Step Three: Professional Influence
John Maxwell says "When your people see that you are not only competent to lead but also have a track record of successes, they will have confidence in following you, even when they don't understand all the details."
The big idea here is never stop growing in your professional development. As we demonstrate a commitment to getting better, our team will follow our lead.
Commit to of the following action steps towards professional growth in the next six months:
- Seek continuing education (degrees, learning new technologies, CE) - make the personal investment to grow even if your hospital can't afford to send you to a meeting.
- Find a trusted mentor who can guide you in your career path.
- Engage in networking opportunities. It's not what you know, but who you know. Serve on committees and meet new people at your next conference.
- Go viral: marketing, that is--blog, tweet and publish papers.
- Volunteer to help in an area that isn't your responsibility.
- Take internal leadership classes. Many large hospital systems offer free assistance in your leadership development.
- Practice your presentation skills. Find opportunities to speak in front of people. Practice with a career coach or professional recruiter.
Step Four: Parental Influence
Brian Tracy says "Successful people are always looking for opportunities to help others. Unsuccessful people are always asking, 'What's in it for me?'"
I love NFL Football. Bill Walsh and Bill Parcells are two of the greatest head coaches of all time. If you look at most of the head coaches in the NFL today, they come from the coaching tree of these level four leaders. They were successful, but they didn't stop there. Level four leadership doesn't happen by accident or coincidence. They were very intentional, taking the extra time to make those around them better.
One of my favorite sports moments was the 2005 Super Bowl. Another Bill (coach Bill Bilicheck) had just won his third Super Bowl in the last four years as the head coach of the New England Patriots. After the game there was a camera shot on the sidelines of Bill Billichek embracing his offensive and defensive coordinator, because he knew that was the last time they would be coaching together. His assistant coaches were both moving on become head coaches themselves. That is level four leadership.
Here are two more inspirational quotes:
Always be thinking like a parental leader. You did not sign up for a career in healthcare, but rather a life's calling to change the lives of patients and their families. Look to reproduce yourself in others so that your influence grows beyond yourself. Find a protégé that you can mentor. Take the time to personally invest in them. Even in this season of economic uncertainty, if you can work yourself out of a job, you will always have a job waiting for you.
Think about your place on the leadership ladder of influence. What is your top takeaway that you can immediately apply to your department and to your own professional growth? If you don't have a leadership coach or a mentor, find a colleague or a friend and allow them to help you sharpen your skills. As you continue to demonstrate the example of personal growth to your team, they will follow your lead and grow with you for a great journey together.
Rocky Barra is a managing partner with Corporate Search Inc., a nationwide search firm serving the people and business of oncology and the entire cancer services line, based in Winter Garden, Fla. He can be contacted at email@example.com for a list of suggested books and materials to help with personal leadership development.