Leadership is really much more about how I want to contribute, what changes I would like to make, not just about how to be a leader, she said.
As the principal investigator and founding director for a US Public Health Service-funded National Center of Leadership in Academic Medicine, Dr. Pololi created an instrument to help medical faculty think about career development and advancement. Geared toward both men and women, the instrument is based on a nine-step strategy that begins with what may be the most critical and underused step that many professionals never undertake-a reflective first step in which a person clarifies his or her most important values and standards that govern all aspects of their life.
After identifying these values, the following steps are built on prioritizing these values; identifying one’s strengths; identifying where one wants to be in 10 years based on these values and strengths; identifying logical intermediary goals at one, three, and five years to help to realistically reach the 10-year goal; identifying skills and tasks that are needed to develop over the first year toward reaching the goals; writing a learning contract for each skill or task that one wants to develop over the first year to help plan how to accomplish one’s goals; and asking one’s supervisor to review the plan to see if it fits in with the goals of the deparment or unit and, if not, be willing to negotiate ways to achieve one’s learning goals and adjusting one’s timelines. The final step is to repeat the steps involved in identifying skills, writing a learning contract, and having your supervisor review it based on three- and five-year goals.