When you become an owner, manager or administrator of a home health care agency, people look to you for leadership, to clarify and guide them in the right direction, even if they don’t ask for it, they want it. When I was pushed into a leadership position a few years ago, I kept looking for someone who could guide me and show me “the ropes.” I started reading all the leadership books I could get. However, what helped me the most was seeing leaders and mentors like Oprah, Tony Robbins, Les Brown and a group of unknown leaders from various walks of life in action. YouTube is great for easy access to the world’s top leaders.

I found it difficult to find a person in a leadership position who would take the time to teach me things. Hey! I had to learn the hard way through a lot of trial and error. I finally understood that in some industries there is no emphasis on the concept of “newbie” mentoring and training. You are alone, especially if you need help in the home health industry.

So many home health agencies need to have an experienced director of clinical services on board, that they are now hiring nurses with no home health experience who may jeopardize the agency’s success. Having the right people and processes in place is crucial to meeting state and federal requirements. Therefore, having someone with great leadership skills, experience, and knowledge is becoming increasingly important in the home health industry.

What about home care (personal care) agencies?

While home care agencies are not required to have a Director of Clinical Services, the Manager still needs to have the specific qualifications required by state regulations.

As a first-time administrator, manager, owner, or director of clinical services, here are some strategies any leader can use to be successful.

1. Be a first-class listener

To be a good listener you must be present. This means concentrating physically or mentally on what is being said and not being distracted by everything that is going on around you. Being a good listener will make you more appreciative of what the other person has to say. You will be more effective in solving problems. Listening to your staff can take a lot of practice, consistency, and effort on your part, especially if you disagree with what that person has to say. We must remind ourselves of the benefits of listening rather than speaking. We should not judge the employee who is speaking and look at the situation from their point of view.

2. Be a better communicator

Being a leader who can communicate successfully will be key to your success. All agency owners, managers or administrators must have great communication skills. This is a skill that will improve tremendously over time with practice.

3. Have a vision for your agency

A great leader must have a clear and exciting vision for the future of his agency. This vision should be clear to everyone who works for your agency, your clients and business partners. What are your goals for the agency? Share those goals with the people who matter and can help make your goals manifest.

4. Find a great leader to emulate.

As I mentioned before, when I started my journey as a leader, I was looking for someone to serve as a role model and a good leader. Of course, there was no one in the home health or healthcare industry that I could emulate. Who do you know who is a successful leader as an administrator, owner, or manager of home health services? Good question huh! Since our options are very limited, we have to emulate people from other industries to guide us to success and prosperity.

A leader who can demonstrate a commitment to being persistent, honest, taking risks, and discovering ways to develop creative solutions will succeed in growing a highly profitable business.

Being a great leader won’t happen overnight, but just by doing these 4 things you can start to learn a lot about yourself and what good leaders do to be successful. You will find what works for you and what else you need to learn to continue your growth as a great leader. If you enjoyed reading about leadership, let me encourage you to check out the different online leadership programs on this site.

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