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Awaken the giant within………Simon Potts on great clinical leadership

22/10/14

Awaken the giant within………Simon Potts on great clinical leadership

For some, leadership is seen as a thankless task. For others, putting one’s head above the parapet has been the seminal moment of their career. 

To be an even moderately successful leader, you must have drive and motivation, qualities that help develop resilience – you might need some of that too!

But those three qualities combined are not the passport to great leadership.  Really inspiring clinicians have an advantage over their career general manager counterparts because they know how to make patients feel like they are the single most important person in the world.

Clinicians able to translate that skill into the daily dealings with staff and colleagues will get noticed, be trusted and have the potential to become influential.

In a hospital environment influential leaders understand how hospitals work. They understand service planning, contract negotiation, funding sources and who to influence to effect change.  They will have a deep understanding of ‘what good looks like’ and how to build high-performing teams. Most importantly, they can apply different influencing strategies across dissimilar stakeholder groups; a core skill for any aspiring CEO or medical director. 

Leaders from clinical backgrounds tell us one of the most challenging aspects to being successful is handling complexity and ambiguity. Finding clinical, operational and workforce strategies that meet national and regulatory performance standards, whilst operating in an underfunded health economy where demand exceeds resource and partnership is still ‘work in progress’, is both complicated and complex.

Being a leader or CEO is lonely, but those who are effective have built solid relationships they can call on for support; they have the intellect and interpersonal skills to respond to a complex array of stakeholders. Most importantly, they offer inspiring leadership because they are not afraid of their ‘giant within’ and doing what’s right for patients. 

Veredus is proud, once again, to be supporting HSJ’s Clinical Leaders of 2014.

Simon Potts is a director within the healthcare practice at Veredus.

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