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COVER STORY Three National Leadership Movements


Whether the generational issue is real or perceived, it is worth talking about, says Marcus Williamson, president of the spine division, managed network and business development for Symbion Healthcare. Left undiscussed, he says, it can cause serious tension leading to miscommunication and misunderstanding.


“Opening the lines of communication may solve the immediate challenges, and set the stage for more open communication on all issues in the future,” he adds. He also encourages ASC leaders interested in preparing their culture for multi-gener- ational, multi-ethnic and multiple backgrounds working together within their facilities to research the following three national leadership movements and use them to reach goals.


Five Levels of Leadership


The “Five Levels of Leadership,” devel- oped by author and speaker John C. Maxwell, are designed to help provide a roadmap for experienced leaders to transform their work environment, Wil- liamson says.


“For the new leader, it helps put goals in perspective related to lead- ing peers, some of whom are older or from other generations,” Williamson says. “Three of the key points are as follows: 1) The definition of ‘man- ager’ versus ‘leader.’ Given the multi- generations, ethnic backgrounds and even international upbringing that a surgical facility could contain, the des- ignation of a leader’s role as ‘one with a goal of obtaining followers’ is key; 2) simply stated, workers today don’t engage physically until they engage emotionally first. Understanding the differences in what drives your staff and implanting in their minds your genuine interest in a culture of caring is mutually important; and 3) seek to become the ‘personhood’ leader. People will follow you because of what you represent.”


where they were raised comes into play. There are certain things that are considered rude only by them. There are certain courtesy codes that may be broken in that individual’s opin- ion, and without an understanding of what’s happening at that moment, tempers will flare and it’s difficult to back down.” The good news is that generational differences are not usually the source


12 ASC FOCUS FEBRUARY 2013 Emotional Quotient (EQ)


Williamson believes that the EQ move- ment, described by author Daniel Gole- man, is extremely important when dealing with multi-generational staff in today’s work environments.


“To date, many companies have fo- cused their selection criteria and train- ing programs on hard skills (e.g., tech- nical expertise, industry knowledge, and education) and the assessment of personality traits,” he says. “Topics in- cluding competencies like stress man- agement, assertiveness skills, empathy and political/social acumen were never measured in the selection process or focused on in training and development programs. In reality, these are critical success factors that should not be dis- missed and have a direct impact on the bottom line. A focus on EQ has tran- scended every organization that has im- mersed its culture in it.”


Great Places to Work


“Leaders have to take time to care for their number one asset: their people,” Williamson says. “The individuals who make up their workforce have become


of significant problems, Jacobs says, although if you do sense differences that may lead to conflict, you will want to take the time to make staff aware of them. “I think the key always is that if you sense some of these things are going on, [set aside time] in a staff meeting just to talk about generational issues,” he says. “If it’s done in the group setting rather than to an individual, people don’t neces-


a commodity. And given the standpoint that 95 percent of that asset walks out of the building every afternoon, it is up to the leadership to bring them back every day, with the same level of enthusiasm and the same level of work performance, customer service and clinical expertise.”


He identifies the following as three of the most important points provided by the Great Places to Work Institute founded by Robert Levering and Amy Lyman: “First, each leader must cre- ate a culture of people who are willing to talk to each other, share what they know and take the proactive step to get others in touch with the right person,” Williamson says. “Second, if you are a leader or a manager, it’s important to realize it’s not about you. It’s about em- powering your people. And your voice doesn’t carry any more weight than anyone else’s. The only way this lead- ership style will work is by nurturing, nudging and helping set some vision. Third, your company will have growing pains like any company, but the people should always come first. The leader’s goal should be for the employee to say “I truly know that I matter in this corpo- ration, and that’s what keeps me here.”


sarily have to feel like the comments are pointed at them. They get the in- formation, internalize it and use it for something that helps them in the workplace.


“It is important for supervisors to be more directly trained in the generational differences so they can spot these things as they happen and deal with them immediately,” Jacobs continues.


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