Leadership Fundamentals Video Series: Surviving and Thriving as a New Leader

It’s not easy to be a new leader, especially for those who were part of a team that they are now managing. Expectations, priorities, and responsibilities are completely different – and new leaders often feel alone in their struggles.

This 6-part video series is designed to help new rural health leaders navigate the ups and downs of transitioning to a supervisor or manager role. Participants will gain knowledge and skills to help them feel confident in their role and build a cohesive team that delivers results.

Participants will learn from experts in rural health leadership as well as rural hospital and clinic leaders themselves as they share their own experiences and advice for new managers.

Target Audience

This series is designed in particular for those who have been in a rural health leadership role for two years or less, but it is also relevant to leaders who have been in their roles for longer or who may be training or mentoring new leaders. The series may also serve as a valuable resource for those who may be transitioning to a leadership role within the next year.

“Leadership” roles may be officially recognized through titles like supervisor, manager, or director. A leader may also be represented by serving in more informal roles like project manager, senior team member, or fill-in supervisor.

Learning Outcomes

  • Understand the role of a rural health leader and how it differs from that of an individual contributor, including the impact that the transition to value has on leadership responsibilities
  • Build awareness of common challenges faced by new leaders
  • Align your team’s daily work with your organization’s long-term goals
  • Build relationships across the organization
  • Create a work environment that actively fosters diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • Influence performance by setting clear expectations, giving and receiving feedback, and recognizing others
  • Build relationships and trust through communication and constructive conflict
  • Lead change effectively
  • Engage your team members through delegation, coaching, and collaborative decision making

Series Format

The series includes six video modules. Each module includes:

  • A 30-minute educational video, including clips of interviews with rural health leaders and experts in rural health leadership
  • Discussion/reflection questions that can be used by groups of managers from the same hospital/clinic going through the series together
  • Suggested activities to reinforce learning between video modules
  • Tools to help participants put learning into action
  • Supplemental resources for more detailed information on topics covered in the module

Video Modules and Topics

Module 1: The Role of a Leader

In this module, we’ll explore what it means to be a leader. We’ll take a look at some of the common challenges experienced by those taking on their first leadership role and share a few strategies for looking out for your own well-being as well as that of your team. 

  • What makes a good leader?
  • Leaders across the organization
  • Making the transition from team member to team leader
  • Your leadership style
  • Common leadership challenges
  • Managing yourself and others
  • Ensuring your personal well-being

Module 2: building organizational awareness

In this module, we’re going to take a broad look at your health care organization and help you think about how you and your team contribute to its long-term success. We’ll also explore the ways you impact culture and relationships through your daily interactions with others. 

  • Understanding long-term organizational goals: How does your department contribute?
  • Organizational culture
  • Managing in a value-based payment system
  • Supporting your supervisor
  • Working with health care providers
  • Building relationships across the organization

Module 3: Managing Performance

In this module, we’re going to explore ways that you can work to influence the behavior of those on your team. We’ll share best practices for communicating expectations, giving and receiving feedback, and recognizing others.

  • Connecting daily work with mission, values, and strategy
  • Communicating expectations
  • Giving and receiving feedback
  • Recognizing and rewarding your team members

Module 4: Communication, Conflict, and Difficult Conversations

In this module, we’re going to dig into some things that are hard for many of us: Communication, conflict, and difficult conversations. We’ll look at what it means to be a collaborative communicator and share tips for becoming a better listener, keeping conflict constructive, and having difficult conversations.

  • Collaborative communication
  • Adapting communication to the audience
  • Active listening
  • The value of constructive conflict
  • Keeping conflict constructive
  • Leading difficult conversations

Module 5: Leading Change

In this module, we’re going to dive into the topic of change. We’ll talk about common experiences that people have through the course of change. We’ll talk about specific things you can do as a leader of change to smooth the process and help others through the transition – and help yourself as well.

  • Understanding the change process
  • The human side of change – the ups and downs
  • Individual differences in response to change
  • Managing your own emotions during change

Module 6: Engaging Your team

In this module, we’ll explore what it means to engage your team and share some strategies for strengthening engagement by developing your team’s knowledge and skills, making collaborative decisions, and building a strong team identity.

  • Delegation
  • Coaching
  • Collaborative decision making
  • Fostering a team identity
  • Building your team: Making hiring decisions
  • Developing your team
  • Knowledge management

This project is/was supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under grant number UB1RH24206, Information Services to Rural Hospital Flexibility Program Grantees, $1,560,000 (0% financed with nongovernmental sources). This information or content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.