Leadership is as significant for healthcare as it is for other fields. Since every organization plans to achieve short and long-term goals, leadership is indispensable to achieving them. Every leader strives to motivate workers, keep their morale high, inspire change, achieve milestones, and meet strategic organization targets. For this reason, they must possess similar qualities and traits of effective, visionary leaders if they intend to steer organizations to unprecedented growth.
While some people are born leaders, for others, honing the leadership skill set is a life-long process. They master leadership capabilities by improving their knowledge base or through mentorship, and the same goes for healthcare personnel.
Leadership demands of healthcare
Today, healthcare needs leaders to cultivate associations unhindered by any physical borders, develop highly efficient supply chains, and formulate innovative solutions to complex problems. And that’s only possible if leaders possess the right skills and remain abreast of evolving trends and practices. Since healthcare is a dynamic field that transforms every passing year, leaders must keep pace with these changes.
For this purpose, they must continue to expand their intellectual horizon and upskill themselves. And what better way to do so than leveraging eLearning. In today’s highly volatile healthcare sector, managing studies and work simultaneously is close to impossible. Nonetheless, given the ease and convenience of online learning, healthcare professionals at any level can enhance their academic profile. For those striving for managerial and leadership roles, pursuing a healthcare management degree will prove worthwhile.
Interestingly, leadership and management skills can be developed too. By familiarizing with essential leadership qualities, one can identify the gap and work on them. Healthcare professionals must possess the below-mentioned traits to be effective leaders and steer their organization in the right direction.
Leaders inspire people, and to do so, they must possess a vision of their own. If you’re certain of your vision about your organization’s future, only then can you instill that in others. Your vision should be strong enough to garner support from others and make them follow you intentionally. Once you have people agreeing with your picture of the future, more followers are motivated to join.
Leaders need to have an impactful vision, tell people how and what they will achieve, and exhibit an articulate picture of the future. But equally or maybe more important is telling them how the work and effort of each one of them will help realize those lofty goals. Once you tell people how they fit into the puzzle and their meaningfulness in achieving the overall goal, a sense of relevance creeps into them. As a leader, your vision should give guidance and motivation to people to move in that direction.
- Passion for helping others
Undeniably, a healthcare facility is similar to any organization that consists of daily operations, systems, management, and whatnot. But unlike other organizations, helping people and altruism is its integral pillar. When in healthcare, a passion for helping others means a passion for excelling in your job. Therefore, as a healthcare leader, you must be passionate about helping others and understanding their concerns. For assisting patients, you don’t necessarily have to be a hospital CEO; you can be an effective leader even in the scrubs of a nurse. When you have passion for work, you can instill the same passion and productivity in your employees or team members working to achieve mutual goals.
Passion is often regarded as the most critical trait for a leader, but it is an exception, not a norm. According to a Gallup survey, around 30% of people in the US are not passionate about their jobs. So passion is easy to discuss but challenging to sustain. Over time, after working for years in healthcare, you might lose passion and the human element. If this happens, think about how your work impacts others inside and outside your work environment.
Decisions are crucial for any organization since wrong decisions can severely impact the organization’s integrity. On the contrary, good decisions keep the organizations afloat. But in the case of healthcare, the impact of a decision amplifies because it involves people’s lives; therefore, they should never be taken lightly. As a leader, you must be confident about your decisions because your self-assurance can instill confidence in people working with you. The decision could be about anything from asking for a medical test to changing the dose of medication to increasing a patient’s stay in the hospital.
What’s more, people become better at decision-making as time passes. They learn to derive information given their past experiences and distinguish between alternatives efficiently. But, to command respect and dependence from your employees, you must be able to analyze the information available to you, make a decision on the go, and be assured of its accuracy and impact.
- Develop effective teams
Previously, professionals belonging to the top levels of the hierarchy were considered leaders. But extensive discussion about differences among leaders, managers, and heads of an organization has highlighted that frontline workers and lower-level managers can also possess effective leadership qualities. Their leadership qualities come to the forefront when they develop and work in teams, striving to enhance patient outcomes. A team works on mutual goals and represents a vision of all the stakeholders. Therefore, a team leader must recognize and capitalize on all team members’ skills and qualities to amplify the collective effect and achieve the goals. To act as an effective team leader, motivate each member, delegate responsibilities, follow guidelines and procedures, and stick to deadlines.
- Create a positive work culture
Positivity can prove instrumental when it comes to running an organization. It becomes even more essential in healthcare, where the environment is stressful and demanding. Therefore, effective healthcare leaders must create a positive work environment through their words, actions, and behavior. Employees prefer organizations that promote a positive and nurturing environment which ultimately boosts productivity and performance.
A leader’s positivity also motivates people to take up new responsibilities, regardless of how complicated they are.
Similar to other domains and sectors, healthcare depends on the vision and competencies of its leaders. Given its ever-evolving nature, healthcare organizations worldwide require the insight and skills of effective leaders to steer it amid challenging times. However, mastering certain qualities and traits becomes indispensable to becoming a competent healthcare leader. From developing a vision to motivating others and having a passion for people, these traits can set any leader apart from the crowd.