The forefront of the healthcare profession is a continually moving target. But what isn't changing are the characteristics that distinguish excellent leaders: They invest in themselves, in others and in their communities.
The need for healthcare executives to invest in and expand their professional competencies and leadership capabilities has never been greater. Changes in the financing and delivery of healthcare continue to occur at a rapid pace, which makes identifying the expertise and skills needed to stay ahead of the curve an equally complex challenge.
At the American College of Healthcare Executives, we are building upon a long tradition of supporting healthcare leaders in their leadership journeys. We believe that only through deliberate, ongoing professional and leadership development can healthcare executives be assured they have the management and leadership skills needed to effectively serve their patients, organizations and communities.
To engage fully in professional and leadership development activities, healthcare executives should commit to participating in educational offerings that develop a balance of healthcare management competencies and an evolving set of people skills.
It's clear that many of the tools and competencies that have served healthcare leaders well in the past probably aren't going to be sufficient in today's dynamic environment. ACHE research shows that while core skill sets around financial management, patient safety and quality, and communication continue to be fundamental for healthcare administrators—something we shouldn't expect to change—several emerging competencies also are critical, including emotional intelligence, creating an executive persona, and evolving proficiencies in change management.
Mastering the new skills and emerging technologies that will enhance professional performance requires renewed commitment to self-improvement if we are to succeed.
Self-awareness is the core building block to ensure leaders have the “emotional intelligence” to lead well.