The Impact of Diversity in Leadership

An article in the May/June 2013 issue of the Journal of Healthcare Management features an interview with Thomas C. Dolan, PhD, FACHE, President & CEO of ACHE. In that article, Dr. Dolan states that “In the 1970’s, 88 percent of our new members (in ACHE) had a graduate degree in health administration. Today, less than 50 percent do.” The field of healthcare administration is becoming increasingly diverse in a variety of ways, including the education and training background of executive leadership. This trend of diversity can be seen in every discipline and at all levels of health service organizations. The implication of this for healthcare leaders is profound, with an area of impact being on the “soft” side of leadership – the importance of interpersonal relationships and leadership teambuilding.

In general, as executive healthcare leaders have increasingly diverse backgrounds in business, medicine and other areas, it has implications for intangible leadership skills such as emotional intelligence; understanding, appreciating and respecting other cultural values; being open to other perspectives that different educational backgrounds bring; greater emphasis on leadership teambuilding; and being receptive to – even fostering – different perspectives, ways of thinking, and philosophical approaches. Health services organizations are microcosms that reflect our changing society. Leadership in the era of Healthcare Reform includes leadership in a new era of diversity: one that is not just about cultural diversity, but much more. -Steve Reed

11
Jun
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