How to Know if You're "Ready" to Advance Your Clinical Leadership Career?

Is There Really Even Such A Thing As "Qualified" and "Ready" if You've Never Done The Job You're Applying For?

I was thinking back to applying for my first director position.

I wasn't qualified or ready. I was terrified that I’d be laughed out of the interview actually. Inside I felt like I was still a CNA. But I got the job. He said he heard everything he needed to hear from the kind of leader he needed in the role. I got my first DON job at age 25 for $27/hour.  

Then I was thinking back to before I was a regional corporate leader.

I wasn't qualified or ready. Things at my building weren’t perfect. I had made mistakes. Would they even consider me? But I got the job.

Then I started to wonder, Is there really any such thing as ready? When I was promoted to Area Vice President over 27 locations, I knew for SURE I wasn’t ready. I couldn’t hang with the big dogs and there was a lot of insecurity and crying.

I know I wouldn't have said, "Yes, I feel qualified to apply for a regional position. Just because you don't FEEL qualified doesn't mean that you aren't qualified!

So, what makes someone qualified for a regional or multi-location leadership role?

  • Problem-Solving
  • Collaborative
  • Attitude
  • Resilience
  • Inquisitiveness
  • Relatable
  • Engaged

A role that manages several locations requires flexibility that you may not have had to have in the past. In the facility setting tasks can be very clear cut. Transitioning to a regional leadership role, your new workflow may be much less obvious. 

Be prepared for the earthshattering news that your normal response might not work or be a good fit for a corporate leadership role. Your bosses now expect you to have a solution and a plan in place to address the challenges in your region.

Some of the common challenges for new regional leaders are:

  • How can I support all these locations and only be at one?
  • How can I get the directors to fix their own issues?
  • How can I get them to listen to me/do what I say?
  • How am I supposed to know how to prevent bad outcomes at all these locations?
  • How can I be accountable for things I’ve never done, wasn’t told about, or don’t know how to do (regional financials omg).

Your experiences can be scaled and they are what has prepared you for success in your role. Out-of-the-box thinking, active listening, and problem-solving are your new best friends in a regional role. 

Anything goes, as you will now be included in the big issues of multiple locations. Sometimes things are not reported up timely, or not at all if the leadership at the location is afraid to report, doesn’t realize it should be reported up, or tries to hide problems at the facility to look good to their new boss (you).

Your potential is HUGE and you are more ready than you know!  Maybe you just need some training and a confidence boost! 

Our Ready For Regional Course can help you feel prepared and confident for your corporate leadership opportunity.

If you still are totally sure if you are corporate-level leadership material, you can fill out your own self-assessment here: Regional Readiness Self-Assessment

Categories: : Career Advancement