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What healthcare leaders need to know now

Servant Leadership: Valuing Relationships over Process

By | May 21 st,  2020 | Leadership Development, executive leadership, authentic leadership, Servant Leadership, Healthcare Leaders | Add A Comment

As we find ourselves working and leading our teams through the COVID-19 crisis, a meaningful quote by leadership expert John Maxwell resonates with us:

 

“They don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”

 

To us, this quote speaks about “servant leadership.” Servant leadership is the belief that the most effective leaders strive to serve others, including colleagues, direct reports, and employees, rather than accrue power, knowledge, money, or control. Servant leadership disregards title, authority, and hierarchy and, instead, embraces that which serves others so they may become their most effective, valued, and engaged.

 

The increased stress that everyone experiences in varying degrees stirs up natural and powerful self-protective instincts. In a way, the toilet paper panic buying frenzy of a few weeks ago is a remnant of that primal urge. It makes sense.

 

But while it is natural to be self-protective, it is just as evident that we are all sharing the experience of this global pandemic. Especially now, servant leaders must set aside their self-serving efforts and serve others.

 

Knowing the importance of servant leadership and adopting a leadership approach that seeks to help others over ourselves is vital for this time. Allow us to offer three ways that you can demonstrate this style of leadership to engage and serve others.

  • Awareness: Now is an opportune time to be aware of what others are experiencing both professionally and personally. Respect the situations, feelings, strengths, and challenges of those around you. At the same time you must also be aware of the same things about yourself in order to sustain and remain an effective leader.
  • Listening: We all are struggling and need to be heard and understood. Servant leaders listen to understand by allowing more space in the conversation for others, which turns into a wonderful gift. Not only must you hear what is being said, you must notice what’s not being said, including non-verbal cues that play a role in how someone’s message is being conveyed.
  • Empathy: It is important now more than ever to be patient and empathetic toward colleagues who may be experiencing their own considerable stress and fear in their own unique way. Empathy means making room for your colleagues to be themselves. Demonstrating a level of patience for stretched, distracted, and irritated colleagues is vital. Empathize more, judge less.

Take a look around and you’ll recognize how everyone, independent of status or title, is stepping in to serve others, humbly checking that they are all right emotionally and psychologically to engage in the work at hand. Knowing that we are all in this together, imagine what might happen in our personal and professional relationships if we paid less regard to status for a short time and become a servant leader.

 

We will defeat this virus together. Remember, “They don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”

 

The organizational advantages of authentic leadership

By | October 16 th,  2018 | developing leaders, Tiara Muse, Megan Heim authentic, Chicago Healthcare Executives Forum, leadership traits, authentic leadership | Add A Comment

How can you be strategic about your career and goals while being true to yourself and treating the people around you with empathy and encouragement?

 

That’s the focus of our latest article, “Authentic Leadership: 4 Ways to Make Your Passion Purposeful,” which is featured in the new publication from the Chicago Healthcare Executives Forum, part of the American College of Healthcare Executives. 

CHEF-AuthenticLeadership-FullCover

 

Written by Furst Group’s Director of Research Tiara Muse and Vice President Megan Heim, the article makes a strong case that leadership is based on earned trust – and that the surest path to trust is by allowing yourself to be transparent with your team and letting qualities like empathy and humility shine through. Look out for your team and embrace opportunities for them to grow into their own leadership skills as well.

 

“Build a strong reputation as a leader with the competence and compassion to develop other leaders,” Muse and Heim write. “Ensure your open-door policy is not just lip service, and genuinely ask for feedback.”

 

Leaders should also be self-aware, cognizant of their strengths and areas that need development. Mentors can be helpful in this area, as well as discussions with executive recruiters, who are well-networked in the healthcare industry. But don’t overlook the counsel of peers as well.

 

“The best leaders network strategically,” Muse and Heim say. “Many people look up the organizational leader too often and not across the aisle or down the hall as they think through career development. The executives at the top don’t have all the answers; utilize your peers.” 

 

When it comes to career development, they add, remain flexible and “maintain the posture of a continuous learner” to prepare yourself for unexpected twists and turns.

 

“Many aspects of your career may change in the next 5 to 10 years – the pace of innovation and disruption accelerates every year,” they add.

 

Finally, Muse and Heim counsel executives to be aware that their behavior – including the use of social-media platforms – can build their personal brand and reputation, so treat your career and the people around you with care. “The power of storytelling,” they note, “is a vital skill” for all leaders, not just marketing executives.

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