Can't stop won't stop
AAD member Mary E. Maloney, MD, FAAD knows the importance of leadership skills and mentorship.
Dr. Maloney’s story
I attended the very first Leadership Forum and don’t think I have missed more than a couple since. By the time of the first Forum, I was holding a few leadership roles with the AAD and was leading a Mohs surgery team. I was somewhat awed by the good leaders and somewhat terrorized by those less skilled holding leadership positions (remembering some chief surgeons yelling, bullying, and throwing instruments). It was clear, the experts were right. Leadership is a skill that not only can be learned, but should be both taught and learned. And so, we created the Leadership Institute of the AAD.
What we learn when we invest the time in leadership education (like the Forum) is that leaders need to be incredibly self-aware. They need to know how they act, react, and are viewed by others. It is more than a little scary to have a 360-degree self-evaluation which includes assessments from those you serve, those who work for you, and those to whom you report. It is like looking in the mirror and seeing you have beautiful teeth, kind eyes, and wrinkles! You find through leadership training there are some “fatal flaws” that may keep you from advancing. An example is making the same mistake multiple times. You learn that good leaders are quick to give credit to others and work hard to advance others, occasionally at their own expense. Leadership is a team sport!
I have become very involved in mentorship. One of the reasons is that I have had the opportunity to work with people who have gone on to greatness. Mentorship has led to some of my dearest friends. And there is not one relationship that has not given me as much or more than the mentee has gotten. I have learned about working with people with different styles and goals.
Leadership training is career building, but it is not a single event. It is just like dermatology training. You never stop learning, and that learning takes time and effort. But you are a better leader in your practice and organizations you serve. And quite honestly a better parent and spouse. Your self-awareness and skills make life itself better. Jump in. You will never want to stop gaining new leadership skills because being a good leader is rewarding and, dare I say, fun.
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