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  • Writer's pictureShandy Welch

How to support leaders

My career has moved in such an extraordinary way. Despite no longer sitting with patients and holding their hand, I have found myself in another phenomenal role. To support and guide the providers that do hold the hands of our many patients. I am blessed to have the opportunity to see medicine and leadership through a new perspective and here is what I have learned. Sometimes the white coat is a burden. Sometimes the title we hold limits our opportunity. The white coat presumes intellectual brilliance in all areas. It presumes unbridled confidence and mastery. It assumes a support structure and leadership education that in reality doesn’t always exist. Imagine the predicament. Like so many professions, assumptions are made based on tenure and intellect yet are so far from the truth.

White coat or not, most leaders, as Dave Stachowiak says “aren’t born, they are made.” Great leadership takes an intentional and concerted effort to build and maintain. So what gets in the way of this personal growth? Unfortunately, we live in a culture that on paper agrees with Dave’s statement although does not back it up with tangible education, coaching, training, and mentorship. This leaves individuals feeling devalued, anxious, intimidated, and underutilized.

As industry and culture changes we need to look towards our future leaders as well as ourselves to pave the way for innovation, creativity, teamwork, and introspection. Recognizing the importance of providing tools for success and allowing the opportunity to learn what was never taught. This investment is minimal compared to the reward of seeing a talented leader inspire their team, be humbled by curiosity, listen to learn and not respond, and have the passion to find greatness in everyone.

We can not expect extraordinary leadership without investing in the people themselves. To honor our future leaders with trust, time, and support to learn the skills otherwise assumed. How do you create great leaders?

  • Invest in support, recent studies have shown that millennials value education and job progression over a higher wage.

  • Pair your top leaders with an emerging star. Mentoring not only draws from your own talent but creates connection and shows appreciation for internal wisdom.

  • Coaching. One on one coaching has shown to not only improve individual performance, self awareness, and team cohesiveness but additionally has financial payoffs.

  • Leadership training. This Forbes article provides a great recap of why investing in training is critical to encourage a growth mindset and maximize the talent among you.

My challenge to you:

Now is the time to invest in yourself. Now is the time to rise. Pick one to the bullets above and commit. Commit to taking action and maximize your potential. The only excuse is the one you choose to make!

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