Category Archives: The PHCJ

A Public Health Care Journal Original

Are Leaders or Managers More Valuable in Escaping an Economic Downturn?


 As we continue to live through the worst economic downturn in years, the question is raised: Do we need more leaders or more managers in order to push ourselves out of this weak and fragile economy?

It is important to distinguish between and leader and a manager and what each role brings to the table. In the article, “What Leaders Really Do”, John P. Kotter states, “most US corporations today are overmanaged and underled”.2  The leadership role requires having a long-range perspective and keeping one’s eyes on the horizon.4 Furthermore, a strong leader challenges the status quo and inspires and motivates others within the company to think outside the box.4 Kotter states that leadership is about coping with change and with more change demands more leadership.2 Kotter describes the leadership role best when he uses the analogy of a peacetime vs. wartime army when stating, “a peacetime army can usually survive with good administration and management up and down the hierarchy, coupled with good leadership concentrated at the very top. A wartime army, however, needs competent leadership at all levels. No one yet has figured out how to manage people effectively into battle, they must be led”. 2

If a leader serves as an architect, than a manager serves as a competent contractor that understands the architect’s vision and points out flaws in the design if necessary.1 Managers need to plan, organize, problem solve and coordinate to get the job done, while simultaneously, serving as a role model to others.1 If a leader proposes a plan, a manager will need to understand the logistics behind getting the plan executed successfully, on time and on budget. Kotter points out that strong leadership with weak management is no better than strong management and weak leadership.2 He states that, “without good management, complex enterprises tend to become chaotic in ways that threaten their very existence. Good management brings degrees of order and consistency to key dimensions like the quality and profitability of the products.2 Moreover, leaders typically do not do the bulk of the hiring, managers do. Managers need to have a good understanding on what the staffing needs are, what to look for in an employee, and make logical and ethical hiring decisions to fill the company with a competent workforce. Weak managers making poor hiring decisions can topple a company from the bottom up. Additionally, after hiring employees, managers must develop peer relationships, carry out negotiations, motivate subordinates, resolve conflicts, establish information networks and subsequently disseminate information.3

One reason why we are still in weak economy is because leaders are acting more like managers by maintaining the status quo rather than forging ahead.  In order to improve a weak economy, managers are needed to “stop the bleeding” caused by the damage made by previous poor economic decisions and leaders are needed to cut our way out of the woods with a sword of innovation. In other words, in order for us to make significant improvements in the economy, we need more innovative leaders that make pioneering decisions coupled with organized, ethical managers that can execute the concepts that the creative leaders produce.

  1. Cruz , E. (2012, Sept. 10). Turning managers to leaders. Business world online, Retrieved from
  2. Kotter, J. (2001, Dec.). What leaders really do. Best of harvard business review, 85-96.
  3. Mintzberg, H. (1990, March). The manager’s job: Folklore and fact. Harvard business review, March-April(1990), 163-176.
  4. Murray, A. (2009, April 07). What is the difference between management and leadership?. The wall street journal, Retrieved from

Immediate Effects Of Health Reform Bill


Most of the consumer benefits will not kick in until 2014 but changes that will occur this year includes:

Dependent children can remain on their parents’ health insurance plans until age 26.

Senior citizens will get more help paying for drugs in Medicare.

People with health problems that left them uninsurable can qualify for coverage through a federal program.

Tax credits will be given to small businesses that offer health insurance to their workers

Children will be able to get insurance-even if they have pre-existing conditions

 All new insurance plans must offer and cover preventative care

A Final Vote on Health Reform: Letter From Obama Administration


Last Thursday’s first-of-its-kind summit capped off a debate that has lasted nearly a year. Every idea has now been put on the table. Every argument has been made. Both parties agree that the status quo is unacceptable and gets more dire each day. Today, I want to state as clearly and forcefully as I know how: Now is the time to make a decision about the future of health care in America.

The final proposal I’ve put forward draws on the best ideas from all sides, including several put forward by Republicans at last week’s summit. It will put Americans in charge of their own health care, ensuring that neither government nor insurance company bureaucrats can ration, deny, or put out of financial reach the care our families need and deserve.

I strongly believe that Congress now owes the American people a final vote on health care reform. Reform has already passed the House with bipartisan support and the Senate with a super-majority of sixty votes. Now it deserves the same kind of up-or-down vote that has been routinely used and has passed such landmark measures as welfare reform and both Bush tax cuts.

Earlier today, I asked leaders in both houses of Congress to finish their work and schedule a vote in the next few weeks. From now until then, I will do everything in my power to make the case for reform. And now, I’m asking you, the members of the Organizing for America community, to raise your voice and do the same.

The final march for reform has begun, and your participation is crucial. Please commit to join with me to take reform across the finish line.

Essentially, my proposal would change three things about the current health care system:

First, it would protect all Americans from the worst practices of insurance companies. Never again will the mother with breast cancer have her coverage revoked, see her premiums arbitrarily raised, or be forced to live in fear that a pre-existing condition will bar her from future coverage.

Second, my proposal would give individuals and small businesses the same choice of private health insurance that members of Congress get for themselves. And my proposal says that if you still can’t afford the insurance in this new marketplace, we will offer you tax credits based on your income — tax credits that add up to the largest middle class tax cut for health care in history.

Finally, my proposal would bring down the cost of health care for everyone — families, businesses, and the federal government — and bring down our deficit by as much as $1 trillion over the next two decades. These savings mean businesses small and large will finally be freed up to create jobs and increase wages. With costs currently skyrocketing, reform is vital to remaining economically strong in the years and decades to come.

In the few crucial weeks ahead, you can help make sure this proposal becomes law. Please sign up to join the Organizing for America campaign in the final march for reform:

When I talked about change on the campaign, this is what I was talking about: coming together to solve a huge problem that has been troubling America for 100 years and standing up to the special interests to deliver a brighter, smarter future for generations to come.

I look forward to signing this historic reform into law. And when I do, it will be because your organizing played an essential role in making change possible.

Thank you,

President Barack Obama

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Visits Chile Promising Aid


U.S. Secretary of the State Hillary Clinton, visited Chile yesterday bringing aid and promising U.S assistance. Her trip was confined to the Santiago airport and then to a visit with President Michelle Bachelet and President-elect Sebastian Pinera. At Chile’s request, Clinton brought with her 25 satellite phones and a technician to set them up. Satellite phones are needed to help authorities communicate with areas where telephone lines have been destroyed by the quake.

“America is ready to respond to requests from the Chilean Government, not only in solidarity, but with the specific provisions they need for reconstruction work,” Clinton said.

Chilean President Michelle Bachelet thanked Clinton and President Barack Obama for the “support, friendship and cooperation” of the United States.

Further U.S. aid may include eight water purification systems, power generators and medical and dialysis equipment, and supplies. Other donations could include mobile kitchens, temporary bridges and helicopters

Her trip to Chile was part of a five-day tour to visit Latin American countries, including Uruguay, Argentina, Brazil Costa Rica, and Guatemala to gain support for U.S. sanctions against Iran amongst other reasons.

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Additional Aid to Arrive in Chile


The government of Chile officially asked for help from the United Nations today. In response, the UN stated that it is “ready to take action”. The 8.8 magnitude earthquake that struck 200 miles south of the capital, Santiago has left the death toll currently at 708 with 2 million people displaced.  Since the earthquake two days ago, the Chilean government has been assessing the damage and international aid groups have sent experts and funding but have held back on providing large amounts of aid. U.N. humanitarian spokeswoman Elisabeth Byrs said Chile formally made its request for temporary bridges, field hospitals, satellite phones, electric generators, damage assessment teams, water purification systems, field kitchens and dialysis centers.

The International Red Cross has also stepped in to help by providing $280,000 of its own funds and dispatching aid experts and volunteers to areas hardest hit by the quake. The International Red Cross states that they will have to wait on local officials and the Chilean Red Cross to find out what is needed.  

Doctors Without Borders said it sent an exploratory team of health workers to help the Chilean government. They will travel today to the Maule region and will focus on areas close to the epicenter of the earthquake, prioritizing rural villages where aid often takes far longer to reach than in cities.


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Tomas Munita for The New York Times