Today’s public health challenges are complex. Public health is never perfect. Every generation faces challenges in creating a healthier world. What is unique about our moment in history is that we know many of the answers to the problems we face. For example in the US, tighter gun control will save school children, universal healthcare will improve overall health, and racism, among other harms, is causing unjust health burden. Globally, health is threatened by wars displacing people, economic growth which endangers healthy behaviors, and climate change that puts our entire civilization in peril. The paramount difficulty is no longer finding the solution, but bending the arc of the world towards it.
Overcoming these problems requires strong, adaptive leadership. Despite technological advances, new medical knowledge, and huge financial investment, these challenges remain. They are stubborn and wicked. To overcome them, we need leadership, and the practical skills to enable change at any scale - from local communities to nations to the world. Waiting is not option. Time costs lives.
Anyone can lead. Leaders are not just those on top of the hierarchy. Leaders can be young or old, CEOs or regular staff members. Anyone who enables or guides change is a leader. While the impact may differ, the skills required are similar.
Leadership can be learned. While a lucky few may be born leaders, the rest of us must learn to become one. Many teachers have defined, analyzed and promoted some form of leadership. Many definitions of leadership exist. We will not seek to define it or box it up. The truth of leadership is amorphous and its complexities must be embraced.
We want to explore the leadership journeys and skills that are important to experienced and emerging leaders. We are at different points in our leadership journey. The skills we need to enable change are similar. Due to the nature of the public health problems, we will focus our attention, but not limit it, to 4 components of leadership: Creativity, Self-awareness, Teaming, and Authority.
Who we are? The editorial board is composed of 3 Harvard DrPH students and alum. We are hoping to reach current and emerging leaders in the field of public health.
Join us! Please reach out if you would like to contribute your experience or have comments about what you’d like to see.