10 most important competencies for healthcare leaders: survey

Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to uphold values are among the most important characteristics for healthcare leaders, according to recent research from Cornell University. 

In a study published Sept. 19 in the Journal of Healthcare Leadership, researchers interviewed 25 leaders across New York City-based Weill Cornell Medicine and New York (N.Y.) Presybterian Hospital systems. The researchers inquired about leaders' personal values, their health system's values and what they consider the most effective competencies for healthcare leaders. 

The leaders' ranking for "competencies healthcare leaders need":

1. Ability to create an open environment that invites collaboration and communication. 

2. Ability to uphold the institution's shared values. 

3. Ability to build teams and gain trust. 

4. Ability to make executive decisions. 

5. Being mission-driven and upholding the institution's integrity. 

6. Leading with high emotional intelligence. 

7. "Competent administration": having specialized skills, seeking training, learning on the job, leading through uncertainty. 

8. Self-awareness. 

9. Subject matter excellence. 

10. Technical skills, including finance, operations and negotiation. 

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