An old dog barks backward. OGDEN NASH 1902-1971: MEETINGS, BLOODY MEETINGS – John Cleese
As we advance in our careers, we all spend far too much time in ineffective meetings. I have used the instructional videos produced by comedian John Cleese to illustrate the essential elements of planning and executing a successful meeting: Plan meetings in advance; Prepare a detailed agenda; Prenotify attendees; Control the discussion; and Summarize and record decisions taken. In my current administrative role, I have learned both the value and wisdom of ensuring point 5 is faithfully carried out: it is essential to record verbal commitments to avoid subsequent disagreements or misunderstandings.
Throughout my many years and, especially as I transferred into a full-time career as the Executive Director of the Montreal Children’s Hospital, I have learned that leadership comes in many forms – not all of it praiseworthy or welcomed. My own beginnings in a leadership role were somewhat rocky and not always smooth, but time and the valued wisdom of many others have contributed to the development of my interpersonal capabilities. One must be open to constructive criticism and learn from it. The leadership attribute that I value the most is an open-door policy for students, trainees and colleagues alike, that provides a welcoming, understanding and equitable reception, with a high ethical imprint. Unfortunately, conflicts do occur in some of our teaching, clinical or academic pursuits that require resolution, and these are among the most difficult of challenges that one faces in a leadership role. It is most important to LISTEN: listen to what others are saying, and keep your own words and body language appropriate and respectful. You may have to agree to disagree, but at least you can move forward together. Generic Doxycycline
In closing, it is important to underline that one MUST take ‘time outs’ for physical exercise, personal reflection and having some fun. My lengthy academic career has opened the world to me, providing me with opportunities to travel the world and to take my family with me when possible.
In whatever career choice you make, I hope that you will receive the unwavering understanding and support that I have received from my wife, Pat, and our two children Marley and Evan.
It is from my family that I have learned to have both feet firmly planted on the ground, and to work in concert with others – to provide time and support for them as well, to achieve a greater whole for all.