The Top Traits of Successful Healthcare Executives

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Healthcare leaders must possess the ability to create a productive work environment that encourages synergy. They recognize how every person, regardless of department, contributes to achieving patient and business goals. Firm administrators communicate this message through verbal and non-verbal communication. They also demonstrate strategic skill and courage to reshape an organization in the face of change.

Strategic Thinking

Influential healthcare leaders, for example, Sam Lee Prospect Medical, must be able to envision a desired future and foster innovation and change. They also know how to build effective teams and create a positive working culture. Leadership skills can be learned through experience and ongoing self-reflection. A strong healthcare leader may also benefit from seeking guidance and feedback from other professionals or experts in their field. Successful healthcare CEOs can also adapt their leadership style to the specific situation, leveraging a combination of eight commonly identified leadership styles: servant, command and control, innovator, pacesetter, laissez-faire, transformational, and inspirational.


Influential healthcare leaders can communicate clearly with their team members and patients. This involves verbal and written communications that professionally convey precise information. They are also able to listen actively and attentively. Active listening demonstrates that you genuinely care about what others are saying and helps build trust. Healthcare is an emotional field where miscommunications can have serious consequences. Therefore, healthcare leaders need to be able to handle stressful and high-stakes situations effectively.


Healthcare leaders must be able to solve many problems on the fly. This often means turning to staff members and their teams for solutions rather than relying solely on outside subject matter experts. Effective problem-solving requires open-mindedness and perseverance. When one solution doesn’t work, a successful leader will keep trying until they find one that does. This is especially important in a high-consequence industry such as healthcare.


Healthcare leaders must be able to delegate key responsibilities. This allows them to balance their workload and focus on the organization’s goals. Effective delegation involves giving employees clear instructions for each task and providing them with opportunities to grow and develop new skills. When assigning tasks, look for those that connect to your team members’ professional goals and interests. Innovative leaders find ways to encourage staff members to think differently about old, entrenched problems. They also anticipate future trends in healthcare.


Healthcare leaders need to be self-aware. This means understanding your strengths and weaknesses and how others perceive you. Healthcare leaders frequently interact with various professionals across various departments and niches. These relationships must be nurtured so that administrative teams function cohesively and the medical field can advance. Hospital administrators are mainly responsible for maintaining strong working relationships with physicians. This requires self-awareness to ensure that these relationships are both practical and professional.


Empathy is the ability to understand and share another person’s feelings. It allows you to “walk a mile in their shoes,” so to speak. People who lack empathy may think emotional reactions are invalid or act dismissively toward others. They also may need help actively listening to others. If you have a low level of empathy, you can work on your interpersonal and communication skills to improve this trait. You can also practice empathy by reading fiction, watching character-driven TV shows and movies, and engaging with different cultures. In this high-consequence industry, successful healthcare leaders must have many skills to be practical. That includes the ability to handle difficult decisions that may impact employees. 


Teamwork is the ability to collaborate with different individuals and groups. It involves sharing skills, knowledge, and professional experience to facilitate the completion of tasks. Healthcare environments often change rapidly; influential leaders can work with these changes. They can help their teams adjust to new challenges while keeping them focused on achieving goals. To improve your teamwork skills, set personal goals and practice them regularly. You can also find mentors who can provide honest feedback on your strengths and weaknesses.