How do I take my career in the direction of physician leadership?
I had a physician reach out to me several months ago asking me this question. We had a great conversation and I thought that was that until I recently received this message from him…
Hey Kurt. So, I have been taking your advice after we first spoke and just wanted to extend a big thank you. I’ve been busting my butt at work, getting more involved, etc. The regional VP took notice and wants to speak with me about a director position they plan to establish soon. They also have an executive track that I’m interested in. Hope we can stay connected and you could provide further mentorship to guide my career. Thanks again!
Honestly, these are the moments I live for. I want to share with you the “Cliff Notes” version of the recommendations I suggested. (Keep in mind I am not a professional coach. This comes from many years of working with physician leaders and executives.)
Build your personal “brand”
To be a leader… you must act like a leader
One of the most important skill sets great leaders have is the ability to identify issues, problems, challenges and roadblocks and provide ideas to overcome. The “Problem-Solver” if you will.
Identify problems AND provide ideas to solve.
Without the second part, you are just complaining or worse, whining.
Who do you think is more likely to be invited to your C-Suite’s table, the complainer or the “problem-solver?
Get involved AND engaged.
Start volunteering to be on committees and then actually participate. Help them find solutions. Be a resource.
If possible, Chair a committee with the goal of bringing the group together, in the same direction and with the outcome of solving the issues at hand.
If you don’t have your MBA, consider getting one.
It shows commitment and that you are serious about taking your career in the direction of leadership. There are many great MBA programs out there. Find one that allows you to continue to work. It will be a challenge but worth it in the long-term.
Your supervisor can’t read your mind.
Once you start putting the above into action, have a conversation with your supervisor. Let them know your goals and the plan you have in place to get there. Ask them for help. You may be surprised at the support you receive!
Gone are the days of falling into leadership positions.
“I got the position because no one else in our department wanted it.” Given the importance and what’s at stake, picking a leader (the right leader) has become ever so important.
Your goal is to create a plan to not only get on the radar of your C-Suite but to gain the knowledge that will help you evolve into a great leader.
My Dad told me when I was leaving for college, “It doesn’t matter what you do for a career, just strive to be the very best. If you do that, you will always be in demand…”
Get noticed, for the right reasons…
Founder and CEO
The Physician Leadership Career Network