“Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.” — John Francis "Jack" Welch Jr., former chairman and CEO of General Electric
In a constantly fluctuating healthcare landscape, it is imperative that we, as radiologists, develop and practice leadership skills — to lead change rather than follow it. Leadership is not a tool that is quickly learned, but rather a skill set acquired over time and developed over multiple different experiences. Throughout my personal growth as a leader, the ACR has been instrumental in providing various leadership experiences and opportunities — which I am now using to help mentor the next generation of leaders as part of my role on the ACR’s Radiology Leadership Institute® (RLI) board.
While going through my mailbox one day during residency, I stumbled across the ACR Bulletin. Reading through the magazine, I ran across an announcement on fellowship opportunities that the ACR offers. One in particular that struck me was the Rutherford-Lavanty Fellowship in Government Relations. The fellowship allowed a resident to spend a week in Washington, D.C., working with the ACR government relations staff and learning about federal legislative actions and policies affecting radiology, with opportunities to meet with members of Congress and their staff to discuss important issues. I decided to apply for the fellowship as I knew very little about legislative actions targeting radiology and thought it would be a great learning opportunity. I was accepted and the week I spent in Washington, D.C., proved to be eye-opening in many ways. I learned all about how the government relations department is tirelessly advocating for our profession. I also learned how critical it is to get involved with the ACR. I saw an organization that addresses virtually every professional concern for radiologists, and also provides a pathway to leadership growth.
After finishing my training and entering the YPS, I began to see how important it is to develop leadership skills for a successful career in radiology. Leadership skills are used on a daily basis — whether it is serving as a consultant to a healthcare team, negotiating for your group/practice, or being asked to serve on a committee or board representing your group. I turned to the ACR to help facilitate my growth as a leader and ran for a leadership postion on the YPS executive committee to gain some experience. I was elected as vice chair of the YPS executive committee and subsequently served as chair the following year. Through these roles, I was allowed the unique opportunity to serve as a member of the ACR’s CSC. Through each CSC meeting and work group, I learned what it means to be a leader and how to be effective in leading an organization.
I saw an organization that addresses virtually every professional concern for radiologists, and also provides a pathway to leadership growth.
After serving on the CSC, I was selected as the first YPS representative on the ACR’s BOC — a leadership opportunity that cannot be replicated. Through this opportunity, I was involved in the strategic planning, policy goals, and operations of the ACR. I observed some of the great and talented leaders we have at the College as they problem-solved to arrive at solutions and achieve success.
Today, it is my turn to help others achieve their leadership goals. The RLI is a unique component of the ACR — providing all the tools needed to cultivate future leaders, with leadership programs for residents/fellows, mid-career professionals, and those needing executive-level training (see below). Consider volunteering to serve the ACR or enroll in the great programming the RLI has to offer to build on your leadership potential. Regardless of what stage of your career you are in, leadership skills are critical to your success.