6 HEALTHCARE LEADERSHIP STYLES:

IDENTIFYING YOUR STYLE

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LEADERSHIP STYLE BEHAVIORS

Front-line

  • Hands-on
  • Displays empathy
  • Exudes passion
  • Demonstrates authenticity

Postmodern

  • Creates new processes
  • Deconstructs status quo
  • Practices self-awareness
  • Empowers others

Transformative

  • Acts as change agent
  • Takes calculated risks
  • Fosters curiosity
  • Cultivates charisma

Servant

  • Cares for others
  • Leads by example
  • Upholds ethics
  • Supports others to success

Contrarian

  • Thinks independently
  • Delegates decisions
  • Sells a vision self
  • Realistic about constraints of role

MetaModern

  • Employs imagination
  • Innovates regularly
  • Paradoxically pragmatic idealistic
  • Develops future vision

 

 

1. FRONT-LINE LEADERS

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Front-line leaders are engaged and know how to connect with followers. They’re emotionally intelligent, generous, and empower those around them to achieve their best.

 

FRONT-LINE VALUES

 
Show up - you can’t lead from your office

Be present - you lose out when you’re distracted

Demonstrate empathy - let others know you care

Practice awareness - it improves your decisions

Share yourself - this helps you be authentic

Empower your people - they are the catalysts

Be a storyteller - connect deeply with others

 
Once you start to see front-line staff as people, not merely as faceless employees, you want to do everything in your power to care for them. Your whole approach to leadership changes.

GORDER, CHRISVAN (2014-10-10). THE FRONT-LINE LEADER: BUILDING A HIGH-PERFORMANCE ORGANIZATION FROM THE GROUND UP (KINDLELOCATIONS2002-2003). WILEY. KINDLE EDITION.

Valuing frontline staff is the most important part of becoming a frontline leader—be it in health administration or any other field.

A culture that values frontline staff creates loyalty. This loyalty has many advantages including increased performance, retention, quality control, engagement, productivity, and morale. Each outcome contributes to the bottom line.

 

Application to Healthcare

Front-line staff are the key to success in healthcare. Studies indicate that happy employees improve the health of patients. Healthcare front-line staff are directly responsible for patient satisfaction levels.

 

2. POSTMODERN LEADERS

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Postmodern leaders are bold, cooperative, creative, and enjoy developing their teams. They value the contributions all team members make toward positive outcomes.

 

POSTMODERN VALUES

Be creative - exhibit and cultivate new ideas

Think outside the box - let go of old ways of thought and action

Chaos & complexity play a role - theories from both of these disciplines inform postmodern style

Workers are investments - seen in contrasts to ideas of workers as a cost of doing business

Embrace diversity - it brings creativity & strength

Empower workers - delegate work & develop new leaders

(Bojeand Dennehy, 2000)

 

Uncertainty and continual change in the environment means leaders struggle to make decisions about the future. Postmodern leaders must lead despite ambiguity and within specific contexts.

FROMBELAK& DVORSKI, 2015

While leadership of the past focused on clear hierarchies, linear solutions, and automation of processes, postmodern leaders understand that today’s environment requires more collaborative and complex approaches.

 

Application to Healthcare

Leading in a post reform environment as healthcare shifts from volume to value requires innovation and collaborative approaches. Healthcare organizations are becoming flattened and need leaders that understand how to work cross-functionally. Leaders are increasingly called upon to work with other organizations and understand partnerships.

 

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3. TRANSFORMATIONAL LEADERS

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Transformational leaders work together to improve conditions and achieve goals. Inspiration and cooperation drive transformational leaders toward positive change.

 

TRANSFORMATIONAL VALUES

Create collaboration - encourage those you lead

Become a role model - be fair, have integrity, and exhibit moral fortitude

Set expectations - create goals and hold others to high standards

Reward and recognize - point out the good work others do for you and the organizations

Be inspiring - motivate and mobilize your team to achieve great thin

Encourage - working together for the benefit of all and develop your team

 

Personal transformation can and does have global effects. As we go, so goes the world, for the world is us. The revolution that will save the world is ultimately a personal one.

MARIANNEWILLIAMSON

James MacGregorBurns, the creator of the transformational leadership style, believed that a great transformational leader is one that helps others express their best selves. Transformative leaders continually inspire and motivate their teams to achieve ambitious goals.

 

Application to Healthcare

Helping, healing, and caring for people when ill is a moral imperative. Transformative leaders acknowledge the duty and privilege this responsibility requires. They also recognize that all boats rise with the tide, focusing on their team’s success and population health outcomes.

 

4. SERVANT LEADERS

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Servant leaders are defined by their ethics and commitment to developing others. These leaders take a personal interest in lifting others up and the positive outcomes for people their organization’s create.

 

SERVANT VALUES

Prioritize service - help those with highest need

Share power - don’t reinforce imbalances

Demonstrate care - put others first

Develop others - grow the community

Eschew wealth - avoid accumulation

Build trust - listen and be follower centric

Create a safe space - embrace learning

 

The servant-leader is servant first… It begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve, to serve first. Then conscious choice brings one to aspire to lead.

ROBERTK. GREENLEAFINTHESERVANTASLEADER

Servant leaders are aware of their priorities, service to others first. These may be customers, constituents, clients, or beneficiaries. In all interactions servant leaders strive to preserve the dignity of those that follow them and whom they serve.

 

Application to Healthcare

There are many ethical issues that arise in healthcare. Heath disparities across populations, quality of life, and standards of care all factor into the concerns of servant leaders. How to best serve patient’s needs is a top priority for servant leader teams. Patient outcomes serve as a measure of success.
 
 

5. CONTRARIAN LEADERS

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Contrarian leaders aren’t afraid to go against conventional wisdom when appropriate or useful. Contrarianism is about the freedom to maintain intellectual and creative freedom while taking counsel into consideration.

 

CONTRARIAN VALUES

Think gray - either/or thinking can limit your options and keep you stuck

Do leadership - don’t get stuck in being a leader to enjoy prestige or privileges

Delegate decisions - to subordinates frequently

Put off decisions - many issues work themselves out or aren’t important

Listen to experts - but keep your skepticism

Balance - your vision with ideas from your followers

 

The contrarian leader prizes and cultivates his ability to simultaneously view things from two or more perspectives. He can listen to what others have to say about important issues without surrendering his principles or his creative judgment.

STEVEN B. SAMPLE. THE CONTRARIAN’S GUIDE TO LEADERSHIP (J-B WARREN BENNIS SERIES) (KINDLE LOCATIONS 314-315). KINDLE EDITION.

It’s important to maintain intellectual and creative freedom while gaining input from others. In fact, there are many decisions that a good contrarian leader will put off or delegate to others. Sometimes the best response is no response, a delayed response, or a contrarian response.

 

Application to Healthcare

The rules have changed and contrarian leaders know how to look at what worked in the past and get rid of outmoded processes or practices. As the pace of change accelerates contrarian leaders in healthcare know that reflection and reasoned action are still keys to success.

 

6. METAMODERN LEADERS

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Metamodern leaders are the avant garde, responding to unprecedented change with complex and nuanced responses. Metamodern leaders embody the paradox of pragmatic idealism, being immensely flexible while sincere and centered.

 

METAMODERN VALUES

Leadership involves artifice - learning to perform in the role requires practice and improvisation

Authentic engagement - while the role of leader is artificial, the leader should be authentic

Empower others - to not only take ownership of their work product but organizational outcomes

Co-create meaning and success - everyone shares leadership at different times, be flexible

Persuade others - not to follow you, but to have ownership in the vision and success of the organization

Exhibit emotional intelligence - through empathy, self-awareness, self-regulation, and understanding

 

A leader’s self-construct should be a highly complex concatenation of desirable goals, values, traits, strengths, affects, and states… Complex self-constructs help leaders deal with diverse and nuanced situations, evolving contexts, and an increasingly interconnected world.

METAMODERN LEADERS: 21ST CENTURY AVANT GARDE BY ANNA MONTGOMERY HTTPS://METAMODERNLEADER.COM/2016/02/11/METAMODERN-LEADERS-21ST-CENTURY-AVANT-GARDE/

 

A metamodern leader focuses on creating a positive environment that emphasizes psychological safety. Balancing evidence-based organizational behavior insights and creativity and spontaneity leaders gain the benefits of engagement, inclusiveness, and innovation. Empowered workers take on leadership roles in specific contexts in a symbiotic relationship.

 

Application to Healthcare

With intersectoral collaboration and a continuum of care as priorities, metamodern leaders are primed to address the challenges of continuous change. Innovation in processes, structures, and leadership itself provide the tools to co-create thriving organizations.

 

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FINAL THOUGHTS

Each leadership style brings its own strengths to deal with a more complex and fast changing healthcare environment. As you learn more about your style remember to try aspects of other styles tosee what fits and is effective within your specific context. Leadership is an art and a science. By combining technology, an understanding of organizational development and behavior, and cultivating self-awareness, the healthcare leaders of tomorrow build the foundation of their organization’s success.

 

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