Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Lead, Follow and Help Whenever Necessary

Take a look at Dr. Don Clement's upcoming newsletter article. Dr. Clement serves as the President of our Medical Staff and a truly exceptional leader..

Summertime and the Fourth of July, outdoor BBQs, walking through the neighborhood, soaking up the sunshine. As we look forward to celebrating the anniversary of the founding of this great country on the Fourth, perhaps we should spend some time looking back and consider the one ingredient necessary for this monumental historical accomplishment. Recognizing the importance of fundamental leadership and its principles will help us appreciate how we can employ those same principles every day.

The decision to establish the independence of those thirteen disparate colonies and embark on the creation of this nascent country rested on the leadership of many different individuals. Throughout the countryside and in the many small communities the ability to impart the sense of vision and implement this move towards independence required a concerted effort with leadership at all levels. While that trait was integral to our nation’s foundation it is directly translatable to all of us throughout the workplace, particularly in our Medical Center.

What makes a good leader and who should assume that role? The answers are that everyone has some capability for leading and should want to play a part. Do what’s right, even when there’s pressure to “cut the corners”. Be willing to accept responsibility, share the workload, help others, and set the example for others by how you conduct yourself in your job. It isn’t something that is only limited to those in positions of decision making. Every one of us makes decisions each day on how best to do our assigned tasks. More importantly we must decide that we are willing to share in our concerted effort towards providing the best in health care.

The development of leaders and those necessary skills takes place every day. Physicians and senior executives whether they want to accept this mantle or not, must recognize the need to exhibit leadership traits in their practice and encourage a culture that promotes leadership at all levels. But it extends far beyond those positions. Whether you are a nurse on the floor, working in the lab, transporting patients, cleaning the rooms, balancing the budget, fixing computers, making schedules, teaching students it doesn’t matter. Those in positions of authority at whatever level (who may at times not always set the good leadership example) must be willing to project solid leadership values.

As a retired military officer I recall that I was taught to “Lead, Follow or Get out of the way”. I think we could expand this a bit by advocating that all of us should be willing to “Lead whenever necessary, Follow when appropriate and Help create an environment where there is the expectation of good leadership”.

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