Picture the best holiday gift you ever received.

Was it something practical for your home? Or maybe the latest high-tech gadget from Apple or Amazon? Or perhaps it was a sentimental gift, like a family photo or heirloom.

It’s easy to focus on the material when we think of gift-giving.

But, as the new year approaches, it’s also important for us, as healthcare leaders to focus on ways to invest in ourselves—in our leadership development and professional and personal growth.

After all, there aren’t many gifts you can give to yourself that also benefits others—your fellow leaders and direct reports—your organization and healthcare in Maryland, generally.

And these benefits aren’t limited to one day. They will be experienced year-round. And the effect will multiply. As you practice effective leadership in your organizations, others will learn from your example. And, they’ll spread good practices throughout your hospital and health system.

In that way, leadership may be the ultimate gift.

Taking the time to improve as leaders can only benefit our hospitals, our employees and, most importantly, our patients.

Taking the time to grow as leaders can re-energize our practice, improve our communication within our organizations, break down silos, benefit patient experience and more.

You may even find that these benefits spill over into your personal life. Because the better you are—and the more fulfilled you are professionally—the better you’ll be as a partner, a parent and a friend.

These are all gifts we would benefit from as we celebrate the joy of the season.

The Maryland Healthcare Education Institute has a variety of programs available to help you experience the gift of leadership in 2020. Visit MHEI’s website to learn more.