Critical Leadership Competencies for Health Care Organizations
Authentic leaders are professionals in their field who have the natural qualities of an organizer and the proper training, knowledge, and skills necessary to carry out high-quality work. In fact, the principal competencies necessary for a leader and manager in healthcare include the top five characteristics. According to the Healthcare Leadership Alliance (HLA), a healthcare professional’s competencies include effective communication, the qualities and character of a leader, professionalism, awareness of the healthcare system, and business competencies (Hahn & Lapetra, 2019). On the contrary, the Center for Creative Leadership (CCL) has identified the essential qualities for success in medical institutions – excellent leadership, resourcefulness, self-control, change management skills, and collaborative management skills (Practice Business, 2020). Based on the Duke Healthcare Leadership Model concept, the leadership model states that competent specialists have emotional intelligence and critical thinking (Hargett et al., 2017). They can work in a team, adhere to the system’s integrity, and focus on patients.
Researchers from Northeastern University define a leader in terms of such qualities as showing humility, readiness for new challenges, mentoring initiative, a desire to train and mentor others, and providing opportunities for growing leaders (Burnham, 2020). Based on the opinion of the Professor and director of the MHA program Leonard Friedman, a specialist needs to master a new set of skills and abilities (Friedman, 2018). For instance, such as improved communication skills, emotional intelligence, enhanced conversation skills, the ability to manage changes, and acceptance of various difficulties (Friedman, 2018). All this allows concluding that, at the moment, there is no single and universal opinion about the competencies that a good leader in the healthcare system has. However, each competence is crucial for the success of organizations. These aspects are essential to finding at each level of management the options for actions that can prevent and even improve the quality of the health protection system, medical services, and the work of teams and institutions. Competent leaders show concern for the future of medical institutions and provide them with a long-term competitive advantage.
Personal Leadership Gap Analysis
In achieving success in the healthcare industry, it is necessary to have high communication skills, empathy, responsiveness, and focus on the client or patient first of all. In addition, a natural leader in healthcare has developed emotional intelligence, the ability to perceive and express emotions. A manager can make quick and prompt decisions, see the picture of the situation as a whole; he or she has good professional knowledge, skills, and competencies. Following the information obtained from the tables, I can compare personal leadership qualities with those necessary for a professional in the healthcare industry.
At the moment, I have a set of knowledge, skills, and values necessary for both a manager and a leader in medicine and healthcare. I am a friendly, non-confrontational person and easily find a common language. I show sympathy and am always ready to lend a helping hand to colleagues and patients. Also, I respond to a problem, analyze it, and solve the issue quickly and promptly, following the plans and methods taken. Nevertheless, I lack some insight and breadth of views on the situation as a whole, and I cannot always foresee the outcome of certain circumstances. Also, the lack of apparent confidence in the actions in some cases affects the expected outcome of events. In addition, I cannot predict and correctly interpret the emotions, motivation, intentions of colleagues and subordinates. I do not always understand the motives and intentions of other people. Finding myself in a difficult situation, sometimes I fall into a stupor, but I try to find the strength to look for solutions, an acceptable way out of it.
Thus, my current communication skills, professional features, and abilities to quickly respond to the problems correspond to what a leader in the health industry needs. In addition, I am not always able to recognize people’s emotions and desires, anticipate the causes and consequences of problems, build specific plans and strategies for solving them. It is these shortcomings that I need to work on in the future to become a specialist in the field of interest to me. To fill in the gaps, I need to focus on leadership and communication skills, strategic, critical, and emotional thinking, and the skills of setting goals and formulating a vision for the organization’s future. In accordance with this, it is necessary to draw up a plan for the development of competencies, based on the STAR table.
Individual Leadership Development Plan (ILDP)
To correctly draw up and implement a plan, it is necessary to adhere to the following elements. According to the STAR table, I should work on human resources, process and project management, organizational abilities, and performance measurement skills to become a professional in healthcare. I should develop my “soft skills” – the abilities to think “outside the box,” make decisions, communicate effectively and work in a team. I need to make a goal and purpose – developing the above skills to perfection, focus attention and energy on what should be achieved. For example, various training, seminars, and special literature will help hone my existing leadership abilities and gain new knowledge and skills for further application in practice. It is essential to include interaction with like-minded people in developing leadership skills – close and intensive interaction with specialists and professionals in this field allows me to use the acquired knowledge and receive feedback and evaluation about my progress. Below is a table of how I will hone my skills during the year and focus on first according to the ranking system.
The most important indicators of the plan’s successful implementation are the acquired skills and competencies by the model of a leader in the health industry and the organization. After eliminating significant shortcomings and gaps, I will improve my complex abilities of competent personnel and project management. Also, I will have advanced communication and organizational skills, a practical mind, the ability to charge and activate others, criticality, tact, initiative, demanding of oneself and others, self-control, perseverance. In addition, I will be able to see the situation broadly and deeply, consider it from different points of view and determine an approach for creating and improving the working conditions and the process. The individual leadership development plan is consistent with developing industry competence, decision-making skills, and high communication required in the industry. In addition, it corresponds to the principles of a holistic approach to problems, the skills of measuring the effectiveness of healthcare, which is required for the successful implementation of activities in the organization.
Therefore, I will be ready to comprehend self-improvement, perform the function of stimulating and encouraging self-development. I will take a particular position, motivate activity and behavior, transforms, form the ability to understand self-development tasks and make decisions about self-changes. Additionally, I will mentally see previously unknown connections, gain new knowledge or an ideal image and create an objective reality distinguished by originality and significance. I will be able to see something new in the surrounding world and find unique ways of learning it, easily overcoming any difficulties that accompany self-development. I will independently neutralize negative emotions that arise when solving creative tasks and actualize positive emotions that help self-development. The above-mentioned acquired skills and competencies will increase the effectiveness of my activities and the development process.
Burnham, K. (2020). Effective leadership in healthcare: 5 essential traits. Northeastern University.
Friedman, L. (2018). Transformational healthcare leadership competencies. Association for Talent Development.
Hahn, C. A., & Lapetra, M. G. (2019). Development and use of the leadership competencies for healthcare services managers assessment. Front Public Health, 7(34).
Hargett, C. W., et al. (2017). Developing a model for effective leadership in healthcare: A concept mapping approach. Journal of Healthcare Leadership, 9, pp. 69-78.
Herd, A. M. (2016). Finding what works: Leadership competencies for the changing healthcare environment. Journal of Leadership Education, 15(4), pp. 217-233.
Practice Business. (2020). The five most vital skills for healthcare leaders. Practice Business.
Robbins, B., & Davidhizar, R. (2020). Transformational leadership in health care today. The Health Care Manager, 39(3), pp. 117-121. Web.
|Personal Leadership Gap Analysis Template|
|Industry Needs||Organizational (UnitedHealthcare) Needs||Personal STAR Assessment||Variances or Gaps|
|Customer-first oriented.||Integrity||Trust and respect. Ensuring high-quality patient care at all stages and levels.||Consistent compliance with working principles.|
|Social, emotional intelligence.||Compassion||Self-motivation and self-development.||Proper understanding of the motives of employees, their moods and desires.|
|High communication skills, empathy.||Relationships||Active listening, friendliness, respect, empathy, responsiveness.||Interpretation of the opinions and thoughts of another people.|
|Decision-making skills.||Innovation||Development and adoption of strategic decisions.||Completeness of the vision of the situation as a whole.|
|Outstanding industry competence.||Performance||Possession of knowledge and skills within the organization and profession.||Correct definitions of ways to solve problems.|
|STAR Format Competency|
|NCHL Competency and Current ILDP Rating||Situation||Task||Action||Result||Outcome Rating: |
1 (worst) – 5 (best)
|Accountability:A High Degree of Responsibility for Actions. |
|Negligent, biased attitude towards the patient.||Introducing the course of the organization’s culture.||Articulating clear expectations and exercises aimed at implementing adherence to high standards.||The team feels the strength of unity, trust, and support from the mentor, which improved the quality of work.||5|
|Achievement Orientation:Interpretation of the Problems and Reaction to Them. Focus on Getting the Best Results. |
|An employee is un initiative, passive in actions.||The need for setting goals and objectives, determining ways to achieve them.||Showing motivation, a common goal and vocation; involving employees in joint activities.||Some employees show perseverance and independence in overcoming obstacles.||4|
|Analytical Thinking:Interpreting Data and New Information. |
|The staff’s inattention to details, a distorted vision of the situation by prejudices.||Identification of ways to develop analytical and creative thinking skills.||Conducting various training events for the development of specific skills.||Many employees have become better at analyzing and reasoning over some working moments.||4|
|Change Leadership:Process of Supporting People Through Changes. |
|Reorganization of the management staff, introduction of new technologies, rules, and methods.||The need for rapid “restructuring” and adaptation.||Support, application of a set of measures to reduce discomfort and stress.||Employees understand the pros and cons of changes, see the “whole picture”; trust and mutual understanding have been formed.||5|
|Collaboration:Complementary Roles and Cooperatively Working. |
|Negative impressions of patients due to errors in prescribing medications.||Ensuring the best results for patients.||Introduction of joint cooperation, mutual understanding, and complementarity.||A team has developed collaborative relationships, trust, and respect.||5|
|Communication Skills:Verbal and Non-Verbal Communication, Training and Assistance to Patients, Training of colleagues. |
|Biased attitude of employees towards patients, lack of adequate response to their needs.||Establishing positive relationships with patients, understanding their thoughts, emotions, and gestures.||Teaching the rules of communication with patients and the ability to find a common language with them.||In addition to theory, the lack of an appropriate practical component prevents the implementation of the planned plans in full.||4|
|Community Orientation:Social Responsibility Values, Decision Making, Strong Emphasis. |
|Assisting exclusively at the territorial level.||The need to move to community-based care.||Improving the welfare of society and the state, and not just individual groups of people.||Employees have improved the treatment quality of diseases due to the knowledge of all community members.||5|
|Financial Skills:Acquiring and Using Resources to the Efficiency of the Organization. |
|Incorrect distribution of finances.||Preparation of financial statements.||Preparation of the company’s financial flows, profit, loss statement, the current balance sheet, the distribution of cash for the future.||Financial efficiency of operations, implementation of plans for the future.||5|
|Human Resource Management:Human Resource Management, Recruitment and Selection of Personnel. |
|Lack of talented employees, professional burnout.||Retention of employees, ensuring a positive attitude, firmness of spirit.||The practice of emotional release, the introduction of diversity in work processes.||Not all employees were able to overcome the problem of reduced productivity. This issue requires a more in-depth study.||3|
|Impact and Influence: |
|Uncoordinated actions of team members.||Ensuring successful work.||Organization, activation, and support; subordination of employees to a single will with the help of specific means.||Employees believe that their efforts will be fairly evaluated.||5|
|Information Seeking: Information Management Process. |
|Unverified information from the Internet when working with documentation and scientific research.||Ensuring the search and use of the necessary information.||Determining the verified data sources, a correctly formed query.||Academic design and structure of the narrative. The works use reliable sources of information.||5|
|Information Technology Management: Treating Patients, Reducing Healthcare Costs. |
|Errors in the introduction of an electronic database of patients.||Improving the quality of care and communication with the patient through computer systems.||Competent management of medical information, regardless of the format.||Improving clinical outcomes, facilitate coordination of data tracking.||5|
|Initiative: Coordinated, Team-Based, Patient Care Model. |
|Not all employees are willing to take on additional responsibilities.||Development of action programs aimed at demonstrating activity.||Encouraging the determination and initiative in the assigned work.||Many employees began to show self-confidence, great activity.||4|
|Innovative Thinking: Changing the Status Quo, Generating Ideas and Solutions. |
|Employees’ suspicious attitude to additional roles and responsibilities.||The need to change the corporate culture, introduce new technologies, and modernize existing ones.||Changing the principle of personnel management.||Some employees show their potential from the best side.||4|
|Interpersonal Understanding: Internal, Hidden Process of Relations Between People. |
|Difficulties of employees in dealing with patients – lack of attention and interest.||Building a system of interpersonal mutual understanding.||Establishing the process of emotional and rational understanding.||Improving the quality of communication. Some employees lack sensitivity and flexibility.||4|
|Organizational Awareness: The Ability to Effectively Discuss Changes, Plans, Next Steps, Directions of the Organization’s Activities. |
|The lack of a correct understanding of the organization’s culture.||Strengthening organizational awareness.||Implementation of training activities aimed at developing the specific skills.||A clear understanding of what is happening inside the organization and how.||5|
|Performance Measurement: The Degree Of Fulfillment Of The Production Rate. |
|Lack of a balanced scorecard.||Implementation of new solutions.||Evidence-based justifications, development of a standardized set of measures.||Resistance of some employees to measurements.||3|
|Process Management and Organizational Design: Process of Directing and Controlling the Efforts of Organization’ Members. |
|Inefficiency of employees.||Struggle with the problem of effective use and management of employees’ working time.||Creation of a set of measures within the framework of working time control, proper prioritization.||The lack of specific tools affects the low efficiency of some employees.||3|
|Professionalism: Behavior, Goals and Qualities of a Healthcare Professional. |
|Lack of certain skills required for effective work.||Self-improvement and training.||Showing perseverance in mastering new skills, keeping records of professional achievements, improving personal efficiency.||Improved skills and knowledge, high-quality leadership, ensuring patient safety.||5|
|Project Management: Solving Tasks and Achieving The Set Goals of the Project. |
|The lack of clear goals and success criteria regarding the project for the treatment of specific diseases.||Development of a project plan.||Introducing goals, tasks, deadlines, performers and resource allocation.||The project is at the development stage due to the lack of competent prioritization and the necessary resources.||3|
|Relationship Building: Process of Developing Social Ties. |
|Lack of time and remarkable confidence, proper motivation to maintain professional relationships.||Supporting a strong connection with the staff.||Maintaining a strong professional connection.||Organization of mutual assistance and understanding.||5|
|Self-Confidence: A Positive Assessment of Skills and Abilities. |
|Some demoralizing life experiences.||Undertaking adoption of a set of measures to normalize self-esteem.||Getting rid of negative thoughts and ideas, spending time with friends and colleagues who make feel good.||Improving well-being and productivity at work.||5|
|Lack of an accurate self-development strategy.||Personal growth planning.||Drawing up a plan, identifying goals and objectives.||Updated knowledge and skills, improving the efficiency of work.||5|
|Strategic Orientation: Defining the Steps to Achieve the Company’s Mission and Goals. |
|Dissatisfaction of patients with communication and service.||Improving patients’ satisfaction.||Developing a strategy for quality control and improving the efficiency of care.||Many patients feel the attention and care.||4|
|Talent Development:Talent Management, Development of Skills and Knowledge. |
|Lack of clear and high-quality training programs and motivation.||Development of plans for performance management.||Providing each employee with the opportunity for advanced training, development of knowledge, talents, and abilities.||Most employees are ready to start developing, strive for more.||4|
|Team Leadership |
|Lack of team leadership practice.||Formation of effective team leadership.||Education of new leaders.||Several people have more power than one and the team is ready to overcome all kinds of obstacles.||5|