Home Case Studies Health Care Sector From Extraordinary Diagnostician to Extraordinary Leader

From Extraordinary Diagnostician to Extraordinary Leader

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I had an academic medical background before this, so I didn’t have a lot of experience in the corporate world. Both of my coaches have validated my instincts in what I think are among the right ways to approach situations or decisions. It’s been validating when my coaches say, “Your instinct was right on that one,” or when you they ask a question to help me look at this one a little differently, or asking me what to consider when making a specific decision. I think that having that sounding board has been incredibly valuable.

The physicians in the leadership program have made such terrific progress with their coaches in terms of personal insight. I’ve seen the results of that in terms of how they navigate relationships and especially how they navigate their understanding of the system and all the different personalities.

Could you can you tell me a story, or an amalgamation of stories that you as the leader saw a person change as a result of coaching?

I work closely with one physician who has a tendency, like I did back in the famous story, to get frustrated and angry pretty quickly with situations that are complicated and that require some interpersonal negotiation to move through. There was another person that she had problems with. If the other person were in a meeting or on a call and said something, it would set off the physician I was working with. It was to the point where both people were becoming more coequals in the organization and they were often called on to collaborate in solving service line types of problems.

Her reaction to that dysfunction was blocking her ability to be seen as a leader in that service. That was articulated to me by people who were watching the situation saying “You know that person could go a lot further, but every time there’s a situation that is tense that person either backs down lashes out and either way they don’t use their expertise and their knowledge and their influence to move the situation.

I have seen a tremendous difference in that person (with coaching). I’ve been on some calls and in some meetings with that group dynamic where she has handled the situation. I pointed out to her that the old you would have left during that meeting. She’d smile and say, “Yeah, you know, I thought of it. I would have liked to but I realized it wouldn’t get my anywhere.”

“We’ve been able to navigate to a to a place where she prevailed. People have commented, “You know she’s really stepping up as a leader. She’s really getting things done. Wow, how much more engaged.” She and he were always at the same meetings – her presence was there, but the influence wasn’t there. So I think, again, that was coaching and being in the LDP and sort of delving more that peer group and feeling and seeing the potential as a leader, but this is a person who’s very prominent in her field and doesn’t need this coaching for financial reasons or anything else but for where she wants to go kind of for the next stage of career. She was blocked in the same way that I was blocked. I told her the story about my moment and it that resonated with her.

She’s been working with her coach and asked for her coaching to continue after the LDP. She asked me to tell her coach all the things that I thought she needed to do to develop and so I did. It was great. I think that the theme is self-awareness

A coach is just a safe place to bounce ideas off where there’s no other relationship for that. Who else can I talk to about that dynamic – someone who knows both these people knows the organization, knows the goals, knows me and knows the complexities of that triangle. We (my coach and I) were able to talk through a lot of those situations. That’s really the difference.

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  1. Margaret Cary, MD MBA MPH PCC

    August 25, 2018 at 10:01 am

    Stu – your stories are why it’s important for leaders to be self-aware! You’ve done a lot of work with your coach, Rick Auman. He’s The Best!


  2. Joy Goldman

    August 26, 2018 at 11:42 am

    Great interview and leadership principles. Dr. Levine models leveraging the polarity of confidence and humility! Having worked with leaders who report to him, I’m especially appreciative!


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