Leaders Without a Comprehensive Leadership Development Plan

Health care systems are undergoing significant changes to improve the quality of patient care and reduce medical costs. These systems require innovative and adaptable teams and leaders who think out of the box. However, leaders who do not have the skills to lead during these challenging times are barriers to organization growth and success. This article will describe the essential elements that should be included in a leadership development plan that prepares health care leaders to guide their teams through change. Competent and bold leaders are needed now more than ever within health care organizations.

Think back in time and remember someone who you would describe as an outstanding leader? Why was that individual an outstanding leader? What characteristics and values did they exhibit? Why are they a role model? What made them different?

What type of leader do you want to be? What are your values about leadership? Servant or authoritarian? Directive or collaborative? Where are you now as a leader and where do you want to be in 3 years? What skills do you need to develop to lead in this uncertain health care environment?

Health care leaders within this complex economic environment must be able to make decisions that will lead their organizations through change. What health care delivery systems will look like in the future is uncertain. Which model should I implement:

  • Integrated Teams
  • Medical Home
  • Accountable Care Organization

Health care leaders will wrestle with these issues and their decisions will have a significant financial impact on their organizations. How do you prepare leaders to be able to deal with these complex issues? Leaders need a comprehensive leadership development plan customized to the individual and the issues the organization is and will be facing. A framework for a comprehensive leadership development plan will now be described.

Leadership Development Plan Framework

  1. Behavioral assessments such as Birkman or DISC
  2. Interpersonal Communication Skills
  3. Strategic Thinking
  4. Financial Planning
  5. Change Management
  6. Team Leadership
  7. Team Dynamics
  8. Collaboration Skills
  9. Coaching and Mentoring Skills
  10. Process Improvement Techniques
  11. Information Technology
  12. Decision Making Skills
  13. Consider an advanced degree (MBA, MMM, or Information Technology)
  14. Shadowing leaders in other departments
  15. Executive Coaching

The leadership journey is a life long journey. Becoming a competent leader does not happen overnight. Investment of time and money is demanded. An attitude of curiosity and life-long learning is critical. Leadership is not for the faint-hearted but for those individuals who want to make a significant difference to improve patient care and quality. Start your leadership journey now by taking action to implement a leadership development plan.