10 tips to become a better healthcare leader

The best leaders surely want to become even better leaders. And healthcare execs can become amazing leaders if they follow suggestions from experts who have led in times of trouble and inspire their staff.

Marty Fukuda, chief operating officer of N2 Publishing, focuses on how executives can lead during difficult times in a column for Entrepreneur magazine. Among his recommendations:

  • Keep a cool head so your team can stay calm and focus on the task at hand.
  • Move from reactive to proactive mode because the "quicker you get your team back to a proactive state, the better long-term decisions will likely be."

Sydney Finkelstein, director of the Leadership Center at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College, talks about "what amazing bosses do differently" in an article for Harvard Business Review. He says that amazing bosses:

  • Manage individuals, not teams, by customizing interactions with them, understanding what makes them tick and remaining accessible for one-on-one conversations. 
  • Provide continuous, feedback that includes plenty of coaching.
  • Don't just talk--they listen. They present problems and challenges, then ask questions that engage the entire team in coming up with solutions.

As FierceHealthcare recently reported, top executives who listen to the needs and opinions of others are better able to promote communication, cooperation and collaboration. That requires approaching leadership from a position of humility, experts say.

And executives like Scripps Health CEO Chris Van Gorder stay connected to employees as individuals by personally replying to emails. Being responsive conveys respect, Van Gorder has said.

In a separate article in Harvard Business Review, corporate trainer and personal effectiveness consultant Paul Axtell writes about how leaders can get the most out of meetings.

  • At the end of each topic in a meeting, pause to agree on next steps and establish specific commitments with clear deadlines. Consider timelines that makes the most sense, and are negotiable at the time people make the commitments.
  • Make clear that you expect each commitment will be fulfilled as agreed upon, he writes, and if something comes up, you expect the team members reach out to discuss the change.
  • Distribute concise, clear notes within 24 hours of the meeting capturing key points and a list of specific actions that indicate who will take them and deadlines. One page should suffice.

Finally, writer and marketer Rikki Rogers writes in Healthecareers.com about "how to stop feeling busy" by changing the way she thinks and speaks. She suggests:

  • Stop talking about being busy and start talking about what you're actually doing.
  • Outsource and delegate more than you think you should. Try writing down two tasks at the end of the day that someone else could have done instead of you.

To learn more:
- here's the Entrepreneur article
- read Finkelstein's article in HBR
- see Axtell's HBR article
- check out the Healthecareers.com article