- Update your personal strategic plan
At this new stage of your career, it is important to assess and reset your career objectives as well as be prepared to take strategic risks.
Unconscious bias and other factors can make career risks more difficult for diverse individuals, but having a career plan will keep you on course and help jumpstart the next step of your mid-career.
- Remain open to relocation
Once you determine your goals, keep moving towards them; this may require you to seek or accept different opportunities to achieve your goals. Look for an organization where you will be valued, and one that will provide opportunities for you to build a track record to move forward.
- Consider different routes to your goals
Every journey can take an unexpected detour. As you advance in your career, it may become necessary to explore alternative routes to your career destination. Anton J. Gunn describes his unusual path to the C-suite.
Chart Your Course, Know Yourself
Master the Job
- Strengthen higher-level competencies
After a few years in the profession, you want to focus on improving the more advanced competencies for your position. Begin the process by assessing your current level of competency. You can also continue improving your competencies by becoming actively involved in your professional membership organizations, as summarized by Executive Recruiter John E. Green, Jr.
- Expand cross-function proficiencies
Sometimes you have to leave your niche in order to discover your potential. Develop a basic level of proficiency in other departments and related areas.
- Hone Team-Building Skills
By this point in your career, you will be honing your skills in managing staff—oftentimes a group of individuals who are diverse on several dimensions. An essential skill to master is team building. Check out this quick tip from Shanna Johnson on strengthening your team’s connections.
- Sharpen problem-solving skills
Strong problem solving skills are critical to being an effective leader. Sharpening one’s ability to identify, assess, and distill any situation to lead toward action is essential to mastering the job and core any professional development regiment.
The ACHE Healthcare Executive Competencies Assessment Tool is offered as an instrument to use in assessing your expertise and determining competency gaps in critical areas of healthcare management.
- Build collaboration skills
One of your most critical relationships will be with those who report to you. Effective managers understand there will be times when it’s most effective to manage your direct report relationship as a collaborative effort. John E. Green, Jr. suggests one way to approach this collaborative connection.
- Use mentors for candid feedback
It is not always easy speaking to others about your short-comings or opportunities for growth, but it is essential to have a source who will give you the “real-deal.” Develop a close network of people with whom you can be vulnerable and honest so that you receive feedback that will help you go to the next phase of your career. Listen to Glen Llopis discuss the impact of surrounding yourself with such leaders.
- Establish stronger network with other recognized healthcare leaders
One way to do this is to become involved in professional organizations, which will increase your network, enhance skills, develop leadership skills, and more. Chisun Chun, who has held several leadership positions within ACHE, describes how she has strengthened her networks while helping to create positive change through her volunteer work in professional organizations.
- Learn how to talk with senior leaders
Learning to communicate more effectively with senior leaders can begin by recognizing the barriers—internal or external to yourself—that impede your outreach to those in the highest ranks. Then proactively work to overcome those real or perceived obstacles. Listen to the tip former Thomas C. Dolan Diversity Scholar, Heriberto “Eddie” Cruz wishes he had received earlier in his career.
Gain Positive Visibility
- Develop executive presence
You want to become known as exhibiting an authentic presence that represents you as having an ideal blend of leadership temperament, skills, competencies, and confidence. Good news: you can learn how to authentically have executive presence. Shanna Johnson offers a few tips for polishing your presence as a healthcare executive.
- Take lead positions in outside groups
Expose yourself to projects that you are passionate about and committed to that may be out of your department or external to the organization. This experience is not only beneficial to your growth but opens the opportunity for others to see your potential as a leader. Listen to Michael Lee discuss why he purposely seeks leadership roles outside of work.