Earlier this month, I interviewed Alexander Norbash, MD, chair and professor of radiology at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, about leadership and a variety of other topics. When I asked him if he had any advice for radiologists who may be considering a leadership position in the near future, one of his answers made a significant impression on me.
“Whether you are leading one person, five people, or a thousand people,” Norbash said, “you can develop yourself to a higher degree in terms of how serious you are about what you are doing and how positively you see it affecting those around you.”
This perspective sheds a lot of light on the influence a leader can have on his or her employees. Leadership is about making important decisions, yes, but it’s also about those smaller moments where one’s outlook on life can either lift an employee’s spirits or send them down the dark path of insecurity and anxiety.
In my own life, the leaders who have had the biggest impact were the ones who treated their job and their relationship with me very seriously. They led by example, respected my opinions, and always did their best to help me feel better about my contributions to the company.
Meanwhile, the leaders who had no positive impact on me were the ones who would come and go as they pleased and always acted like my opinions didn’t matter.
Leaders in imaging are expected to keep track of healthcare policy changes, standard updates, advances in new technology, newly-published research, and so much more. But it’s crucial that they never forget the power of both their words and their actions.
Take yourself seriously, take your work seriously, and, perhaps most importantly, take your employees seriously. Treating someone with respect today could help mold one of the leaders of tomorrow.