Q: What made you decide to create this physician leader coaching program?
A: In the last 10 years of my work with physicians, most engagements started with a conversation with an administrator and also with the medical director of the department, a VP or CMO. And often times, when I watch physician leaders interact with their peers or supporting staff, I clearly see how the leadership style of the physician leader contributes to the physician’s behavior and performance. That doesn’t mean that the responsibility is pushed away from the physician but it means that the physician leaders don’t know how to coach a physician in situations of crisis, how they are blaming, sometimes attacking and sometimes even abandoning the physicians.
There have been many physicians who told me that they were looking for new jobs just because they couldn’t get along or couldn’t see eye to eye with the physician leader. Now, yes, some physicians can be difficult and at the same time, I met a few physician leaders who displayed everything but effective leadership skills. And that’s why I created this program because if I can fine-tune and upgrade a leader’s skill how will that trickle down and effect everybody else in the organization? How will that impact turnover and retention? How will that build up morale? How will that build up effectiveness in the organization? Just imagine how much money can be saved in a department every month if a physician leader can facilitate effective meetings? Now that gets me excited. And that is where I can make a difference.