Personality traits are key to choosing a physician leader

Increasingly, personality is proving critical in relating to patients and to the many players you must deal with daily in the healthcare game-payers, referrers, employers. When choosing a leader for your practice, look beyond basic business skills for those all-important personality traits that help you see leadership potential.

With intellect, empathy and integrity in place, and a solid, people-oriented personality, you can add business basics through academic coursework. If your top doctor can't tackle the challenges of everyday inter-group communication issues, your group will never be able to address those problems. Then small problems fester and become mammoth challenges.

What's more, leaders with personality prove their worth when it comes time to tackle tough issues like negotiations. If every partner in your group approaches negotiations timidly, you'll get nowhere with third party payer or hospital contracts. On the other hand, the physician-leader who turns people off with an overly aggressive personality can backfire when leading your group through today's touchy negotiations and relationships.

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