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The early signs of the transformation of healthcare are powering the drumbeat of career management essentials: performance, performance, performance and the ability to adapt.

In an increasingly crowded healthcare job market – consolidations and layoffs are up and hiring has declined for three consecutive months – outplacement consultants, career brand coaches and recruiters are zeroing in on quantifiable results.  It is no longer enough to possess a deep and varied portfolio of experiences, even with top-tier organizations, employment experts say.  Executives must clearly demonstrate that they can produce value through a verifiable record of results.

That is all true.  But even that is not enough.

[Tweet “There is, and will always be, more to leadership than just hitting the numbers.”]
There is, and will always be, more to leadership than just hitting the numbers, especially in a period of transformation of a business.  Equal to a candidate’s ability to produce results is their level of Emotional Intelligence (EI).  In a time of major industry shift, EI will be more important than ever.  Without getting bogged down, Emotional Intelligence is defined as “the ability to monitor one’s own and other people’s emotions, to discriminate between different emotions and label them appropriately, and to use emotional information to guide thinking and behavior,” according to the Oxford Dictionary of Psychology.  Daniel Golemon, writing in 1998 for the Harvard Business Review proposed that in addition to the two established EI models, a third, the mixed model, is a combination of both ability and trait, as well as an array of skills and characteristics that drive leadership performance.  Today, in sorting through a candidate’s various layers of traits, skills and the results they have recorded, I am also looking for the one EI element that I value the most – the ability to instill and nurture trust.

Trust is not a leadership given, I assure you.  Just as the yelling executive of the command and control school of leadership will no longer be able to achieve sustainable results in an era of reform, those who lack the character traits and skills to build a strong bond of trust with their leadership teams and employees, will not be the type of people we will want to recommend to clients, especially under our Firm’s three-year placement guarantee.  They simply cannot succeed in an environment of unprecedented change.

[Tweet “Much of what will determine success in the future will be centered on the quality of the employees.”]
So much of what will determine success in the future will be centered on the quality of the employees that an organization recruits and retains.  The health systems with the best people will produce the best results and that will be the make or break market differentiator.  Now here is the key: the best people only want to work for the best leaders, those people with the traits, skills and record of results they can trust.  When the earth seems to be shaking under their feet, people cannot successfully perform if they do not have a leader they can trust.

This is a two-way street:  If you cannot trust your leadership colleagues or the key directors and managers who report to them, then you have the wrong people working for you.