Co-Authored by Auguste (Gusti) Coetzer & Hanco Minnaar

There is a general perception that superior managerial skills are lacking in the global healthcare industry because the response to the pandemic lacked urgency in placing appropriate reactive responses in place. This is further exacerbated due to slow international progress in developing ‘’herd-immunity’’.

Where are the gaps within the managerial capabilities?

  • Implementing principles and action steps in crisis management.
  • Developing value-based collaboration amongst stakeholders of different industries.
  • Business and financial acumen optimizing financial forecasting and healthcare funding.
  • Increased utilization of technology and data to create and enable remote delivery of role-players.
  • Development of protocols to ensure healthcare staff and patient safety in the face of a critical workforce shortage.

It is generally accepted that the future will be disruptive, unstable and economically strained. The goal post will forever be moved due to the lack of predictable normalities.

Many articles have spoken to exemplary leadership across several decades. In 1983 Posner and Kouzes already developed the leadership practices inventory addressing five practices:

  • Model the way
  • Inspire a shared vision
  • Challenge the process
  • Enable others to act
  • Encourage the heart

Is there a possibility that this model can be redefined to meet current and future leadership competencies, not only in the healthcare industry?

The development of shared global values in the managed-care industry is as important today as in the past, as well as the ability to align leadership and organizational actions to enhance ethical values. The ability to inspire and implement a common vision and shared aspirations is essential.

The capability to think out of the box will be even a more sought-after skill due to the urgency of developing innovative action steps to counteract the effects of disruptiveness.

Furthermore, the competency to create, foster and maintain collaboration through building trust is paramount.

Rehumanizing the healthcare industry has accelerated over the past year. More than ever is emotional intelligence and the ability to be an empathetic leader crucial at all staff levels, coupled with the ability to move groups forward in a non-coercive manner. Therefore, a delicate balance needs to be achieved between being empathetic versus the urgency of implementing action plans.

Kellerman visualizes leadership in general from an equilateral triangular point of view. This empowers three equal forces of leadership, context and followers to constantly interact and intertwine with one another. Therefore, the ability to cope with ongoing complexities and the speed of looking beyond short-term planning will empower future leaders to break their rhythm of glossing over the contextualities that carry significance for a global workforce.

In conclusion, the future of the healthcare industry is the ability to optimize a new dialogue between science and society, highlighting that scientific authority is not a universally held value according to Duke Corporate Education (DCE).




Co-Authored by Auguste Coetzer (Chief Executive Officer) & Hanco Minnaar (Senior Executive Researcher) at People Power Placements, Trading as Auguste Coetzer Executive Recruitment.

Auguste is a member of the International Women’s Forum of South Africa and holds a Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology.


Downloadable .pdf article: Healthcare-Leadership.pdf

1 Comment

  1. Thanks Gusti

    It is a very good article.

    I would like to add my two cents with reference to managerial capabilities, based upon my experience in managing approximately 250 medical professionals whilst CEO at Medscheme. I left a long time ago but I still think that my perceptions are valid.

    Most professionally trained people work in teams or groups and make collective decisions. However, medical doctors make decisions on their own. They cannot go into a committee meeting while busy with a patient in a operating theatre. They generally make decisions on their own and take responsibility for their own decisions. I know that this is generalisation and there are many exceptions to the rule. Medical doctors also seldom receive management training, and very little finance training and this is a skill that they develop over time.

    In my opinion, managers / ministers / leaders in healthcare do not have to be medical experts, but rather people that understand health economics and people that understand logistics and project management. Clinical decisions clearly have to be made by the best trained healthcare professionals. Think about the last time you were in hospital. Do you know who the hospital CEO was? Most probably not because it did not matter, however, you most probably only wanted the best medical expert to treat you.

    Healthcare is an extremely complex matter and can only succeed when all stakeholders have common goals.

    Kind regards

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