Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Ten Aspects of Strong Leadership: Point #1

In today's tough economic and competitive environment with more scrutiny from all sides than ever before, it is extremely important that hospitals have strong leadership. Just what is it that makes someone a strong leader? What qualities are necessary to be effective as a leader?

Chuck Lauer who for many years was publisher of Modern Healthcare, a prolific author, public speaker and career coach in the healthcare field, offers up his views on what it takes to be an effective and strong leader. Over the next series of posts, I will share these along with my comments based on my personal experience as a hospital leader and my observations of many in the field. Just by paying attention to others you can learn what to do but more often learn what not to do.

1) Leading is not the same as managing

We often use these terms interchangeably but they are dramatically different, just as management and administration are different things. It has often been said that leaders do the right thing while managers do things right. Management entails working within the organization doing things correctly and efficiently while leadership involves setting that course for the managers to follow. Both functions are necessary for the successful operation of a hospital. But a well managed hospital will not succeed if it is not headed in the right direction. A leader is necessary to set the strategic plan for the organization.

The other aspect of this is the ability to get others to follow you once you have set the course. This means that you must be able to inspire others to act. The willingness of others to follow you is dependent on two things: 1) the message itself must be believable and consistent with others values 2) having the charisma to properly convey the message is just as key. Strong leaders handle both of these well.

More on leadership tomorrow.

Mark Brodeur

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