Thursday, December 8, 2016

Leadership with a Little "L"

When we hear the word “Leader”, what comes to mind? Is it someone you envision on a pedestal with a loud speaker and rigid tone? Is it something you see as dramatic or flashy? Well Polly A. Fitz says leadership is quite the opposite of that glorifying imagine. Her discussion with the ADA House of Delegates explained that “Leadership in a modest sense-ie., leadership with a lower-case “l” is far more prevalent and far more important than most people realize”. What a humbling idea, I thought to myself. Leadership isn't about making the rules, but making things work. Leadership isn't all about curricular intelligence, but emotional intelligence, optimism, and the ability to adapt in different situations and environments. Leadership can be all the complex work that no one wants to claim, but you take with no hesitation. Polly continues her statement and adds that the most effective leaders were not focused on micromanaging others. Effective leaders were encouraging, empathetic, and always had futuristic thinking. To a great leader, it was never about the “I”, but a magnification on the “we”. While some people may seem to be “born leaders’, don't be discouraged! Leaders are born and made. The beauty of the little “l” in leader really signifies that there is not just one individual with all of the responsibility, but a shared responsibility of a group. Each containing their strengths and weaknesses building one another to be the greatest leaders they can be. 

Escott-Stump, Sylvia A. (2014). Leadership with a Little “L”. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics , 114 (5), S6.DOI:

Management in Dietetics: Are We Prepared for the Future?

It has been known that many skills and competencies in dietetic educational programs require management-related foundation of knowledge through all scopes of practice. But can basic and traditional management take dietetics all the way? As we fast forward in time we realize that technology is evolving overnight. Training and communication can now optionally be done online with little to no physical contact. Peter Drucker who was known as the father of modern management described the future oriented management as: involved in setting goals, designing organizations and measurement systems. All of these components included training, motivation, communicating with co-workers and receiving and giving feedback. This is the workers revolution! Faulty or ineffective processes will be taken out! Unproductive outcomes will not survive the new age of technology. Why is that? Because not only are we trying to modernize our profession, but we are competing for the best and most well organized facility. The more we as dietitians learn about modernizing our current systematic, explore different scopes of dietetics like budgetary responsibilities and supervisory responsibilities, the higher you are on the market. This isn't a temporary learning experience, but more so a way of building a secure future. I believe yes, yes we are prepared for the future. But the action must follow the intention. It is time to put the book work into physical work and play out the roles of skillful managing. Educational opportunities should and can be offered so dietitians can keep up with current research and technology. If dietitians can be introduced to positive and effective management while working in there careers, they will slowly learn to adapt to the demands of management based programming. 

Cluskey, Mary et al.(2007) Management in Dietetics: Are We Prepared for the Future. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics , 112( 5), 34 - 37 

doi: 10.1016/j.jand.2012.03.015

Management Matters

Why does management matter in the field of Dietetics? Management is critical across all advanced practice in dietetics. Whether you are employed in food and nutrition management or in a long-term care clinical setting, familiarity with management coincides with a familiarity with leadership. Advanced- level management is tied to higher salary levels in every area of practice. This occurs because higher salaries are commanded by advanced-level practitioners who assume the risk and rewards of taking action on high-level decision making. Management isn't just about having the last word, it takes into account leadership, strategical thinking, making sound decisions, and challenges the process by solving complex problems.  Management is especially important in dietetics because we- as registered and licensed practitioners- have to stand up for our degree and practice. By making ourselves heard in every facility, other practitioners will respect and appreciate the skill set dietitians bring to the table. Management is not just one large skill, but can be broken down to: human, physical, and and financial management. Management is a 3 dimensional skill that covers all scopes of life that deal with social, political, educational, and economic environments. So how do we get active in management? The key to successful management is to participate in organizations that develop management skills and network with leaders and managers outside the profession to understand different professions with similar challenges. 

Gould, Rebecca A.(2012). Management Matters. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics , 112 (5), S38 - S40.

Moving into Management

Have you received a promotion at your job? The promotion you've been dreaming of to become one of the managers at the facility you have been working in? Shifting into a management position requires a new level of responsibility that may cause you to be anxious or uncertain. But no worries, there are simple things to remember to help boost your confidence and self esteem when moving into management! It all begins with knowing your personality. Managers have an inclination of wanting to improve faulty processes and being able to deal with complex situations. Knowing your personality will help you notice what your strengths are and what skills you can improve on during your journey. All managers have a certain type of leadership skill, but by understanding your personality type, you can further learn your management style and its areas for growth. The second tip to a smooth transition is to focus on your leadership skills. Leadership skills aren't only personal skills, but interpersonal skills. This depends on how you will interact with your employees and how well they respond to you. Being involved outside of work will enhance your leadership roles. This could be anything with volunteering at a food bank and learning to work with people of different backgrounds or even developing different events within church groups. 

Mathieu, Jennifer. (2012). Moving into Management. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics ,112(5), S16 - S17.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

What are leadership skills?

What would you define as leadership skills? Today's Dietitian defines them as the following; Collaboration, communication, authentic leadership, vision, innovation. Collaboration is all about teamwork, discussing ideas with the team and then dividing up the tasks, a true collaborative leader will share their knowledge and network with other collaborative leaders (medical professionals). Communication also has a role in networking, and being able to speak to others. Communicating effectively means active listening, and also being able to speak publicly. Being an authentic leader is knowing your own values and desires, being supportive and inspirational to your team and then being able to give and receive feedback. A leader has to have a vision for the future, and again they have to be able to communicate it effectively to their team. A leader also has to be innovative, which can mean taking risks, but it can also refer to gaining knowledge through training and education. These are what Today's Dietitian published as the five leadership skills, and they sound very similar to the skills we read about in The Leadership Challenge.
Fogt, E. (2014). Taking the Lead in 2014. Today’s Dietitian. 16(1). 44.


Dealing with allergens as a manager

Have you ever gone to a food service facility and noticed practices
that don't align with proper handling of food to avoid cross
contamination? This can cause a problem for people in those facilities
dining with food allergies. A study in New Zealand aimed to determine
how many of the restaurant and cafe managers in one city were
familiar with food allergens, had practices to avoid cross
contamination, and how confident the manager was in dealing with a
situation when it arose. 124 cafes and restaurants had managers or
owners that participated, and many of them were able to identify the
big 8 allergens, with peanuts being the most recognized food as an
allergen source. While only 25% of them were actually trained in food
allergies, this quarter of those surveyed were the most likely to have
a plan in place for dealing with patrons with allergens and emergency
situations such as a patron going into anaphylactic shock. Other large
differences included managers versus owners, which showed that owners
were more interested in further training, and managers that belonged
to an industry versus managers that did not, which showed that
industry managers were more likely to keep ingredient information on
hand and were more likely to have an interest in training for allergen
This is an arising problem in our economy and could be an excellent
place for a dietitian to start stepping into the restaurant industry
to train the industry on allergen safe food handling.

Wham, C., & Sharma, K. (2014). Knowledge of café and restaurant
managers to provide a safe meal to food allergic consumers. Nutrition
And Dietetics, 71(4), 265-269. doi:10.1111/1747-0080.12104


Turnover at the Top

The food service industry is known for having a high turnover rate. In fact, the annual rate has even at times exceeded 100%, but it is becoming more common for the management high up in the company to have a high turnover rate as compared to other industries. This can greatly affect the company because the unsteadiness of revolving management at this level can cause poor financial decisions and  future strategic planning for the company.
In order to determine how a CEO may be compensated for the company doing well, Barber, Ghiselli, & Deale did a study to determine what incomes correlated with their compensation. For small companies, it was gross income, where as for large companies it was net income. The largest companies had a correlation with CEO compensation and stock prices of their company. This implies that the turnover in management at food service companies is related to performance measures and the company's size.
The authors also state that turnover at the larger companies is probably due to loss of shareholders when the company is doing poorly, and for this reason, the board of directors is forced to ask for resignation of the CEO.
The real question is, what will happen to the food service industry if the turnover rate of CEO's continues to grow over the coming years?
Barber, N., Ghiselli, R., Deale, C., & Whithem, C. (2009). CEO Turnover in the Foodservice Industry: Is There a Relationship to Key Financial Performance?. Journal Of Foodservice Business Research12(1), 2-17. doi:10.1080/15378020802671834