Sometimes, we deny ourselves the chance to enlarge our impact on the organizations where we work because we cannot see the benefits of becoming either a manager or a leader.
Editor's note: The following is an excerpt from Critical Thinking: Tools for Clinical Excellence and Leadership Effectiveness. Click here to download the full chapter.
We often confuse management with leadership, and the two can look very similar, especially when we have a manager who is also a skilled leader.
Unfortunately, the two do not always appear side by side, and we may encounter managers who cannot lead as well as leaders who cannot manage.
Sometimes, we deny ourselves the chance to enlarge our impact on the organizations where we work because we cannot see the benefits of becoming either a manager or a leader, let alone both.
The seven traditional chores of the manager are:
- Planning: looking forward, determining the needs and expectations for the future, imagining the steps or processes needed to bring the department into that future with strategy and simplicity.
- Organizing: thoughtfully creating order in the complexities of the modern-day healthcare department, this can involve everything or anything from people to supplies, from inventory control to making daily assignments in order to accomplish the work.
- Staffing: matching the people to the work and strategically determining how many and what kinds of workers are needed to accomplish the work every day, every shift, and through surges and shortfalls in census and capacity.
- Directing: usually this involves telling people what to do, but it may also have a broader function in determining the growth of the business operations, sizing up or sizing down to meet fluctuating needs, ensuring that resources get to the right place and position so that the work is accomplished with efficiency and effectiveness.
- Coordinating: this is often about orchestrating many moving parts to create a unified “whole,” whether that is coordinating the churn of bed-space (patients admitted/patients discharged) or the effectiveness of handoffs, or the incorporation of practice guidelines so that the unit or department remains compliant with expectations.
- Reporting: this can be in response to daily, weekly, monthly, or even quarterly expectations. Often the reporting managers explain variance, demonstrate where abnormal or unexpected things occurred and had to be managed, or justify a project, program, or expenditure.
- Budgeting: like it sounds, this process is the allocation of resources to address the many competing priorities of the department. Budgeting may include dollars for personnel, capital expenditures, program costs, or even covering losses for unreimbursed care or ensuring the resources to approve staff vacations and personal time off.