Not all managers are leaders, and not all leaders are created equal. Though healthcare may be lagging in style of leadership, few managers stand out of the crowd.
Here are few tools for your management toolbox to help you develop your leadership skills:
1. Prioritize. You must assign high to low priority to your tasks. Note: Most people will procrastinate on the more difficult tasks. Doing this will make your to-do list longer and you will feel that you have accomplished nothing in your day. Take care of your high priority tasks first!
2. Know your employees. Though some managers prefer to think about their subordinates as such, many of us do not. They are human beings. If you've read anything about Dale Carnegie or Warren Buffet, our country's top businessman and leaders, you know that they personalized their relationships with their employees. Surprise your employee by signing a funny Birthday card and involve the rest of the team.
3. Stand up for your employees. Have you ever heard one of the employees say, "don't waste your time talking to him; it won't do you any good," speaking about your manager? As a manager, you must stand up for your team. It's hard to be the middleman between administration and your staff, but that's the assumed role of a manager. Step up!
4. Delay your emails and don't work your life away. Please don't think that just because your email goes out at 11 p.m. on Sunday, everyone will think that you are a much better manager. Spreading a workaholic culture or expectation is wrong. Based on many studies, if you shoot for a "work smarter, not harder" culture, your employees will respect you more.
5. Decide on your style of management. Indecisiveness is bad for employees. Not knowing what to except from their manager is even worse for them. Decide if you must micromanage (not advised) or if you like an open door policy. Whatever you decide, make sure your employees understand your expectations.
Even though most clinical managers have grown into the position and did not obtain it after a completion of a resourceful MBA program, we should strive to be leaders. Healthcare is evolving - so should the management aspect of healthcare.