this drive to make the most out of my leadership potential, with the aim to make significant contributions in healthcare.

Disclaimer: Views are those of individual authors and not those of ACHSM or management intern’s employers.