LEADERSHIP AND INFLUENCE QUESTION
Over the past few years I have distinguished myself as an officer and a doctor with impeccable leadership qualities, winning the loyalty of my subordinates and the confidence of superiors . This led to my appointment as a commanding officer within the *****rian Armed Forces early this year, thus becoming the youngest serving commanding officer . My leadership capabilities were required again when I received a call from the director of medical service saying "I am sure you are aware of the Boko Haram attack on the UN aid convoy to Bama and its(UN) suspension of aid to the north east " to which I answered in the affirmative. He then continued " the presidency has directed that we(the military) should go in and handle the humanitarian crisis unfolding and we are nominating you to lead the team". The team of 57 members comprised of Doctors, nurses, pharmacists, nutritionist,regiment, intelligence and administrative personnel.
Whether it was during my days as a secondary school head prefect, or my tenure as a university student union president, I have utilized communication effectively for team building and motivation.
Therefore as the departure day drew closer I opted for a "sit down" with team members as against the usual "briefing " practiced within the military. This relaxed atmosphere provided me with insight into strengths, weaknesses and concerns of individual members. One of such concerns was the immediate nature of the deployment. Some preferred it at the end of the month when they had enough funds to leave for their families. I made them understand the reason for such short notice and got them to see how much of a privilege it was for each member to be chosen for this task. Knowing how vital responsiveness to group needs is,I ensured their allowances were paid before the deployment. Hitherto, allowances were paid afterwards.This I was able to achieve through my unfettered access to the chief of the ***** staff as his physician.
My team and I successfully set-up a hospital that caters for about 26,000 internally displaced persons(IDPs) living within the camps and people trapped within this conflict zone. We also commenced a feeding program for malnourished children. All these were accomplished before the deadline given by *** force headquarters despite meager resources and challenging work conditions.
During the first two weeks of our operation, the statistics showed poor antenatal service attendance by women in the IDP camp. This was obviously not a good sign as the north east even prior to this conflict had one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the world. Being an indigene of Bama and fluent in three (3) local languages, I was able to identify the cultural impediments responsible for this low turnout. Thus I engaged the community by incorporating the traditional birth attendants(TBA) as assistants to our nurse midwives. This ensured deliveries were taken within the hospital. It also afforded the TBAs a learning platform.