Health care staff prefer managers who participate, facilitate and are emotionally intelligent. These leadership styles are linked to team cohesion, lower stress, higher empowerment and self-efficacy. Effective #NHS leaders are flexible, collaborative, power sharing, and as use their personal values to promote high quality performance.
But what is it that an effective leader does to make them 'effective'?
- Communicate calm in a crisis. The word resilience is often referred to as the 'magic pill' for dealing with stressful situations, but an effective leader will take their time to evaluate the situation, and convey calm control over the situation. This in turn instills confidence in those around them, and invites optimal outcomes to prevail.
- They exude a high energy and self confidence in all that they do. Their enthusiasm is tangible and contagious...this inspires others and makes sure that everyone is challenged to achieve.
- They allow things to develop. Rather than micro managing, they trust those around them to have more control over events than outside forces. This allows talent to blossom and new discoveries to thrive.
- They are emotionally intelligent and responsive. They recognize and act upon the emotional needs of those around them. They also remain aware of their own emotions, and are able to control irritability and anger in order to allow productivity to thrive.
- They show personal integrity as they adopt those behaviors that they expect to see in others. They show 'how things are done here'...they become an exemplary role model for others as they embrace life long learning.
- Strive to achieve. Although some achievements can be at the expense of others, an effective leader will ensure that they are achieving what is best for the organisation and for those around them. They aspire to achieve the greater good.
- Ego. The ego of an effective leader is one which permits to hear the views and opinions of others, whilst not overly worrying about what others think or feel about them as a person. Ego balance is key.
- An effective leaders makes sure that they have the skills required to do the job. IT skills, communication skills and practical skills must all ensure that the leader can do the job. When a leader finds deficiency in their own skill set - the life long learner status must endure and make things right.
- Priorities key tasks by clarifying, planning, monitoring operations, problem solving in advance of directing others to do the job.
- Empowers others by supporting, developing, recognizing, empowering others and sourcing talent at every level.
A effective leader advocates and envisions change via a process of collective learning. This encourages innovation throughout the organisation....and even attracts outside agencies to be led in the same direction!
We note and act upon the findings of the Kings Fund who state that "The key challenge facing all NHS organisations is to nurture cultures that ensure the delivery of continuously improving high quality, safe and compassionate care.
Leadership is the most influential factor in shaping organisational culture so ensuring the necessary leadership behaviors, strategies and qualities are developed is fundamental."
Gilmartin, M. J., & D’Aunno, T. A. (2007). Leadership Research in Healthcare: A Review and Roadmap. The Academy of Management Annals, 1 (1), 387-438.
West, M., Armit, K., Loewenthal, L., Eckert, R., West, T., and Lee, A. (2015) 'Leadership and Leadership Development in Healthcare: The Evidence Base'. London: The Kings Fund
West, M., Eckert, R., Steward, K., and Pasmore, B. (2014) 'Developing Collective Leadership for Healthcare'. London: The King’s Fund