HBA Leadership Competency Framework | HBA

HBA Leadership Competency Framework

In 2013, the HBA launched an ambitious initiative to identify the key leadership competencies women need to succeed in healthcare. Through a year-long, multi-step process, led by the HBA board and a special advisory panel, we identified 12 competencies—and stratified these competencies into one of four groups each representing a core action: enlighten, empower, engage or evolve.

The board officially adopted this HBA Leadership Competency Framework in March 2014. Since then, the framework has helped to focus the organization’s educational efforts on areas with the greatest potential to further the advancement and impact of women in the business of healthcare.

The framework is also being used to codify and classify HBA programs and events so that registrants can choose offerings that will help them develop the specific knowledge, skills and behaviors they need most to achieve their professional goals and career plans. In so doing, the HBA seeks to serve multiple stakeholders—event attendees, members, chapters, Corporate Partners and employers—and make a real difference through education.

The HBA Leadership Competency Framework: Enlighten, Empower, Engage, Evolve is reproduced below with descriptive information for each competency. View a printable version of our Leadership Competencies here.


 1.    Demonstrates integrity

  • Adheres to ethical/moral principles; remains true to personal values
  • Knows self; acts with authenticity, honesty, transparency and fairness
  • Exemplifies credibility; aligns actions with words
  • Models responsibility and accountability; owns successes and failures

 2.    Communicates effectively

  • Listens with intent; actively seeks feedback and a diversity of opinions
  • Brings emotional intelligence to interactions; recognizes the feelings of others
  • Communicates with respect; presents with clarity, brevity, focus and impact
  • Adapts communication to audience, channel, situation and purpose

 3.    Exhibits business and industry acumen

  • Applies business skills, principles and processes; understands key business drivers
  • Displays an enterprise-level understanding of the healthcare system
  • Stays apprised of the impact of business and industry trends, issues, tools and technology
  • Contributes to profession/industry; brings insights back to own organization as benchmarks


 4.    Displays professional presence

  • Recognizes and controls own emotions, fears and self-doubt
  • Remains composed in stressful situations; shows “equanimity under duress”
  • Demonstrates faith in own judgment and abilities
  • Projects confidence and competence; is calm, centered and assertive

 5.    Determined to achieve

  • Is self-motivated; demonstrates initiative; delivers results; keeps the end in mind 
  • Sets goals; implements actions; measures performance; evaluates outcomes
  • Perseveres in difficult situations and through setbacks; uses challenges and failures as opportunities to learn
  • Manages career with intention; documents professional goals and makes interests known to key stakeholders; assesses options and creates a plan

6.    Makes decisions and takes risks

  • Thinks critically; acts strategically; is decisive
  • Is able to maneuver in environments that are volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous
  • Quantifies risk; takes action; owns results
  • Identifies problems; advances solutions


 7.    Influences and persuades

  • Affects individuals, teams, processes and decisions—with or without organizational authority
  • Demonstrates political and organizational awareness/savvy; uses intuition
  • Overcomes resistance; manages conflict; negotiates effectively
  • Gains support and commitment from others; engages, motivates and inspires

 8.    Builds relationships and teams

  • Is inclusive; engages diverse individuals and groups; displays cultural sensitivity
  • Exhibits social intelligence; encourages and actively considers perspectives of others
  • Monitors, nurtures, sustains and renews relationships; works to develop others
  • Promotes collaboration; works with and through others to achieve goals and deliver results

 9.    Networks and ethically self-promotes

  • Initiates, forges and maintains internal and external connections; establishes visibility within and outside own organization
  • Creates and accesses own developmental network (advisors, mentors and sponsors)
  • Develops and leverages personal brand; maintains updated professional profile and presence
  • Leverages skills and networks to advance business and professional goals


10. Facilitates change

  • Challenges the status quo/preconceived thoughts
  • Identifies needs and opportunities; assesses the case for change
  • Brings agility and strategic speed to the change process; is nimble, flexible and resilient
  • Advocates for change and helps others adapt/move forward

11. Fosters innovation

  • Sees beyond the immediate; employs visioning
  • Connects disparate information; exhibits out-of-the box thinking
  • Demonstrates and encourages creativity
  • Translates insights into ideas and shares with colleagues and stakeholders 

12. Continues to learn, grow and transform

  • Seeks experiences and opportunities to improve knowledge, skills and behavior; remains a life-long learner
  • Exhibits learning agility; learns quickly and is able to analyze and apply what is learned
  • Pursues continuing professional development; plans legacy
  • Employs a holistic approach recognizing mind/body connection; assesses work/life integration and adjusts priorities for different stages of life/career   





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