December 07, 2016

Leadership Development Office at UAB Medicine: What Does It Mean?

Written by
As we move toward becoming the Preferred Academic Medical Center of the 21st Century (AMC21), effective leadership becomes even more critical to our success. All UAB Medicine leaders will need to acquire and demonstrate new ways of thinking and behaving; ways of leading that worked in the past may not help us be successful in the future. In the words of Marshall Goldsmith, “What got you here won’t get you there.”

These are lofty and admirable ideas but can be difficult to execute on.  Change alone is challenging and even more so when you feel you’re building the bridge as you walk on it. I was recently appointed to the role of Leadership Development Officer in April of 2016 by Drs. Ferniany and Vickers. My mission is to make sure we have the leadership capabilities and resources to allow UAB Medicine to be successful, and I am here to help our leaders be successful now and in the future.

We need to set expectations—for leaders and developing leaders—that are clearly linked to our future strategy. I am working with leaders across the Health System and the School of Medicine to help define what we need to do, know, and practice to meet our current challenges and long-term goals. Initially, I see my role as similar to that of an air traffic controller, identifying and becoming aware of the rich leadership development resources (at UAB and in our community) while making sure that all leaders at all levels across the organization have access to these resources. In short, my goal is to make sure that all our current leadership development programs and resources are leveraged to provide the most value.

Some areas that I am currently involved in include:
  • Piloting and developing new leader onboarding for department chairs
  • Developing management and executive team approaches to enhance productivity and ensure results while helping us break down silos
  • Enhancing and promoting our current leadership development programs and offerings
  • Helping to employ team-based action learning on topics such as communication, emotional intelligence, leading change, reducing change fatigue, developing our pipeline (direct reports and other leaders) and collaboration
  • Providing executive and leadership assessments and executive coaching resources
  • Sharing techniques to enhance communication while managing conflict productively in order to hear diverse perspectives and improve our ability to tap into and implement creative solutions
  • Identifying the expectation that a key role of leadership is developing future leaders and all employees, emphasizing the ability to influence and get results through others
  • Working with senior leaders as we translate and cascade strategy throughout the organization, making sure that all employees understand their unique role in helping us achieve AMC21 goals and our objectives laid out in Organizing for Success.

Ultimately, we will face new challenges that will require us to change our mindsets and behaviors so we can learn, grow and unlearn old ways of doing things.  I look forward to partnering with you and building upon the great UAB Medicine traditions of collaboration and leadership, as we evolve and continue to be one of the best academic medical centers both nationally and internationally.

Please feel free to contact me via email at if you have any questions or if I can help you access the leadership resources available throughout UAB Medicine.