Developing your leadership capabilities is a central theme in the Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi (TAMU-CC) online MBA with a Concentration in Healthcare Administration program. Every course offers an opportunity to develop expertise, knowledge and capabilities that professionals in healthcare administration need to advance into managerial and executive positions.
Make no mistake about it; healthcare is an industry that is expecting a leadership crisis. According to a PR Web report on a Brandon Hall Group study, 84 percent of organizations expect to have a shortage of qualified leaders by 2023. An aging workforce, high organizational turnover and poor internal leadership development are culprits. Clearly, proactive individual leadership development must be part of the solution.
TAMU-CC encourages working professionals enrolled in this program to integrate what they learn in their MBA courses with key leadership styles and traits they observe in managers and executives at work. There are leadership characteristics that transcend occupational fields, and then there are qualities that are particularly important for success in each industry. In healthcare administration, these are five of the most effective leadership qualities to observe, learn and emulate throughout your career:
1. Personal Integrity: Professionals with integrity work harder and are more committed to their roles and organizations when their leaders have personal integrity. This means acting in an open, direct, honest and trustworthy manner. It requires sincerely having the best interests of all of your constituents including superiors, subordinates, patients and even shareholders, at heart. It means understanding business ethics and applying them, even in difficult situations. Personal integrity also involves communicating the reasons for decisions to those who will be expected to implement and execute them, and it means being receptive to suggestions and criticism when necessary. Narcissists do not last long in healthcare administration.
2. Motivational Ability: As a healthcare professional, you probably marvel at the diverse array of talents among your peers and managers at work. Leveraging these talents by motivating employees to perform at the highest levels of their capabilities — to think harder, to stay sharp longer and to reach down deeper when problem-solving — is essential in administrative leadership. An underappreciated aspect of motivation involves building relationships with and between subordinates, listening to them, and supporting their needs as they try to meet your expectations.
3. Presence and Connection: There is a sense of selfless service that is shared among most healthcare professionals, whether they are practitioners or administrators. Many people have a desire to have purpose in their career and to benefit individuals and society in meaningful ways. In a chaotic environment with many competing demands each day, it can take some introspection to sustain focus on a personal mission and the sense of presence and connection it takes to fulfill that purpose. Great leaders at every level communicate their mission and how it relates to organizational objectives to keep everyone moving in one direction.
4. Critical and Innovative Thinking: MBA programs are widely appreciated in the healthcare industry for developing specific critical-thinking methods that can be applied in business environments. Through case studies and active learning, students develop the ability to think analytically and conceptually to evaluate and solve problems. They learn not to always rely on conventional solutions, but to be innovative in their approaches. These skills are put to use early and often in healthcare leadership roles.
5. Collaborative Skills: No matter how talented, a leader cannot get complex work done alone. Healthcare organizations and the departments within them are structured to foster collaboration. Leaders must consciously develop specific team-building, project management and collaboration-promoting skills in order to benefit from the structures in place.
No single leader is born with the best of all these skills. It is important to assess your own innate aptitudes to determine which of these skills, once fully developed, can help you to distinguish yourself as a valued leader in your organization. The path to fully realizing your own value begins with appreciating the values and skills of your current leaders.
Learn more about TAMU-CC’s online MBA with a Concentration in Healthcare Administration.