Great Leaders care more about the success of their organization than their own feelings or ego.
Great Leaders face problems head on.
Great Leaders delegate the easy stuff, but handle the difficult stuff themselves.
Great Leaders accept the blame when things go wrong.
Great Leaders spread the glory when things go right.
Great Leaders “over-communicate.”
Great Leaders respect their staff.
Great Leaders say, “please” and “thank you.”
Great Leaders have Candor. They are never afraid to confront sub-par behavior—immediately. By the way, this one is very important. If you cannot confront sub-par behavior, you cannot be a great Leader.
Great Leaders practice “guilt-free forensics.” In other words, If someone makes a mistake, we make sure the mistake is corrected without belittling the person who made the mistake. We just want the problem corrected.
Great Leaders know how to terminate employees when it is time. Remember, if we allow an employee to remain at our hospital after they have decided they are not happy, (if their performance is sub-par they are not happy) it hurts the employee, other employees, and it hurts the organization.
It hurts the employee. If we keep employees longer than they should be here, we are wasting time that they could be working somewhere they will be happy.
It hurts good employees. The good employees know, usually before you, when someone is not doing a good job. If they see this behavior continue, they become de-moralized and eventually find somewhere to work that doesn’t put up with sub-par behavior.
It hurts the organization. The word gets out that we will hire just anyone, no matter how bad they perform. High achievers do not thrive under these conditions and you will have turnover of your best workers.
Great Leaders know how to terminate sub-par performers with compassion and caring. You don’t have to beat them up, you just have to move them out. As mentioned above it is best for everyone.
Great Leaders are always optimistic, but at the same time face the cold hard facts. On a personal note; there were times as a rural CEO that I often went to work in the morning not knowing how the hospital would make it through the day! But, we always did. In every hospital there are people who pray. I credit those people for this phenomenon.
Great Leaders are not afraid to share information, good or bad, with their staff.
Great Leaders know the difference between right and wrong. The author of Servant Leadership, Robert K. Greenleaf said, “I believe that the essential quality that sets servant-leaders apart from others is that they live by their conscience—the inward moral sense of what is right and what is wrong.”
This is not an exhaustive list and I’m sure you can add many other items. But, if you’ve been looking for real nuts-and-bolts activities to start practicing to become a better leader, these will be a great starting point.