In a recent article, in the Harvard Business review written by Heather Punke, she outlined the skills necessary for success in the C-Suite. She writes that regardless of the industry, executive leaders tend to share a certain set of skills that make them successful. The seven traits were gathered in a survey of senior consultants for a global executive search firm. They represent what companies frequently cite as a requirement for C-level executives.
As I read through these, I realized that these traits are not just important to C-Suite success, they can apply to all managers at all levels and are especially useful for biomedical directors who wish to play a greater leadership role within their hospitals. Listed below is more detail of these traits as I would apply them to emerging biomedical managers.
This skill is cited as most indispensable for success. Great leaders do more than take charge. They know how to inspire others. They are non-authoritarian. They show respect for others and build trust.
2. Strategic thinking and execution. This is a skill required of every department head. They not only need to have a vision (“Where do I want my department to go”) but they must have the ability to plan strategically and identify the steps necessary to carry out that plan. They must also have a vision that is consistent with the goals and objectives of their hospital.
3. Technical and technology skills.
This is an area where biomedical managers should excel, and although many of them understand the engineering and operational aspects of devices, many lack a broad understanding of the relationship of technology to the efficient and effective delivery of healthcare. Working with physicians and nurses to develop a full understanding of how technology can improve patient outcomes can make big difference in how you are perceived as a technology leader.
4. Team- and relationship-building.
A leader cannot succeed as a one person player. They must avoid turf protection, be less self oriented and work collegially. They must hire and develop team oriented staff members and assist them with their growth.
5. Communication and presentation.
Every leader must possess the ability to persuade and have excellent presentation skills. They must be able to speak convincingly to all levels of the organization.
Leaders must be at ease with change and have a mind-set for continuous improvement. They must focus on the future and continuously seek ways to upgrade and improve operations.
Personal integrity and ethical behavior are a leader’s most highly valued assets. One thing the authors of the study noted was what they called “the demise of the star culture. Being a team player—working well with others—matters more and is expected to grow in importance.
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