Five Traits of Agile Leaders in Healthcare

Five Traits of Agile Leaders in Healthcare


“I am easily satisfied with the very best”.

This quote by Winston Churchill reminds me of the difference between Agile leaders and average leaders in healthcare. Agile leaders always look for opportunities to improve and never settle for ‘good enough’.

Here are 5 traits that I have found common in Agile leaders:

1. Agile leaders are self-aware. They are confident and willing to take action, even in situations they have never encountered before. This powerful combination followed by intense self-reflection allows them to understand their strengths and weaknesses and adjust quickly. They readily admit their mistakes and more importantly, learn from them. Though their focus is on improving outcomes; they always start with self.

2. Agile leaders are students of best practices. They seek advice from experienced leaders who are achieving outstanding results, inside and outside of healthcare. They know what’s going on in their industry and network with others more successful than they are. They also have a keen interest in how practices outside of their specialty and industry can be implemented within their own to get similar results.  If even one unit is experiencing positive results with an initiative, the agile leaders immediately reach out to see how the success was achieved and then explore how they can achieve similar results for their own team.

3. Agile leaders are focused on their people. They know it takes the entire team to not only achieve outstanding results but sustain those results. Agile leaders build relationships with their staff and incorporate the power of what Patrick Lencioni refers to as the “weigh-in before the buy- in” from their employees.

4. Agile leaders understand the power of metrics. They take the results of their units seriously and do not use excuses for poor performance. They understand that numbers don’t lie, but realize they don’t always tell the whole story; so they make sure they fill in the gaps. Agile leaders help staff to see both the small and the big wins as they strive toward their goals.

5. Agile leaders are committed to relentless follow up. By paying consistent attention to matters of great importance; they know their staff will do the same. They also know it is impossible to focus on everything all at once.  So they make sure the most important behaviors and processes are clear to the staff, reported out on a daily basis and addressed immediately when they are being done well and when they are not.

So, which of these traits are your strengths? Where can you improve as an Agile leader?

See you next time for a deep dive into how Agile Leaders can use Emotional Intelligence to be their best.


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