Leadership: Own It

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David FoxBy David R. Fox, CRA, FAHRA

Leadership matters! If you’re keeping score at home, you’ll know that this is my last Link installment as your president. As such, I’d like to include a motivational quote that helped me find my own leadership style throughout my career and more recently with my AHRA responsibilities as president. It’s from Michael Jordan, arguably the greatest professional basketball player of my generation and in the history of the NBA:

“I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”

This example of being counted upon to step up to “take the winning shot” is what most of us do daily, both in the office and at home. If I go a little deeper, this notion of being ‘counted upon,’ in reality is defined as being trusted. If you are anything like me, sometimes you fail. However, I have found comfort in learning from my own failures, and occasionally the painful wisdom from these experiences teaches me how to succeed in the future.

So I state the obvious (my presidential battle cry, if you will): LEADERSHIP MATTERS! Nowhere in that statement do I profess, ‘perfect leadership,’ ‘excellent leadership,’ ‘man, woman, or child leadership.’ The simple truth is that imperfect leadership is customary of most leaders, regardless of who is leading. Sometimes you’ll fail by your words or your deeds, such as poor communication, failing to meet a deadline, or over committing your time, team, or resources; and in lieu of leading, you’re managing crisis-to-crisis and just barely hanging on. We all have felt that way one time or another. So here is some wisdom I have learned, to hopefully help you to succeed. When you do miss a shot, or make a mistake, own it. No excuses, just own it, and if it impacts others on your team, make an earnest effort to make amends. Usually an apology for your mistake in judgment or miscommunication can restore faith in your ability to lead, and from it relationships will grow in trust. Trust is ultimately the foundation for leadership. When trust is void in a leader, few will follow, and you’re not a leader for long.

Throughout my career I have known that leadership matters because I have surrounded myself with effective leaders to both follow and learn from. How did I do it? It actually began with AHRA and the first Annual Meeting I attended in 1997 in Las Vegas. I learned so much about how to become a better leader, a better manager, and a better person. That’s why I encourage you to attend AHRA’s Annual Meeting – it’s right around the corner, July 19–22 in Las Vegas. Attending the educational and leadership sessions will provide you and your imaging team with an improved understanding of our industry and how best to lead at your current organization. You will gain knowledge on concepts, processes, innovative technologies, and professional networking, making you an improved leader and your team better suited for the obstacles which lie ahead. Want to learn more? Visit www.ahraonline.org/AnnualMeeting for more information and to register.

And no worries if you’re currently not a member, we can gladly take care of that as well. As you are well aware, healthcare is evolving rapidly, and it can be challenging to stay on top of and make sense of it all. Many of our 5,000+ AHRA members say the support they receive from their peers can’t be found elsewhere. AHRA benefits are growing constantly in order to stay aligned with member needs, but here are some highlights of being an active AHRA member:

  • Large collective of professionals who are engaged and share their expertise and knowledge based best practices with one another to create a safe and high quality patient experience.
  • Advocacy for the medical imaging industry on a national scale though alignment with other healthcare leaders, radiology businesses, and associations.
  • First-class educational programming (for CE credit) cost efficiently delivered both at conferences and online, informing us of our changes in our industry and the leadership needed during these evolving times.

The majority of the nation’s top hospitals (according to US News & World Report) are members – yours should be too. Contact our member services team for details on individual and discounted group membership: 800-334-2472 or memberservices@ahraonline.org.

Thank you for entrusting me to be your AHRA President and hopefully a leader who has honored his word with action and inspired you to become better, at work and home.

David R. Fox, CRA, FAHRA is president of the 2014-2015 AHRA Board of Directors. He is the president of Saint Vincent Health-North Hospital in Sherwood, AR and can be reached at Dfox@stvincenthealth.com

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