Tomorrow’s healthcare leaders will face complex challenges that require cooperation and coordination throughout the ecosystem. Providers, payors, patients, pharmaceuticals, medical device manufacturers and digital health companies face unique challenges within disparate, often competing, silos. Working together, industry leaders can arrive at solutions using data artificial intelligence, value-based care models, digital therapeutics and patient-centric models to shape the future landscape.
Since its inception in 1995, the Nashville Health Care Council has worked to build leaders through collaboration and innovation. The Council provides leaders with personal and professional leadership development tools that enable them to impact healthcare now and in the future.
The Council knows tomorrow’s leaders must be technically savvy, clinically competent and operationally astute, but they must also exhibit leadership qualities that drive change throughout all levels of healthcare organizations. They must adapt and adjust to changing circumstances while keeping their eyes fixed on the end goals. They should respect healthy tension among colleagues. They should “know their why,” which means they have an innate understanding of what drives them to action and should treat others with respect. But the qualities don’t end there. Leaders of the future share common traits that set them apart.
Distinctive characteristics of healthcare leaders
A common threat unites healthcare leaders: a desire to serve others. This driving force allows healthcare leaders across all sectors to focus squarely on the needs of patients. But this isn’t the only characteristic that shapes healthcare changemakers. Leaders need these qualitative skills to effect care delivery across the ecosystem.
Healthcare leaders must have the skills to do their jobs, but they must also be confident. In many cases, confidence is a more significant determinant of success than competence. Studies show more confident individuals have a greater impact on group decision-making than those with the same confidence level.
For this reason, being able to lead in a way that encourages others to follow you keeps things moving forward.
Roadmaps mapping the future of healthcare don’t exist, and leaders don’t have all the answers when driving change. To venture into the unknown, healthcare leaders must be courageous and willing to take risks. Successful leaders must have the courage to do the right thing while confronting obstacles, especially when those obstacles result from their own decisions.
Successful leaders have a learner mindset. They are always looking for ways to do something better and to learn from past trials. Additionally, they should learn from others within their organizations, their partners and even competitors to leverage the collective knowledge to improve care for all.
Change is difficult. It requires determination and sticking with it when things get challenging. Good leaders recognize challenges are Inevitable, but defeat is optional. In this way, leaders can forge through uncertainties instead of giving up.
Leaders use their talents outside of their workplace to improve their community from a grassroots level. From serving on community boards to mentoring future leaders to volunteering in a direct care capacity with a nonprofit, leaders have plenty of opportunities to share their knowledge and skills among a wider audience. Community involvement also allows leaders to build and expand their networks while making a tangible impact.
Building the right leaders
The Nashville Health Care Council offers multiple ways for leaders to develop skills and make connections that drive change. For example, the Council Fellows program brings the brightest minds together to discuss issues, gain knowledge and maintain connections. Council Fellows brainstorm ways to make impactful real-world changes and glean insights to share with their organizations. The program meets over five months, split between virtual and in-person sessions in Nashville and Washington D.C.
The Council Fellows program enables honest discussions of integral topics within the healthcare industry. Hands-on immersion activities and social events help program participants forge lifelong bonds and go beyond the 30-second elevator pitch. The Council Fellows experience is invaluable to leaders across all healthcare sectors. The program exposes Council Fellows to leaders who have created the world's most prominent healthcare organizations and those who are introducing revolutionary new models to market.
The Council Fellows Alumni network brings together graduates from the program’s 10-year history for regular professional networking opportunities.
Applicants to the Council Fellows program do not need to be based in Nashville. The program welcomes applicants from across the country. You must commit to attending all sessions and be eager to define complex problems, identify solutions and effect change.
Learn how to become a Council Fellow and what qualities we look for in applicants. The application window opens Sept. 6, 2023, for the 2024 Council Fellows class.