The widely renowned American author, scholar, and consultant Warren Bennis has stated quite appropriately that one of the most dangerous myths about leadership is that leaders are born and that they carry it in their genes. This statement couldn’t be further from the truth
Leaders are made, not born. Regardless of the industry, a leader can be anyone who has or can develop a specific set of traits that put them in a position to guide a productive team.
In healthcare, a leader can be a term that refers to individuals in a diverse array of roles. These include team leads, directors, administrators, and managers, to name a few. Each of these individuals is responsible for leading an important department or team offering a variety of healthcare solutions. More than anything, being a leader in the healthcare sector requires passion and devotion toward the work.
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Roles for healthcare leaders
There are various leadership roles in the healthcare field. The highest-paid individuals are C-suite employees like Chief Medical Officers or directors. However, other roles also provide considerable leadership opportunities.
Firstly, there are project management specialists, a job where employment is expected to grow between 5% and 7%. If this is a career you feel like pursuing, you’ll need a master’s in public health (MPH) for starters. Nowadays, you can easily enroll for an online MPH in global health leadership to find a job as a project management specialist.
Other leadership roles include medical and health service managers, who can expect a staggering 28% growth in the field, and administrative services and facilities managers, a field projected to grow by 7% over the next decade.
Here are some tips to become a responsible and efficient healthcare leader:
1. Trust in yourself
The first quality you need to inculcate when aiming for a leadership position in healthcare is trust in your abilities. A lot of people spend most of their lives doubting themselves.
They continue asking whether they are ready to assume a managerial position or not and whether they would succeed as a leader.
These queries and doubts always cloud your self-confidence, and as a result, you never actually take the leap toward that role.
As a good leader, you don’t just have to work with your existing skill set and the clinical prowess that you have. You need to go the extra mile.
Most importantly, you must carry a resilient ethical attitude where you consider the moral implications of every decision you make.
This approach will put you in hot waters with management executives and other stakeholders, but in order to be a true leader, you must stand your ground. This ability only comes from trusting yourself completely.
2. Communication is key
Leadership is more than just delegating or shouting orders to your subordinates. A leader is someone who holds the respect of both his superiors and his peers. And while there are several factors that play a role in this, the biggest element is your communication skills.
In almost every job, communication has a fundamental role to play. Your ability to present ideas in a manner that is understandable, communicate goals to team members, and create concrete plans all define how well you can lead.
Communication also entails your ability to listen. Most people in managerial positions only listen to contradict team members in the end, even when their suggestion makes sense. This highlights a lack of effective communication skills.
Even when you think the other person is wrong, you have to structure your response in a way that is not offensive. The same also applies to patients and their families because communication with them can often be challenging.
3. Leaders know that learning never stops
There isn’t a person in the world who can claim to know everything. The biggest leaders and CEOs of global corporations also have a thing or two to learn from others. It is a fundamental realization that learning never stops, and this defines a true leadership personality. Healthcare, in particular, is a field where the dynamics are evolving continuously. New treatment techniques are discovered, new procedures continuously come to light, and even new diseases impact the world on a regular basis.
Besides these mainstream changes, there is a lot that goes on in the field. Even as a professional, you learn a lot from observing and listening to people around you. Being open to absorbing this information, no matter the source, is the hallmark of a leader. Many people can reject concepts and ideas simply because a junior came up with them. This is opposite to what a leader does because they understand that knowledge can come from anywhere and anytime.
4. Have a positive attitude
Almost every healthcare role comes with long hours and extensive pressures. The challenges that medical professionals face on a daily basis can perturb the calmest of personalities. However, this is where the true test of a healthcare leader lies. You need to be able to maintain a positive attitude no matter how tired, annoyed, or disturbed you may be. You don’t know when you’ll encounter a patient, their attendant, or even a team member.
Carrying a negative aura around you can lead to many issues. You may end up venting out unnecessarily on a team member or, worse yet, on a patient. You may also cause a drop in morale around the facility when the mood is already grim. You would not want to influence these actions as a leader in the healthcare field. You will have to exude a positive vibe at all times while at work because that will encourage your team to continue performing to the best of their abilities.
5.Find the right position for yourself
In the healthcare industry, some people excel in particular areas, and identifying these areas is crucial to maximizing your leadership potential. Though it could take some time, keep trying to get the job where you can best contribute. Connect with a credible medical recruiter to quickly find the position that best fits your qualifications, abilities, and objectives.
Becoming a healthcare leader is more than just about skills. It is about empathy, communication, a zeal to serve, and passion for the field. Embodying these elements is what defines you as a leader and elevates you to a position where you can effectively lead a team of medical professionals.