Large companies and small practices alike recognize the value of good management. Whether a graduate in health administration or a physician making the transition to management, good outcomes begin and end with right CEO. While there is much in terms of background qualifications and experience to consider, finding the right candidate is ultimately about finding the right kind of leader for your own organization. What are the things that really need to work better, what needs to stay the same, and most importantly, what kind of team do you already have in place? All of these questions will inform what kind of leader you need.
Here I offer four leadership types best for healthcare, each with a description of strengths, to both offering insight into where you may have gone wrong in the past and also how you might get it right.
1. Front-line leaders
Front-line leaders are easily identified by the high level of passion for their work. A front-line leader is not the sort who would choose any work other than healthcare, even if the choices were unlimited. They broadcast a sort of authentic empathy towards everyone - whether employee or patient - and they work best when they’re in the thick of the action, rolling up their sleeves and getting to work.
A front-line leader is a great choice for an organizational culture that has become passive or indifferent. The instant trustworthiness and positive effect of this leader can recharge flagging morale.
2. Transformative leaders
First and foremost, this leader is charismatic. The transformative leader is an agent for change but anything but reckless. He or she will consider all options and weigh the potential risks and rewards before making a decision. In addition, decisions will be based upon moral and ethical considerations, rather than just the bottom line.
The transformative leader is great for an organization that needs a dependable role model. If the culture of your organization seems to put too much emphasis on compensation rather than patient-first rewards, choose this leader.
3. Postmodern leaders
The postmodern leader shakes things up. He or she keeps an eye on building cohesive teams and refining or redefining systems and workflows. As things change within the company, others will also feel empowered and likewise get the ball rolling to better serve the population.
This style works well if you need to make sweeping changes or if you’re just beginning as a business. And don’t worry about staff resistance. This leader is a forceful yet down-to-earth person who easily inspires others.
4. Metamodern leaders
If you think healthcare isn’t a creative field, think again. The metamodern leader uses a novel approach to almost everything. Though the expression may be overused, this person truly does “think outside the box.” This results, inevitably, in innovative solutions to what may have previously seemed to be intractable problems.
Choose this leader if you feel like you’ve tried every approach but still aren’t getting where you need to be. The Metamodern leader will solve problems in new and exciting ways.
Choosing the right administrative fit is more than a matter of qualification. Understanding the attributes of the right leadership types for healthcare can help you delve deeper and find the right (or identify the wrong) person to take your organization to a higher level.