7 Qualities Of Good NHS Leaders

The NHS is a massive and complex organisation with many leaders.  Having worked in the service for 15 years before setting up in  business I came across some great leaders.  So what were the 7 best qualities of those leaders?

Quality 1:  Right Focus

In the NHS there is always a lot of talk about the challenge of meeting goals in terms of quality, performance and money.  It is always challenge but one quality that I always admired was that good leaders never forget that the primary focus must always be patients.

Quality 2: Drive and Determination

Making any kind of change in any organisation is tough and the NHS is no exception.  With so many stakeholders and barriers to address it can be tempting just to play it safe and rest on your laurels.  Good leaders however have the drive and determination to make change and improvement reality.

Quality 3: Mutual Respect For Different Professions

In the NHS there is often tension between different professions and between management and clinical staff.  Good leaders don’t get caught up in this but have mutual respect for what different people from different professions bring to discussion.

Quality 4: A Genuine Willingness To Listen

So much is written under the general banner of communication.  What I have noticed is that there is no shortage of leaders who can speak and write well.  At the same time those who genuinely listen are often in the minority.

Quality 5: Get The Best From People

Some leaders are demanding and at the same time very motivating.  Good leaders have the ability to learn what makes people tick and get the best from them.  This might require a bit of investment of time but yields real benefits long term.

Quality 6: A Willingness To Take Responsibility

Things will and do go wrong.  Good leaders will accept this, take responsibility and avoid playing the blame game.

Quality 7: A Passion For Continual Improvement

You might well be doing a pretty good job and at the same time there is always scope for improvement.  Good leaders will take the time to stop, reflect and look at what can be improved in a systematic rather than random way.


So what else would you add to this list based on your own experiences?


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