Roadmap for New Radiation Oncology Leaders

By Tammy McCausland posted 09-18-2019 10:18


This is a summary of the workshop given by Sansannah Johnson from the University of Washington and Sharda Kohli from the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey.

Leadership is evolving: you grow in different directions as you gain experience. To improve your leadership skills you can:

  • Identify personal leadership strengths
  • Seek leadership training opportunities
  • Develop a leadership plan
  • Learn from others.

You can identify core skills using tools such as CliftonStrengths and DiSC Profiles.

Managers should establish a leadership philosophy. They can audit their time management practices (e.g., Stephen Covey’s 4 quadrants of time management). You want to spend most of your time in quadrant two.

Money is an important part of a leader’s role because everything translates into dollars at some point. Develop a strategic plan for your team/organization and let it guide how your funds are prioritized. Use KPIs to help achieve your goals and prioritize.

Hire the right people for your team—it can make or break your organization. Empower employees, communicate with them and promote work-life balance. Hire the best fit for your culture or the culture you’re aiming for. Consistently reinforce the values, priorities and expectations. As a leader it’s your job to do what’s right for the organization.

Leadership is lonely. There may not be a lot of people to reach out to. Seek out colleagues you can trust and mentors to be a sounding board.

Leaders need to develop a leadership plan. Know where you are, where you want to go and how you’re going to get there. Set realistic timelines. Networking is key. Mentoring is formal and informal, external and internal. Find a mentor through professional organizations, colleagues or another appropriate place. Maybe you’re a mentor for someone.

Leaders need to pay attention to their team. Take the tempo of each team member. Burnout is a legitimate concern.