Being a cardiovascular service line (CVSL) leader often demands a delicate balancing act. On one side you have your staff, on the other your administration. Both sides are essential to running a successful CVSL—and both sides are putting tremendous pressure on you.
Here are some proven strategies to help you maintain balance as you walk that tightrope.
It's really a tightrope
Why your decisions are critical<strong style="color: #14416f; text-decoration: none;">Scott Garavet, MBA</strong><br /><i>Vice President, Cardiovascular, Spine,<br>and Orthopedics Systems, ThedaCare</i>
As a CVSL leader, you would never tell your team to follow your direction “because I said so.” According to Mark Baker, “That doesn’t work with children and it certainly isn’t appropriate with adults on your staff.”
When you make a decision or roll out a new policy, you want to make sure you explain the rationale behind your actions. Even if your staff or administration doesn’t agree with you, they still appreciate hearing the reasons behind your decisions.
Your staff is coming to you with concerns about their rotations, salary, workflow, personnel, and more. So who can you turn to for solutions to these problems? Turns out the best problems solvers are often right there in front of you. Challenge them to come up with some proposed solutions. You will empower them, and you will find they bring ideas that you would never have developed on your own.
The last thing you want to create is a “culture of complaining.” Make it clear that if a staff member comes to you with a problem, they should also have a few ideas of how to fix that problem. That’s the way you want your team thinking and that’s the kind of solution-oriented culture you want to create.
Solve the shift thing
Creating a solution-oriented culture<strong style="color: #14416f; text-decoration: none;">Chris Maxwell, PhD</strong><br /><i>Senior Fellow,<br>The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania</i>
They will see first-hand the demands and pressures that are put on you. They will see how you advocate for your staff and their needs. They will see how much consideration and thought goes into decisions that affect your department.
Additionally, they will often begin to see the administration differently. They become more human and more approachable. They see how much administrators really do care about the staff and the patients you serve.
It opens eyes and can lead to a new level of empathy and respect. Not to mention, that staff member will quickly share their experience with the rest of your staff.
This is a must. Find someone with a positive attitude and who is continually educating themselves. Find someone you think is a superstar. Then follow them as they do their job. Ask questions, run ideas by them, get feedback.
A mentor can be that much-needed force of stability as you make your way along the leadership tightrope.
The transition “from scrubs to suits” can be highly emotional. Respect the emotions that come with your role. Embrace this as a necessary part of your career growth.
If you are starting a new and different role, acknowledge it. Accept that it often means leaving your old role behind. If your role is not new to you, you still have to respect the emotions that come from being on that tightrope between staff and administration. It can be intense—and embracing that intensity it a strategy for success.
By Bouree Lam
Article from The Atlantic
This article details the plight of middle managers—all of the downsides of being a subordinate, combined with all of the downsides of having to tell people to do things they don't want to do.
By Jack Zenger and Joseph Folkman
Article from Harvard Business Review
This analysis of over 320,000 employees found that those stuck between staff and administration are the least happy group.
By Professor Ehtan Mollick
A podcast from the Wharton School
This podcast talks about the importance of your middle managers.
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