Today, leadership vision is undoubtedly one of the most valued and significant tenets of governance. The principal reason behind this relative prominence is its ability to foster a strong sense of direction in leaders by sanctioning concentration only on important matters. Leadership vision creates an elaborate plan for realizing success by reviewing the past, acknowledging present actualities, and addressing the future. Over past three decades, Linda W. Belton has served as the embodiment of leadership vision in contemporary times through her service to humanity and espousing Ignatian values through servant leadership. Belton is a registered nurse (RN) and holds a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree from the University of the State of New York (“Linda W. Belton,” 2018). Belton’s leadership journey began with her initial selection to head the State Hospital system in Wisconsin where she served as a top executive before transitioning to the Veterans Health Administration (VHA). Belton has since aspired to effect lasting change within the healthcare sector and society by remaining committed to the future ambitions amidst daily struggles and mounting responsibilities.
Belton is a considerate leader renowned globally for petitioning policy makers and government agencies in the United States to lay exacting emphasis on the enactment of appropriate legislations targeting the physical health of the general population. According to Nagle (2016), the physical health and wellbeing of a population contributes greatly to the overall economic progress of a nation and also as a tool to raise income levels. During a lengthy stint in the healthcare profession as a RN, Belton frequently witnessed the scourge of common public health challenges. She became aware of the debilitating nature of health conditions such as obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease known for severely impacting individual’s wellbeing and overall quality of life. Belton’s experience and expertise as a nurse practitioner now proved invaluable in her new role as a top executive in the Veterans Health Administration (VHA). She aspired to realize lasting change in policy by highlighting the plight of combat veterans with a myriad of combat injuries ranging from nerve damage, traumatic brain injury (TBI), loss of sight, and spinal cord injuries. Such efforts highlighted her commitment to humanity by exploiting her influence and position to petition administrators to acknowledge the relative significance of physical health for posterity.
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Over the past decade, Belton has remained a key figure within a cadre of professionals who value spiritual health as essential when pursuing individual’s welfare and a dreamed future. As a staunch practicing Christian, Belton’s spirituality is central to her identity and one of the major reasons why she supports undertaking this fulfilling journey. Additionally, Belton attributes her enviable value system to Biblical scriptures which have largely guided her in leadership and management. Belton firmly believes that the primary objective of any leader is providing key service to staff members while seeking to realize set organizational goals. Spiritual health and its accompanying influence on specific populations is also one of the key reasons why Belton is a leading proponent of servant leadership and its application by leaders. According to Best (2020), servant leadership is commonly associated with Ignatian values owing to its propensity to apply universal truths with a spiritual basis from scripture (p.131). Belton also presents the notion that leaders have a duty to implement servant leadership while encouraging a language of faith and spirituality within the workplace. Additionally, servant leadership is among one of the most effective leadership styles, especially in contemporary times characterized by the inviolability of work and practicality of service. Belton, thus, seeks to implement a leadership vision that takes this important tenet into account for posterity and attainment regardless of prevailing circumstances or challenges.
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Furthermore, Belton views romantic health as a noteworthy domain due to its close association with goal setting and role in realizing aims in the future. Romantic health typically encompasses strong relationships characterized by commitment and compromise with the primary aim of accomplishing specified goals. Belton reputes romantic health as a training ground for decision-making and making informed choices which ultimately prove mutually beneficial. Romantic health also creates a unique avenue for cooperation and the identification of common goals to be attained within a specified timeframe (Gobbi, 2017). It inadvertently, molds honest and principled individuals capable of focusing on the most important aspects of an objective. Grounded employees are highly unlikely to engage in unnecessary bickering and disagreements which often result in bitter deadlocks (Murphy & Torre, 2014). Belton’s perspective, particularly advocates for respectful disagreement when drafting a vision for the future as an important strategy in preventing conflict and degradation.
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The family unit forms an integral component in society. Through it, individuals are modeled and shaped appropriately with the aim of ultimately becoming productive members of society and the attainment of future goals. Belton views family health as an instrumental constituent in overall development owing to the creation of wholesome individuals. Her tenure at the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) saw frequent interactions with combat veterans which provided an unadulterated view into the significance of family health. Davis (2017) opines that combat veterans represent the classic examples of the aftermath of compromised family health. For instance, disability for a services member affects the ability to play their role as the main source of income and may have a lasting effect on the actual stability of the family. This new reality may hinder the family from attaining set objectives in the long run such as starting an entrepreneurial venture or enrolling in college. Family health provides a robust foundation from which actionable ideas can spring to aid in achieving success in the near future.
Belton has also played a significant in promoting cooperate social responsibility and making lasting contributions to the community. Her efforts began early in her career as a RN where she strived to reduce health disparities through health promotion (Belton, 2017, p. 65) Belton further envisioned a future where members of staff within an assortment of organization would acknowledge their role to the community. In particular, the participation of key executives within the healthcare industry builds a sense of trust among minority communities which have traditionally been relegated to the periphery (Wilensky, 2016). Belton’s work with veterans in inner city communities in State of Wisconsin through leadership recently saw her champion the involvement of leaders in transforming the status quo. Additionally, her efforts also include promoting cultural and spiritual competence among clinical staff to improve patient outcomes while encouraging care-seeking behavior.
The past thirty years also represent a rich past for Belton owing to numerous professional contributions. Belton has always viewed the management of employees as an art which should be accorded a considerable level of respect. She has proven her mettle as a committed leader within the professional sphere which was primarily why she soared above her contemporaries as a remarkable leader. Belton’s servant leadership style brought civility to the chaos witnessed in the Veterans Integrated Service Network before streamlining is activity. She is also among the originators of the Civility, Respect and Engagement in the Workplace (CREW) initiative to promote professionalism within the workplace environment (Belton, 2018). As a consequence, she has received the Presidential Rank Award on three different occasions due top sheer determination in the sector. Belton’s programs are still applied today in the VHA as a blueprint for unique leadership skills in the quest to reach a projected vision.
Leadership vision is central to governance and the subsequent realization of future objectives. Linda W. Belton, formerly of the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) is the quintessence of leadership vision by underscoring physical health, spiritual health, family health and romantic health while making social and professional contributions. Thus, lasting change can now be attained through this framework for the years to come, in the wake of mounting responsibilities and nascent plights.
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