Case Study

Personal Growth and Leadership Effectiveness

The Challenge

The Chief of Radiology in a major healthcare organization was both a senior level clinician and the Chief of the department. In addition to his regular responsibilities for his patients, he was tasked with leading a committee of other physicians, as well as managing 15 direct reports. While he was very skilled as a physician and had significant operational experience, he had no training or practical experience as a manager or leader. Human Resources received feedback that he was not managing well and was causing upset with some of his direct reports. Because he was primarily concerned with whether or not people liked him, he had trouble confronting challenging behavior and making difficult people decisions. His aversion to conflict made him less productive because he spent more time than necessary trying to make everyone happy and hoping the people issues would resolve themselves over time.

The Solution

Human Resources hired Vision Quest Consulting to conduct stakeholder interviews to get a better understanding of the Chief’s growth areas. The process revealed that his colleagues viewed him as being smart, pleasant and approachable, but noted that he couldn’t “get stuff done.” Because he didn’t know how to set boundaries with his time, he was using it ineffectively and was unable to prioritize or get the most important things done during a given week. He failed to complete basic follow-up tasks, such as returning phone calls and emails, and his colleagues had lost respect for him. In addition, his manager wanted the Chief to develop more presence as a team leader. A Vision Quest Consulting coach worked with the Chief over a four-year period. Using the feedback from his colleagues, the coach and the Chief developed an action plan with measurable goals, and collectively tracked his progress against them. The plan focused, in particular, on the Chief’s ability to be seen as a solid contributor by his fellow physicians, as well as manage up and manage his direct reports more effectively, holding them accountable for their actions and behaviors.

Results

As a result of both coaching and his participation in a one-year executive leadership program, the Chief has reinvented himself as a highly visible and effective leader. In spite of many organizational changes, turnover in the executive management team, and an acquisition, he has built a cohesive and highly functioning team and department. He has learned how to hold team members accountable for performance and results, and his internal engagement scores from colleagues and staff have increased significantly.