Identify medical staff members with leadership potential

Proactive recruitment means finding physicians on the medical staff who have the ability to lead, but whose talents may not have come to the notice of others. Using surveys is one tool to ferret out potential leaders. Questionnaires distributed to the entire medical staff at periodic intervals can get people interested in leadership roles, identify any barriers discouraging them from coming forward, and discover if there is a timeframe along which someone might consider taking on a new role.

The survey should ask whether the individual completing it has held leadership positions elsewhere, such as with a professional society, on another medical staff, within a group practice, in medical school, or within an organization outside of medicine.

Also consider polling key medical staff members periodically to seek suggestions for potential leaders. This process can identify excellent leadership candidates who might be reluctant to come forward without encouragement or prodding. Don’t just ask who others think would make suitable physician leaders—ask who possesses the qualities that may one day make an effective leader, such as clinical excellence, personal charisma, strong interpersonal skills, effective problem solving, and verbal eloquence.