The healthcare industry faces a wide range of challenges on a day to day basis, resulting in a rapidly changing and evolving environment. Such an uncertain environment creates the need for healthcare leaders who can adapt to these changes with the right set of skills, knowledge, expertise and leadership qualities.
Unlike most other industries, the leaders in Healthcare need to be extremely strong, both mentally and emotionally, to withstand the complexities and the demanding nature of the job. These complexities might sometimes be a matter of life or death for a patient, thereby building immense pressure. In such times, a leader must be able to think strategically and lead the team effectively.
There are several competencies associated with a successful and efficient healthcare leader:
- SELF AWARENESS– A leader must identify his/her own values and beliefs as well as strengths and weaknesses. Such an awareness can help in leading with conviction. A leader must also be able to manage his/her emotions and admit to mistakes and wrong judgements. This will not only facilitate self-improvement but also set an appropriate example for others to model and follow.
- COMMUNICATION– A leader must communicate clearly, the instructions and directions to the team members. Maintaining relationships and facilitating interactions with the team members is extremely essential for smooth sailing. The leader must also be willing to listen and be approachable and open minded. Providing frequent feedback with appreciations and criticisms in the right proportions can keep the team morale high.
- PROFESSIONALISM– This includes the ability to align personal goals with those of the organization. Achieving success for the organization and meeting the targets must be a primary objective. An efficient leader also must keep in mind the ethical and professional codes of conduct, in their strive to serve the community.
- KNOWLEDGE OF THE ENVIRONMENT– A leader must have adequate knowledge and understanding of the healthcare system and environment. This can help in making sound and quick decisions, in times of emergencies.
- WELL PLANNED EXECUTION– A Leader must create an effective framework and a layout of all guidelines to be followed by the team. In order to obtain high performance, the leader must direct and delegate the work based on the members’ competencies. All decisions must be well planned out and based on facts, ethics and personal judgements. A leader must also be open to new ideas and novel techniques of approaching problems in order to sustain the creativity within the team.
A well planned out competency model or framework for healthcare leadership competencies can help make wise and profitable recruitment and hiring decisions. A competent healthcare leader can not only help build an effective team, address revenue losses and deal with adversities gracefully, but can also pave the way for the organization by passing on his/her expertise to the next generation of leaders.
Efficient, adaptable and competent leaders are no longer a mere luxury for the healthcare industry, but of utmost importance to the organization’s success in today’s world.