Chart Your Course, Know Yourself

  • Update self-assessments
    At this stage of your career, it is helpful to understand who you have become through your experiences and where you are now. Determining this will help evaluate the impact of your career so far and identify opportunities for growth. In addition, you should perfect your ability to manage and inspire change and help others achieve their true potential.

    Tool:

    Consider these assessment tools tailored for Senior Level Professionals:
    The Benchmarks Plus Emotional Intelligence Workshop
    Change Management Leadership Assessment
    Power/Influence Assessment
    $Note: fee required for some tools.

  • Identify your optimum career setting
    Once you have completed updating your self-assessments, use the results to identify work environments where you can perform best.
  • Continue higher-level learning and professional development
    Often, annual reviews for senior leaders focus on what is accomplished, rather than how. This can result in the perpetuation of unchallenged bad habits and an erroneous mindset about self-development. As a senior executive, you may be focused on developing others and producing results. However, it is vital to seek opportunities for your own professional development. Learn more through an excerpt from The Healthcare C-Suite: Leadership Development at the Top.

Master the Job

  1. Understand senior role’s complexities
  2. Hone political astuteness
    Too often to count, leaders miss promotions despite being highly functional and well-liked by those in their department. This is because they are unaware of their perception on a larger scale throughout the entire organization. Learn more here from Carson Dye and Brett Lee’s Healthcare Leader’s Guide to Actions, Awareness and Perception.
  3. Sharpen inclusive leadership skills
    Senior leaders who are, themselves, demographically diverse will benefit from sharpening their skills in inclusive leadership. This article from Healthcare Executive provides practical tips on being an inclusive leader.
  4. Shift focus from tactical to strategic
    At this point in your career, your professional moves should be at the strategic level. Anton J. Gunn summarizes his focus on strategic career moves.
Tool:

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.

Leverage Relationships

  1. Establish close connection with select executive search firms
    Focus on developing close relationships with a few executive search firms so they are optimally prepared to present you to each potential employer. Check out this study of executive search firms to understand what they are looking for and their approaches to filling senior healthcare management roles.
  2. Mentor and sponsor others
    As you have likely experienced already, by helping others in their career, you also boost your own career skills. For example, working with those in younger generations can help your skills stay current and relevant. Make time to sharpen your mentoring and sponsorship skills.

    Tool: Mentor Guide
  3. Focus more on motivating others
    Your role as a senior leader can often be to motivate others or remove barriers for them so that they can accomplish their organizational and professional objectives. Listen to Dr. Kenneth White discuss his role as a senior careerist and change agent.

Gain Positive Visibility

  1. Expand your community impact
    Evaluate your accomplishments beyond your direct career achievements. Assess and seek opportunities to influence your professional and social communities. Besides the self-fulfillment you’ll gain, as you support various community efforts, you are also strengthening networks that may benefit you in your next career move.
  2. Distinguish yourself from peers
    Find creative ways to differentiate yourself from others at your level, both within and outside your organization. This will help to present yourself as a well-rounded leader.
  3. Enhance specialized personal brand
    As a senior leader, you have probably mastered a subject and positively affected your community in many ways. However, it can be a challenge to hone in on these accomplishments and market your specialized brand. Try Carson Dye’s suggestion to write a self-tribute documenting your life-long impact. Identify the unique set of passions, personal attributes and strengths that have helped you succeed. Use the information to market a more specialized executive profile, networking resume, and virtual presence.