Selecting Your Next Leaders

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Ernie CerdenaBy Ernesto Cerdena, CRA, FAHRA

Now that the US mid-term elections are behind us, Republicans have seized the majority of Congress seats once again. The GOP led Congress has begun working on the top issues in America such as the economy, terrorism,  immigration reform, and the topic most near and dear to our hearts: healthcare.

While the American voters have done their job to elect government leaders, the AHRA membership went through a similar exercise earlier this year, prior to the Annual Meeting. I had the good fortune to win the majority of votes to become the President Elect. Is winning this election by chance or by popularity? According to published literature, the importance of issues on voter choices has varied across elections, but voters’ evaluations of a candidate have always been an important factor in their choices. Experts found that voters focus predominantly on candidates’ personality traits rather than on issues or party affiliation. The voters focused on five categories of candidate characteristics: competence, integrity, reliability, charisma, and personal qualities.

One factor that has often been studied along with candidate evaluations is leadership. In analyzing the impact of several personality traits on candidate evaluations, leadership quality was found to be an important factor and has a strong influence on individual vote choice. Therefore, voters typically are looking for leaders who have the capacity to influence the values needed in a changing organizational environment.

Transformational leadership behavior has a significant influence in my leadership style. I embrace it because it requires the commitment of leaders to bring organizational transformation.  These commitments include:

  • Firm communication of the negative impact of the status quo
  • Clear establishment of the organizational vision and solid communication of that vision in a way that will ignite excitement and inspiration to followers
  • The designation of key people and stakeholders to support the transformation at the critical level
  • The ability to acknowledge and respect some members’ resistance to change and accept it as a part of the transformation
  • Consistent communication about the change progress and the issuance of rewards and recognition for achievements

Hence, as we work together as one body, I am highly confident that we are moving in the right direction to transform our association with focus on the vision, mission, and execution of our strategic plan.

After having gone through a rigorous interview by the AHRA Nominations Committee, it is my firm belief that I was chosen by the members to serve because of my combined professional experience and knowledge in the medical imaging field for 28 years, manifestation of characteristics and leadership qualities, and commitment to our association by volunteering for the past 11 years. When I “take office” as president of AHRA after the 2015 Annual Meeting, I will be responsible for governing the organization and assuring that it succeeds in its mission.

We are already gearing up for a new set of candidates for the 2015 Board Election. Nominations are now open for Director and President Elect.  If you know someone who would be a great AHRA leader, I encourage you to nominate them (and you can self-nominate, too!). When the polls open for voting in May, I humbly request the membership to do your part and vote. Exercise your right; voting is vital for the future of our association.



Graefe A. Accuracy of Vote Expectation Surveys in Forecasting Elections. Public Opinion Quarterly [serial online]. March 2, 2014;78(S1):204-232. Available from: Business Source Complete, Ipswich, MA. Accessed November 26, 2014.

Green D, Roberts G. TRANSFORMATIONAL LEADERSHIP IN A POSTMODERN WORLD: THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION OF BARACK OBAMA. Academy Of Strategic Management Journal [serial online]. January 2012;11(1):9-25. Available from: Business Source Complete, Ipswich, MA. Accessed November 28, 2014.

Hersey, P, Blanchard, K.H, & Johnson, DE. Management of Organizational Behavior. New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 1996.

Ernesto Cerdena, CRA, FAHRA is the director of outpatient services at Parkview Adventist Medical Center in Brunswick, ME. He can be reached at

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