Five Lessons Learned: 3. Leaders Need to Lead

Five Lessons Learned in 10 years of Experience:

  1. Invest in doing it right
  2. Culture matters
  3. Leaders need to lead
  4. Create a culture of psychological safety
  5. Sustain new habits with group coaching from certified coaches with proven experience

Many years ago, when I was beginning my journey in leadership development, I met with CEOs of our healthcare community. The most interesting comment I received was the following: “Fred, I think you’re onto something here. I think there is a great need for leadership development in many systems today. We here at (name withheld to protect the guilty) have a different problem. We have GREAT leaders. What we need are great followers!

While I have not heard that exact quote again, the idea that leadership development is for “everyone else” still persists. There seems to be a pervasive lack of understanding about what “leadership” means. One department chair told me that he was a “natural leader” because he was the quarterback of this college football team. I wondered how he would do if he was in a huddle with 10 other quarterbacks. Leaders in healthcare need to see themselves as servants who bring out the best in every member of their teams. They need to create environments where everyone feels safe, where conflict is always productive, failure is a learning opportunity, and problems are seen as opportunities. These skills are not innate, not inherited, not limited, or enhanced by personality and are not granted by job title.

As the author, Jim Kouzes, coauthor of the award-winning and best-selling book, The Leadership Challenge and the Dean’s Executive Fellow of Leadership, Leavey School of Business, Santa Clara University.  So eloquently summarizes, “Leadership is not about titles, positions, or work hours. It’s about relationships.”

CPL can help you identify high-potential people in your organization and help develop and support leaders with training and ongoing coaching. We will help you differentiate and identify the differences between leadership and management and help to dispel meaningless and outdated benchmark terms, such as “born leaders” and “natural leaders”.

The most successful organizations we work with begin at the top by taking our program first and exploring for themselves the opportunities for their own personal growth. They need to show sponsorship and have a visible presence at subsequent programs. They understand that when no one is following it is because no one is leading! Leaders walk their talk.

If you are looking for ways to give your physicians and clinical staff the sustainable skills they need to be effective team leaders in today’s changing world, reach out to us today.