For physicians, leadership can provide an opportunity to strengthen their organizations and positively impact the lives of thousands of people.
In this context, what does leadership mean, what are its attributes, and what tools do physician leaders have at their disposal?
Feedback is a key tool in the development of these attributes.
The most common, but sometimes least effective, form of feedback is the annual performance review.
The knowledge-based components of a skill, such as finance or accounting, can be acquired readily in class, online, or with self-directed learning.
More challenging, however, is the development of the personal attributes that are necessary for effective leadership.
A common mistake is for leaders to get too involved in day-to-day operational issues, thereby taking their eyes off the ball and potentially missing new opportunities or emerging threats to the organization.
With a team-based mindset, the goal of the leader should not be to make the best decisions for the organization, but rather to ensure that the best decisions at all levels.
A leader who attempts to make all the decisions will inevitably fail as it is impossible for one individual to be correct all the time.
A leader with an engaged team will benefit from a more diverse analysis of challenging situations and will be more likely to make the right call.