Start now, don't put off becoming a better leader.
As physicians, you are called to be leaders. But in the hurried pace of life, taking a proactive stance to grow as a leader can become difficult. Here five are steps you can take immediately to make yourself a better leader:
1. Cultivate Your Emotional Intelligence
Self-awareness. Start intentionally becoming aware of your strengths as well as your weaknesses. The ability to develop self-awareness will make you a better leader by immediately helping you realize the members of your team that can complement your strengths and how your innate skills can best be applied to achieve a unified vision.
Self-regulation. As a leader, you must be able to self-regulate your emotions and have a keen awareness of your triggers that increase your stress. The awareness of these situations allows for you to proactively be able to de-escalate your emotions and thus be able to manage the situation with more clarity. Identify your main triggers and develop countermeasures to address them in real time.
Motivation. Exhibit a level of passion for your team and your work that you would want to see in not only yourself but those around you. Intentionally opting to remain optimistic and be persistent even during difficult times builds motivation.
Empathy. Show understanding to those that need it and look to you for guidance.
Social Skills. Start to listen more.
2. Ego Maturity
Jane Loevinger came up with nine stages of ego development:
Strive to be an integrated leader that works with a collaborative perspective.
The difference between leaders that are truly effective and those that are not, occurs with becoming a resonant leader by surpassing individualistic goals, and aligning your efforts with goals that grow your entire team. In the end as they grow, so will you.
3. Gather Diverse Experiences
Strive for and collect diverse experiences as they will accelerate your growth and adaptability. The accumulation of a wide array of experiences also increases your ability to empathize with differing viewpoints.
4. Connect the Dots
Steve Jobs in his Stanford Commencement address succinctly summarized this when he said:
“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. Because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart even when it leads you off the well-worn path; and that will make all the difference.”
5. Keep Learning
Continuous improvement is the basis for any leader or aspiring leader. Internally, it is important to keep learning through reflection and time with your own thoughts. Externally, this calls for actively soliciting feedback from those within and outside of your support system.
What expression do you leave behind as a leader?What adjectives best describe you at your best and your worst as a leader?