Does Your Executive Team Have These Four Types of Leaders?

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EXT-thumb1In talking with numerous healthcare executives, one essential element they commonly stress to us is the need for solid leadership in order for their organization to be successful. It is with this in mind that Stosh Walsh and Paula Walker at Gallup Business Journal outline the four types of leaders necessary for any organization, including hospitals, to be successful.

Gallup has been studying leadership for over four decades, they write, and during that time, it has delineated “two crucial insights” about leadership:

First, “leadership is best understood as a set of roles in an enterprise. These roles differ in tasks and responsibilities. But viewed together, they provide a complete picture of the leadership needs of a company and how those needs are met.”

Second, “the best performers in each leadership role invariably possess the talent and experience to meet the needs of the role and, by extension, the needs of the enterprise.”

Gallup believes  with “the dynamic nature of businesses and markets, one of the most complex and difficult challenges facing every enterprise is selecting, developing, and deploying leaders at all levels to meet current and future needs.”

According to Gallup, the four types of leaders every business needs are as follows:

1.) Executive leaders who “navigate toward a desired future. They outline an ideal future state and collaborate with other leaders to bring that state to fruition. Executive leaders constantly adjust enterprise activities and communicate, direct, and align strategy, goals, and resources to make the vision a reality.”

2.) Senior leaders who “are responsible for profit and loss, and they work across functions to achieve business aims. They plan and execute at a macro level, recognize external factors that affect the business, and position the company to capitalize on market trends. They serve as hubs of information, ensuring that the leaders, managers, and employees — and the teams and workgroups — within their chain of command understand the vision set by the executive leadership team, and they pass information from the field to the executive team.”

3.) People performance leaders who “accomplish their goals by working through the managers they lead. They set the stage for effective performance management and engagement throughout the organization by ensuring that managers and employees have clear expectations and defined career paths. They guide others by coaching and mentoring and promote a strong working environment by creating bonds and promoting engagement among employees.”

4.) Operational performance leaders who “grow the business by improving efficiencies, maintaining discipline toward meeting business goals, troubleshooting, innovating, and monitoring key metrics.”

To make one’s leadership team as successful as possible, the authors contend, each type of leader must be represented. Furthermore, these leaders “should be selected for a given role because they have the natural ability to thrive in that role. After they are selected, leaders should have opportunities to grow and develop in ways that will help them better meet the demands of their respective roles… [They] must have the autonomy and authority to execute in their spheres of influence.”

What about your leadership team? Do you feel that these types of leaders are each represented within your C-suite? As healthcare executives, what are you doing to groom the next generation of healthcare leaders?

-by Pete Fernbaugh

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