Essential Leadership Competencies

Essential Leadership Competencies

Essential Leadership Competencies

The Healthcare sector is made of different departments, all working towards a course. Amidst the diversity, leadership, therefore, takes center stage. All these departments require appropriate competencies for them to be effective. This essay looks at the different competencies relevant to leadership in the healthcare sector.

Leadership Competencies Necessary in the Healthcare Industry

Appropriateness of competencies makes healthcare leaders possible to adapt and maneuver through the changing times in healthcare. Healthcare leaders need to possess high emotional intelligence. Through this, the leaders can manage their own emotions, motivate themselves, be aware of other people’s emotions, and then be able to handle relationships at the workplace.

The healthcare sector is made up of different layers, and it is expected that they all work to optimize care. As a result, critical and creative thinking is also crucial for healthcare leaders. This allows the leaders to work through the systems and therefore determine the best way they can work together to optimize care (Herd, Adams-Pope, Bowers, & Sims, n.d.). In the end, improved collaboration between the departments depicts a very effective system. Strength lies in the ability of healthcare providers to work together to achieve goals.

Communication is a wheel upon which success in the healthcare sector grinds on. As such, healthcare leaders should be coherent in passing communication. Efficient communication makes it possible to walk through different issues and bring about an understanding between the caregivers. A leader who communicates cruises their ship in one direction as all the practitioners share in the same vision and hence make practical steps towards success. Healthcare leaders also ought to display high standards of empathy, and this would enable them to connect well with the employees through difficult times.

A Leadership Theory that Addresses All Competencies

In the healthcare sector, transformational leadership can be applied to address all the competencies. Accordingly, this theory envisions a leader’s ability to improve the relationship with the subjects and thus motivates them to move towards higher levels of success. The transformational leader can influence the followers to satisfaction and commitment towards achieving more in the healthcare sector (Xu, 2017). In the end, the leadership would build a relationship between the leaders and the subjects. Mostly, this theory can be applied in all the competencies essential for the healthcare sector.

Leadership Theory More Effective Than The Other

When compared to other theories like the participative leadership theory, which are both applicable in the healthcare sector, transformational leadership plays a more significant role. It not only impacts the organization positively but also influences performance by the employees. Further, the theory offers more support to the nurse, encouraging them to commit more to their units of practice and continuously improve (Xu, 2017). The theory also has a significant impact on behavioral changes of the nurse while practicing.

Competencies that Differentiate Between Leaders and Managers

Since leaders are entrusted with a team and are supposed to give guidelines on the way forward, a leader should be able to invent and then innovate new ways of doing things and enhance forward-thinking. The leader should be able to develop new strategies and techniques to make excellent ways of doing things. The managers, on the other hand, are supposed to adequately use the available resources in a manner that is future focused (Fernandes, Araújo, & Pereira, 2018). Therefore, communication would be necessary for the leaders, while managers should possess the soft skills essential in managing resources.

Competencies that I Currently Meet and Ones to Work On

Currently, I am coherent in my communication, and this has always worked to enable me to improve on my weaknesses and get things done. Given an opportunity and space to prove my worth, I communicate so well in a manner that enhances efficiency in doing things. I am also a great thinker, and despite being soft-spoken, I use it as an attribute to withdraw from the limelight and think through how things ought to be done.

On the other hand, I need to work on my emotional intelligence, enabling me to work well with people and through people. I would need to develop emotional stability as a way of believing in people’s capabilities beyond what I can do at a personal level and therefore get things done. Emotional quotient would also work to make me aware of different ways of doing things by different people and thus reduce the pressure I would exert on my subordinates to get things done.

My Strengths: Assessment of Competencies

Primarily, I favor more leadership than management because my strengths in critical & creative thinking and coherence in communication would give me an upper hand to guide a team through turmoil to attain success. I also enjoy taking charge, which works better for a leader than a manager. My organization allows everyone to prove themselves, and working in that environment has made it possible for me to improve on myself daily.


It is important to have a blend of both leadership and management in the healthcare sector. Most importantly, the healthcare workers should carry out their own SWOT to determine their areas of specialization.


Fernandes, R., Araújo, B., & Pereira, F. (2018). Nursing management and leadership approaches from the perspective of registered nurses in Portugal. Journal of Hospital Administration, 7(3), 1.

Herd, A. M., Adams-Pope, B. L., Bowers, A., & Sims, B. (n.d.). Finding What Works: Leadership Competencies for the Changing Healthcare Environment Introduction and Literature Review.

Xu, J.-H. (2017). Leadership theory in clinical practice. Chinese Nursing Research, 4(4), 155–157.

These characteristics, when taken together, are all about creating safe and trustworthy environment. 
leader with high ethical standards communicates commitment to fairness, giving others confidence that they and their employees will play by the rules. 
Similarly, clear communication of expectations prevents people from being surprised and ensures that everyone is on the same page. 
Employees can relax in safe environment, which activates the brain’s higher capacity for social engagement, innovation, creativity, and ambition.

The use of nursing theories is critical to patient care because of the different purposes that they serve. Nursing theories assist in informing every interaction between nurses and patients. Through defining the features of the nurse-patient interaction, these theories shape how nurses develop relationships with patients (Wei et al., 2019). The purpose of most nursing theories is to help nurses identify care needs among patients, articulate what they can do for patients and why they do it, and determine the kind of information to collect to develop care plans. Through theories, nurses can comprehend and evaluate health situations, explain and anticipate certain responses from patients and map out objectives and anticipated outcomes (Bahabadi et al., 2020). These theories also help nurses determine the interventions to deliver, best practices, and selection of productive areas for research. The implication is that nursing theories are fundamental to quality care provision as they help nurses to possess background propositions to offer the best care.

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This is supported by neuroscience. 
When the amygdala detects threat to our safety, arteries harden and thicken in preparation for fight-or-flight response. 
We lose access to the limbic brain’s social engagement system and the prefrontal cortex’s executive function in this state, which inhibits creativity and the drive for excellence. 
From neuroscience standpoint, leaders should prioritize ensuring that people feel safe on deep level.
But how do you do it? 
Behaving in way that is consistent with your values is the focus of this competency. 
You probably need to reconnect with your core values if you find yourself making decisions that go against your principles or justifying actions despite nagging sense of discomfort. 
To help with this, lead simple exercise called “Deep Fast Forwarding” with my clients. 
Consider your funeral and what eulogy will say about you. 
Is this what you were hoping to hear? 
This exercise will help you gain better understanding of what’s important to you, which will help you make better decisions on daily basis.
Work on speaking with the purpose of making people feel safe to boost feelings of safety. 
One method to do this is to recognize and counteract feared outcomes or repercussions right away. 
This is what refer to as “clearing the air.” 
“I’m not trying to blame you,” you may remark in response to chat about project gone awry. 
“All want to know is what happened.”


According to global leaders, ten attributes are required for leadership.
Allows others to organize themselves.
The third most significant leadership competency was recognized as providing clear direction but allowing individuals to plan their own time and work.
No leader can do everything on their own. 
As result, it’s vital to disperse power throughout the business and rely on individuals closest to the action to make decisions.
Empowered teams are more productive and proactive, deliver better customer service, and have higher levels of work satisfaction and dedication to their team and business, according to research. 
Despite this, many leaders have difficulty allowing individuals to self-organize. 
They resist because they feel power is zero-sum game, they don’t want others to make mistakes, and they are afraid of the consequences of subordinates’ decisions.
To overcome your fear of losing power, start by being more aware of the bodily tension that emerges when you believe your position is under threat. 
As previously stated, perceived dangers trigger the amygdala’s fight, flight, or freeze response. 
When stress levels are high, the good news is that we may instruct our bodies to experience calm rather than defensiveness. 
Try to keep the current situation apart from the past, share the outcome you’re most afraid of with others rather than trying to keep control, and remember that giving up power is fantastic way to gain influence, which leads to more power over time.
Encourages sense of belonging and connection.

Leaders who “communicate frequently and honestly” (competency #6) and “create sense of succeeding and failing together as pack” (competency #8) lay the groundwork for strong connections.

We are social species that seeks to connect with others and to experience feeling of belonging. 
Attachment is crucial from an evolutionary standpoint because it increases our chances of surviving in world full with predators. 
According to research, sense of connectedness might affect productivity and emotional well-being. 
Scientists have discovered, for example, that emotions are contagious in the workplace: employees become emotionally depleted simply by seeing bad interactions among coworkers.
Creating connection is leader’s second most essential duty, according to neuroscience. 
In order to fully utilize the potential of our higher functioning prefrontal cortex, we must first feel protected (which activates the reptile brain) and then cared for (which activates the limbic brain).
There are few basic techniques to encourage employees to feel like they belong: 
Smile at them, address them by their first names, and remember their hobbies and family names. 
When conversing with them, pay close attention and establish the tone that your team members have each other’s backs. 
Using song, slogan, symbol, chant, or ritual that is unique to your team can also help to deepen this bond.

Demonstrates receptivity to new ideas and promotes organizational learning.

“Flexibility to modify viewpoints” (competency #4), “being open to new ideas and approaches” (competency #7), and “providing safety for trial and error” (competency #10) all have something in common. 
If leader possesses these qualities, they will promote learning; if they do not, they risk suffocating it.
It’s not simple to admit when we’re incorrect. 
The detrimental effects of stress on brain function are partly to blame once again – in this case, they obstruct learning. 
Researchers discovered that when our brains are under attack, blood flow to our peripheral vision is lowered, ostensibly so we can deal with the immediate danger. 
They’ve noticed considerable loss in athletes’ peripheral vision before competition, for example. 
While tunnel vision aids athletes’ concentration, it blocks the door to new ideas and techniques for the rest of us. 
Even when confronted with contradictory evidence, our ideas become increasingly rigid, making learning nearly difficult.
To inspire staff to learn, leaders must first demonstrate that they are willing to learn (and change course) themselves. 
Approach problem-solving dialogues with an open mind and no preconceived notions about the outcome. 
Hold off on making any decisions until everyone has spoken, and make people know that all opinions will be taken into consideration. 
There will be larger range of ideas.

Essential Leadership Competencies

While failure is necessary for learning, our persistent pursuit of success might deter employees from taking risks. 
Leaders must develop culture that encourages risk-taking in order to reconcile this issue. 
Controlled experiments (think A/B testing) that allow for tiny failures and require rapid feedback and adjustment are one approach to accomplish this. 
This creates framework for collective intelligence to be built, allowing employees to learn from one other’s failures.