Sh Blog 1000x800px Leading

Leading your way to the top

By Daniel Allard

As dedicated recruiters specialising in a wide range of healthcare professions, we like to think that we have a strong understanding of how we can help our community take giant strides along their personal career paths.

Whether you’re at the start of your career, or have been practicing for more than 20 years, we’re here to help you make the most of those opportunities which can help you to achieve your professional goals.

So we’re turning our thoughts to leadership.

Specifically what makes a great leader and what skills may be needed.

Understanding the difference between leadership and management

Whilst leadership and management are closely aligned, there are subtle differences between the two.

Simply put, management activities may focus on planning, organisation and directing people to work in a certain way. In contrast, leadership tasks are based upon listening to co-workers, building relationships, working as part of a team and inspiring others to work to the best of their abilities.

If we put this into a healthcare context, we know that leaders play a crucial role in developing effective and motivating workplaces.

“Leadership is a predictor of quality outcomes in health care settings. Authentic leaders offer good role models consistent with values and vision for health care. They offer individualised consideration of staff, provide motivation and stimulate of creativity and innovation.” - Royal College of Nursing

What skills are needed for leadership positions?

If you have ambitions to progress your career into a leadership or managerial role, then you need to ensure that you have the right skills in place. Great leaders are those who can inspire and motivate others to work effectively as part of a team, whilst focusing upon delivering high quality yet compassionate health care.

To do this, you should be:

  • Self-aware. Do you know what your strengths and weaknesses are? Are you aware of how you react to specific situations and do you have processes in place to help manage these natural reactions?

  • Approachable. Great leaders listen to what their staff has to say and allow them to feel heard. Can you nurture fellow colleagues to help them work to the best of their ability and understand how to bring out their strengths? Can you share your knowledge with less experienced colleagues and act as a mentor?

  • Good team players. Are you able to work effectively as part of a team? Can you think creatively of ways which will allow the team to flourish together and individually?

  • Aware of the wider sector. Are you aware of what is happening in your sector beyond your employer? Do you understand how political implications may impact decision-making processes? Are you involved in any sector groups or workplace committees which help to improve your learning and development?

Of course, these are just a few of the skills required to be a great leader. Every leader has their own individual approach and what works well for some people, may not be as effective for others.

Use training and development to your advantage

Once you’ve taken the decision to move ahead in your career, you may want to look at some training opportunities which can boost your career aspirations.

There are numerous prospects available which can enhance your CV and help you stand out as the ideal person for a senior position. We highly recommend contacting your professional body to see if they offer any training workshops or have any learning and development resources which may aid you. For example, if you are working as a nurse you may wish to check out the Royal College of Nursing’s suite of leadership programmes. Additionally, the Society of Radiographers and the College of Occupational Therapists both have dedicated sections on their websites to learning and development.