Years ago, I coached an energetic, fearless surgeon who was failing badly in a new role. He was a skilled technician, performing procedures on desperate patients, often saving their lives after other surgeons had given up. He had been a rising star in an academic medical center where surgeons ruled and often were less than tactful with their colleagues, surgeons and non-surgeons alike.
I met this doctor after the CEO of a more cordial medical facility recruited him to be a department chair. Intra- and inter-professional relationships mattered at the new organization. Employees stayed forever, dedicated to the mission of putting patients first.
He was tasked to turn a failing department around, to update technologies and offer new services—big and important challenges. My coaching client had started his tenure by immediately making changes, without spending The First Ninety Days (one of the first books I asked him to read) I asked him to read) on learning the new culture and its people. His approach came from the stereotypical academic medical center, which means it was long on telling and short on listening.
He had been hired to “turn the department around” and he was doing just that in the style of the organization he had been recruited from. That old methodology of succeeding wasn’t working in the new system. He was bewildered by the switch in attitude toward him, by his colleagues complaining about him and his style. When I met him, I was the latest in a series of coaches, some of whom believed he was misguided and others who believed he was uncoachable—a lost cause.Download Article 1K Club