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Qualities of next generation healthcare leaders

19 December 2016

What essential qualities are sought after in the next generation of Australian healthcare leaders? Let’s explore some of the key behaviours and qualities needed for effective leadership in a rapidly-changing industry.

Vision, adaptability and resilience

The next generation of healthcare leaders are forward thinkers. They embrace, adapt to and implement change smoothly and effectively. Industry information, technology and practices are constantly evolving in our field. A good leader stays ahead of change and has the confidence and ability to get their organisation on board with new ways of operating. They aren’t afraid to replace the status quo with more streamlined strategies and methods.

Effective leaders have a clear vision of what success will look like and can break down barriers to get where they want to be. In this sense, a good leader is both a visionary and a strategist. They have the courage to dream big, and the practical ability to turn larger goals into measurable actions and detailed plans.

The best performers in the industry often seem to have a persistently positive attitude and an inexhaustible supply of energy when sharing their ideas for the future. Drive, willpower, optimism and passion are contagious. A strong leader believes in what they’re trying to achieve, and enthusiastic about sharing their vision with others. This cultivates a positive atmosphere and sparks motivation in the team or organisation. Like anyone, good leaders face setbacks, frustrations and roadblocks along the way – they just know how to pick themselves up and keep going.

Integrity, character and leading by example

A good leader demonstrates integrity and moral character in the way they handle their work, and in their interactions with the people around them. A leader who is approachable, who listens, empathises and communicates honestly, is someone others want to follow. Guiding others with fairness and respect, while being able to back this up with knowledge based on experience, are important qualities of a good healthcare leader.

A great leader understands the importance of team members banding together to reach the finish line of a project. They will be skillful in facilitating and inspiring their team to truly invest in common goals and work together to achieve them. This cohesion and investment in shared goals is cemented and strengthened through the example shown by a leader. By displaying a strong work ethic and the characteristics needed to reach a shared vision, the leader facilitates team ‘buy-in.’

Lifelong learning and mentorship

Having the capacity to continually learn and improve is an important part of ongoing professional development. Good leaders understand this and make the effort to continually mentor and lead by example. They never miss the opportunity to create valuable experiences and learning opportunities for their team members.

Inspirational leadership is not simply a result of further study, intuition, practice and personal characteristics. It takes hard work and practice. Leaders aren’t complacent about their own knowledge and generally seek to continually improve and expand upon what they know. A serious leader regularly hones their skills by seeking out professional development opportunities, and is generous about passing on these opportunities and their newfound knowledge to others. They understand that everyone requires access to lifelong learning opportunities and a chance to freshen and improve upon current knowledge, capabilities and skills.

To understand the theory and principles of healthcare leadership in depth, a Master of Healthcare Leadership can really provide a rewarding learning experience. It gives you the knowledge to be able to apply management and leadership strategies to your workplace, and become a next generation leader for yourself.

Call 1300 589 882 for more information.