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Host Dr. Brian Bolwell is joined by Charles Falcone, MD, MBA Global Leader of the Academic Sector and Director of the Physician Leadership Institute at Korn Ferry to discuss the future of physician leadership and the importance of making an impact regardless of where you are in your leadership journey.

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Making an Impact: Physician Leadership for the Future

Podcast Transcript

Brian Bolwell, MD: Beyond Leadership, a Cleveland Clinic podcast at the intersection of leadership and everything else. In this podcast, we will co-mingle with extraordinary thinkers and explore the impact of their ideas and experiences on leadership and management.

Hello, everyone. I am your host, Dr. Brian Bolwell, and welcome to Beyond Leadership. Today, I have the pleasure of speaking with Dr. Charles Falcone, Director of Physician Leadership Institute at Korn Ferry. Charlie, you've had a long career in medicine. You started as an anesthesiologist in Boston. Welcome to the podcast. Can you fill in for our listeners a little bit about your current role and how you got there?

Charles Falcone, MD: Yeah. Great question, Brian, and thanks so much for having me here today. Excited to be here and share some thinking on the evolution of leadership and physician leadership in general. But, you know, I'm an anesthesiologist by training, grew up in Pennsylvania, went to medical school at Penn State, which of course is part of the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. I had a strong interest in physiology and the combination of physiology and procedures, so I got very attracted to anesthesia. Went up to Boston, did my residency and fellowship training at the Mass General, and really enjoyed that time tremendously.

I'd always had a strong interest in the business aspects of medicine even way back then, and had thought to myself, "Perhaps I should consider further education and getting an MBA." Joined the faculty at Harvard and was over at the Deaconess for about five years, and decided to leave there and come out to Chicago 24, 25 years ago, and came out here, joined the faculty at Northwestern, and in all honesty, part of the agreement I made was that I could get my MBA at the same time. So I went to Kellogg, which of course was Northwestern's program, and got my MBA there in the late '90s, finished up in 2000.

Held several roles at Northwestern while I was there. I was clinical director of anesthesia and then I ran surgical services for about five years. I always had a strong interest in the business aspects, productivity, utilization, outcomes, et cetera. I was actually looking at... a little known story… I was actually looking at a few chief medical officer roles with my previous firm, Spencer Stewart. And they approached me and said, "Hey, you seem to have a very strong interest in the leadership aspects and business aspects of medicine. Would you ever consider joining us?" I'll make a long story short. Obviously, through a lot of due diligence and thinking about what I really enjoyed and where I wanted to head, and I loved clinical medicine, I loved what I was doing. I took the risk if you will and I joined them back at the end of 2004, and I've been doing executive search and leadership advisory work since.

I came over to Korn Ferry about a year and a half ago. I'd always done work in and around my specialty, of course, as the physician as leader. But I came over here to do two things. One, I oversee our global academic platform, which includes academic medicine, academic healthcare in higher education, and we have five business lines that I'm trying to unite under that as well to lead our clinical leadership, a physician leadership institute here as well, where we're really trying, and as well working with you all, to really solidify and build and grow very strong leadership training programs, leadership advisory programs for physicians. So that's my current role.

Brian Bolwell, MD: That's fascinating. Thank you for that. So as you think about physician as leaders, docs are trained very well in clinical medicine, probably trained a little less well in the business aspect of medicine, and I think probably trained almost zero in the leadership aspect of medicine. So what skills do you think physicians need to learn and what fundamentals do you think are important? As you look at physician leaders who are doing well and those who aren't, what's the difference?

Charles Falcone, MD: Yeah, that's a great question, Brian. I've had the good fortune of being able to see and witness the evolution of the physician leader over the last 15 or 16 years. From that vantage point and from that lens, there's been an enormous evolution. When I first started doing this, it was really hard to find very strong physicians who understood not just how to lead, which was a challenge in and of itself, because as you pointed out, in medical school it's basically a team of one. We're really not taught how to collaborate. We're really not taught how to build teams, how to work in teams. Frankly, in all honesty, it really wasn't until I was at business school at Kellogg where all of the education and the way you learn there is in a team-based environment where I really began to appreciate the strength of teams and what that meant both to the evolution of learning, but also to the importance as it brings to organizations and corporations and healthcare systems as well.

What I could tell you is the most important thing I would tell physicians, is, one, you can make a difference and affect change at any level. When we think about physician leaders, we tend to think about CEOs, chief medical officers, chairs, deans, but keeping in mind that the second a fellow finishes their fellowship or resident goes into practice, they've got to really understand how to lead a group of people. They've got to understand how to run a clinic or a pod or a module or however the organization is structured.

I think back to a book I read of a dear friend of mine, Harry Kramer, who was the CEO of Baxter for a long time. He wrote a book, From Values to Action. One of the main learning points in there is, no matter where you're at and what you're doing, you can truly make a difference. But you've got to understand the fundamentals and the basics of how to do that. I would tell you one of the most important pieces and aspects of that is working in a team, building a team, and understanding the dynamics of a team, because we're not taught that at all. We tend to think mostly about the financial aspects. Don't get me wrong. That's important. We tend to think about the operational aspects. And don't get me wrong. That's important. But the one area that I think physicians still, as we come out of medical school and training, are a little bit void of, is that understanding of the importance of teams.

Brian Bolwell, MD: Charlie, that's a very interesting concept. Academic medicine, in my opinion, in many ways, rewards focus on self. It rewards people who have big CVs, who are first author on New England Journal of Medicine Papers, who have a lot of federal grants, and it actually covets those people. Those people are in high demand. Frequently, those people are somewhat challenged working in a team environment, and their leadership style tends to be fairly top down and a level one leadership style. I've found that academic medicine is a tough place to try to teach the whole issue of working with a team and serving your employees. How do you approach all this in an academic medical environment?

Charles Falcone, MD: It's a great question, Brian, and it continues to be a challenge. I do a lot of work, of course, in the academic space as it pertains to chiefs and chairs and deans. There still is a mentality around, and the joke is, the louder the sound the CV makes when you drop it, the better the candidate. That was a way of thinking for a long time, right? If you had three R01s and you had an H Index of 100, you were a great candidate. What's evolved over time is not necessarily getting away from the aspect of the experiential component, the success in the lab, the ability to garner federal funds. Those are still important things. But what we've begun to learn for sure is the importance of leadership and the importance of demonstrating your ability to lead, because the correlation between your ability to garner an R01 grant and your ability to lead, they're certainly not one-to-one, as we all know.

We've worked very closely with our clients and with our candidates over time to instill in them an interest and a factual basis now for the understanding that leading a department or leading a medical school is really like leading a company. It's as much being the dean or the chief or the chair as it is being the chief executive officer.

I'm encouraging all those clients now, and many of them are doing it, which is terrific, to think about some of the other very important aspects of success as a leader, the testing that may go involved in that beyond just the experiential component, but the traits and drivers of an individual, the cultural fit to that individual within an organization, the culture of the organization as a whole as well, and so that we are building not just a leader who can get the job done, but somebody who can then expand and really push the organization forward in a really positive fashion.

Brian Bolwell, MD: Makes a lot of sense. When you try to talk about leading teams with physicians, what skills do you emphasize?

Charles Falcone, MD: Yeah, great question. I think the leaders, and we can get at this a lot through both interviewing, referencing, and psychometric testing on individuals as well, because most folks, truth be told, certainly physicians, don't have a good thorough understanding of themselves. So we try to help them through a process of that because they've never gone through that like a lot of our administrative brethren. I think that's extremely important, and we can do a lot of that through the leadership development and leadership training as well, and through other things such as coaching down the line as well to help them better understand their own drivers and traits.

But I would tell you a couple things, Brian. Self-awareness, certainly extremely important, and by and large, again, as you know, physicians tend to be a less self-aware group in comparison to many others. The ability to then be self-aware but get away from that prioritization. When you're leading a group, you're leading a team, you're leading an organization, you've got to start to begin to put yourself behind the organization as a whole, so that's tough too. So personal development has to take a backseat to the growth of the team, to the benefit of the team. Developing others then goes hand-in-hand, the ability to mentor, the ability to develop others.

I would say then as well, somebody who can then think cross-discipline, the person who builds that team, who understands the strengths of bringing a team. And I'm not referring to DE&I per se, because we can talk about that if you'd like as well, but that person who truly understands how to build a high functioning team, mentor that team, bring that team along. There are going to be a lot of core competencies necessary for anyone to be ultimately successful in a role. I think really what drives the most successful leaders, are those who are innovative, those who encourage the advancement of their team, those who are really thinking about the best interests of their team.

When I do referencing, I always ask the reference, besides asking them if they would actually work for that particular person, ask them about followership. I think one of the things that's really hard to ascertain and understand, but I can get it when I talk to other folks, is do people follow this person? When this person does something, says something, whether good or bad, do they do it in a way where people really respect and want to be on that team? There's nothing worse than thinking ... There are leaders who, when they turn around, really nobody's standing there. You can't lead if people aren't following you.

Brian Bolwell, MD: Thank you, Charlie. I think that's a very important point, that actually we haven't talked lot about in this podcast, is how do you do that? I think you're absolutely right, I think that a wonderful way to demonstrate effective leadership is, do you have loyalty? Do you have followship? Will they follow you if you go someplace?

So then the question is, how do you generate that? And one way is creating psychological safety, so that people feel free to voice their ideas. I think many of our listeners know that we've talked frequently about the fact that a Google study showed that psychological safety is one of the primary drivers in generating successful teams.

Another one is trust. How do you think people generate trust to generate followers? What makes somebody be able to do that, versus people who can't?

Charles Falcone, MD: Yeah. Great question. I think there are a couple core values an individual can and should have. I think to develop trust, you've got to walk the walk. You've got to lead by example. You've got to be a servant leader. You've got to have people understand that you truly have their best interests at heart.

You've got to make tough decisions. And we're going to assess people against their ability to make tough decisions. And all decisions aren't going to be thought of in a way that is beneficial to an individual.

But through effective communication ... I would say that is one of the keys, and probably one of the weaknesses for a lot of physician executives, is effective communication with their team, and with those who report to them, in a way that can garner the type of trust that will allow someone to want to, again, follow this individual, believe in this individual, and think that their careers are being fostered.

At the end of the day, as physicians, we're all intellectual creatures, we all want to be challenged, we all want to grow, we all want to develop. And I think at a time, especially now, Brian, if you think about the unprecedented level of challenge and burnout that is existing in the clinical realms, now is a time when we really have to step back as leaders and think about how we're taking care of our teams, how we're working with our teams, how we're growing and developing our teams, how we're listening to our teams. A lot of leaders don't take the time to really step back and listen to what their teams are telling them about what they need, about what their hopes, what they're looking for, et cetera.

Brian Bolwell, MD: Yeah. I agree with that, Charlie. I think the communication is sometimes misunderstood. It's a misunderstood concept, because I think a lot of, especially physicians, who are so data driven, think the communication is all about presenting data. And the fact is, communication is about several other things.

Number one, as you just mentioned, it's listening. Communication's bidirectional, it's not just going from the leader on down.

And secondly, one thing that I think has been especially important during the past two years of the pandemic, is understanding not just the data driven part of the words you're saying, but maybe even more importantly, the emotional impact of what you're saying on your team and your constituents. And I think a lot of leaders miss that. Being able to read the room, and being able to figure out if what you're saying is resonating, and if it's not, trying to understand why is, I think, essential to communication.

Charles Falcone, MD: I couldn't agree with you more, Brian. I don't want to sit here and let you think that I don't think data's important, of course I do. And I think data is extremely important as it relates to making the case for particular decisions. But how you present that data, how you present the data as part of the solution set, as you've said, is so important.

The empathy that comes with delivering data that may be attached to news somebody doesn't want to hear. And it could be a big picture decision. It could be something small, like when I was running surgical services, where you're taking away block time or something else. We have to remember that no matter what decision we're making, while it may oftentimes seem trivial to us, because we may be dealing with much larger issues, or enterprise issues, to that individual, that's a huge decision that affects their lives in ways that sometimes we don't put ourselves in their shoes as we deliver the message.

Brian Bolwell, MD: Yeah, I totally agree with that. So you've been with recruiting firms for quite a while now, what do you look for, for a major physician leadership role? As you mentioned, a lot of times ... Well, actually you didn't mention it, but I have found that search committees, sometimes they're somewhat confused in what they really want. Sometimes, even though they say that the big CV isn't that important, they sometimes gravitate to that. How do you adapt to the needs of your client when it comes to physician leadership recruiting?

Charles Falcone, MD: Yeah. Great question, Brian. So as we do an assignment, or we can kick off an assignment, imperative to me, and I reflect this back to the committee, is that we spend the requisite amount of time upfront really deciding on what those key experiences are, the must haves that person needs to bring to the table. And then really spend time talking about why those are important as well.

Especially in 2022, as we look to expand, and rightly so, the diversity of the slates we bring to the table, I think there's a lot of old world thinking as to what is truly important in these roles to be successful, versus the traits and the skillsets that are far more likely to be successful. As we pointed out already, there's no correlation, or very little correlation, that if you have six RO1s you're going to be twice as successful in a chair role than if you have three RO1s. That sounds facetious, but that has been a lot of the old world thinking.

So what I like to make sure we do is, agree on what is truly important to the success in this role, must haves, nice to haves, and then probably not necessary to be successful. And as a group, we agree on that. Because then when we come back, when we're actually talking to and analyzing candidates, we can all fall back on what we agreed, because there's a tendency for people to resort back to what they originally thought, or where the dogma may have lied over time.

What I would tell you as well is, then I work with the committee to remind them, depending on the role, as to what the job is. If I've got a chair of medicine, for instance, that's overseeing a $250 million budget, including hiring, including firing, including fundraising, including all the other aspects of being a chief executive officer, I want to remind them of what's truly important to be successful in that.

And to me, Brian, it doesn't matter what the role is, if it's a leadership role, there are going to be particular core competencies that I will assess anybody up against. And that's going to be their ability to have a vision. Can they develop a vision? Can they derive a vision? Can they explain and put forth a vision? Can they set a strategy for that vision on how they're going to execute that strategy, and execute for results?

So while we don't want to necessarily say the past is the best predictor of the future, it's nice to see that somebody has done those things, probably at a smaller level, but have they done it? How have they done it? Where have they done it as well?

The other two areas that we've touched upon a bit that are, I think, extremely important, and again, for any role, have they built effective teams? How have they done those teams? What have they done to foster the success of those teams? Getting back to some of the things we talked about followership and other things. And how have they, and have they, built very strong internal and external relationships?

And I can tell you, those things will be ubiquitous across any role. There'll be idiosyncratic skillsets that are necessary for particular roles, but it almost always falls back upon those things in some way, shape or form.

Brian Bolwell, MD: That makes a lot of sense. Thank you, Charlie.  When you're looking at a senior executive role, such as a CEO, how important is the interplay between that position and the board of trustees?

Charles Falcone, MD: Well, you hit the nail on the head. The complexity of a CEO, especially if they report to a board, is the dynamic between the board, and certainly the lead director on the board, and the fact that they then of course have to report back and have an organization underneath them as well. So one of the biggest challenges I see when I place CEOs, especially for those who have not worked with a board before, is the dynamic of what that means and how to effectively operate in that fashion, if you will. Because a lot of folks haven't done that before. It's hard. It can be something that I work very closely with candidates on, work very closely with the board on as well.

One of the things we do when by and large always when we're working with a first time CEO and a board, and even perhaps if it's a step up for a current sitting CEO, is when we do our psychometric testing, and we almost always do deep psychometric testing in CEO roles, is we then use that as a template for onboarding, working with the CEO and the board as well. Because no CEO is going to come to a role without any gaps, without any issues, or without any cultural dynamics that need to be addressed. But it can be an interesting challenge for first time CEOs, because they're used to reporting and working for one person. It might be the CEO, might be the CMO, the CCO, et cetera. But in this case they're working for the dynamics of a board. And walking through that is extremely important to their success over time.

Brian Bolwell, MD: You've mentioned psychometric testing a couple times. Why is that valuable to you? What information do you learn from it? And are the candidates receptive to hearing about themselves and a little bit of insight about what makes them tick?

Charles Falcone, MD: Yeah, that's a great question too, Brian. And I have yet to have a candidate who's refused to have psychometric testing done. It of course doesn't mean they're always thrilled about having it done. But when framed in a way where they understand that this is getting at the core of their essence, how they think, how they react, how they respond to various situations, they tend to get interested and excited about the process. I think when you do a typical assignment and you're analyzing and assessing folks, we almost always assess them on competencies, we almost always assess them, of course, on experiences, results. We'll reference them, of course, as much as needed to get at the heart of that. But what that doesn't get at the heart of is the traits and drivers, and what makes them tick, how they tick, how they tick better in what environments, and how we can think about the current environment that they're in and the environment that we'll be placing them in.

So imperative to that of course is that we understand, and the organization understands, their own environment. So , we'll help them think about that as well, because in a vacuum obviously it doesn't do as much good if we don't understand the environment and the individual as well. But it really does get at the heart of how people make decisions, the way they make decisions, probably redundant there, and sort of those core traits as well. And I think what's the ultimate goal, Brian? Right? When we do a hire, it's a risk reward proposition. Right? There's a risk we're taking, and we want to try to get the ... Being a little scientific here. Our goal is to have a P value of one in a hire so that there's no failure, no risk of failure. And we all know that doesn't exist.

And every time we take a basis point, every time we take a point of learning or reference, we improve hopefully our ability to ascertain whether that person will be successful in the role. And I do think that, personally while I would never use psychometric testing as a means or an only point of reference to make a decision, I think it's a great way of getting at other points of value and helping in making decisions as well. And also allowing the organization or the board to understand the way in which a leader is likely to work as well.

Brian Bolwell, MD: Thank you. So one of your four core tenants was setting a vision and then executing on it. Something I've thought a lot about, and a couple things I've read and I've tried to practice, which sometimes aren't always appearing, and I'm curious whether you agree with them. Number one is forming a vision is one thing, but then you've got to communicate it. And the word that I've used previously is the word preach. You've got to almost be evangelical about preaching your vision and getting buy-in and having everybody see how important it is. And then second thing is to execute it. A lot of times physician leaders are good at talking about what we want to do, but maybe not so good at figuring out how to do it. I think if you're going to effectively deliver on a vision, you've got to be willing to ask how. And that means listening to your team, listening to your constituents. If there's challenges, to be honest about them and work to try to resolve them. When you think about forming a vision and executing it and communicating it, are these things that you think about?

Charles Falcone, MD: Personally, or as I assess candidates?

Brian Bolwell, MD: Both.

Charles Falcone, MD: Yeah, absolutely. So I mean even in my current role now over the global academic sector, I'm always thinking about how we can execute on our growth strategy, for instance. And do we have the right people there? And am I listening to them about where the challenges lie? I mean, I think it's imperative that, if I'm preaching that to my clients and candidates, we're trying to do the same thing on our own. You hit the nail on the head. I mean, if I had a nickel for every time somebody had a strategy on the shelf that was unexecuted upon, or somebody who had a great vision that couldn't take that to fruition because they didn't know and understand, right, we'd have a whole lot of nickels.

I think part of the reason it doesn't happen is that individuals don't understand how both to communicate that vision, don't understand how to build the team to help them put together the strategy and the execution plan, and don't understand that they don't have to do everything. As physicians we tend to think that we've got to be expert and understand how to do all those components. The reality is we don't. Yes, if we're in the C-suite and we're in the major leadership role, we've got to be able to have and formulate some type of vision for the organization. But the ability to execute on that is a team-based function. And working with clients and candidates, really getting them to understand that, is super imperative. As I think about ... I always say it's easy to come up with the vision, it's hard to execute on that vision to fruition. Right?

And that's why I always assess people up against that, because I can come up with pie in the sky ideas all the time, but my ability to get it done is really where the challenge lies. The reason oftentimes I think folks aren't successful, Brian, is when they demonstrate why they're doing something. And they may have the greatest reasoning in the world, and it really may make great sense, but again, they're not putting themselves in the shoes of the listener. Nine out of 10 times people want to know, and especially in a healthcare environment, why are we doing this? How does it affect me? Why should I be doing this? And it can't just be data driven. Right? It has to be at the core of a value proposition as well to the individuals.

Because at the end of the day, let's be honest, we all chose this profession because we want to be caregivers, we love what we do, we want to make a difference. So attaching that to how this helps the organization grow, how it helps them make a better difference in their lives or the lives of their patients, et cetera, is always imperative. And I think there's a missing link sometimes in those communications.

Brian Bolwell, MD: Yeah, I agree. And it also extends beyond the docs. Right? Because your care delivery model is the nurses, it's the APPs, it's everybody else who's part of the organization. And again, it gets back to realizing that your words have emotional impact and they may imply things of which you're unaware. And the only way to be aware is you got to have those relationships with your team and ask, and create an environment where they can tell you and then try to manage them. And if you got to pivot, you've got to pivot. That's okay too.

Charles Falcone, MD: Absolutely. I think the ability to pivot and the ability to sort of move on the fly is really imperative to the success of a leader. Right? You can't stay focused and stay on a pathway that is headed towards disaster. No doubt about it. I think, Brian, in all honesty, a lot of folks, especially physicians, don't ask the question, because sometimes they're afraid to hear the answer.

Brian Bolwell, MD: Yeah.

Charles Falcone, MD: And that's a dangerous tactic and a dangerous trait.

Brian Bolwell, MD: Yeah. One of my favorite lines is to say, "I don't know." Because most of the time it's accurate. But secondly, I'm looking for information and for people to try to help me out. Because as you said, pretty much everything we do is based in the team-based environment. And so I really agree with that.

Charles Falcone, MD: Couldn't agree with you more.

Brian Bolwell, MD: Charlie, tell me a little bit about what your current role is. You're director of the Korn Ferry Physician Leadership Institute. What is that? What does it mean? And what's your vision for that?

Charles Falcone, MD: Yeah, thanks for asking. So one of the things we're trying to do, and it comes off the heels of recognizing the fact that physicians are really crying out for leadership development at all levels. Because again, as I said earlier on, we tend to think of that as the chair, the CEO, the CMO, and many of those folks have some requisite skill sets because they sort of risen up the ranks and develop those somewhat ad hoc. But my thinking, and the thinking of the organization, and now hopefully the thinking as we build together, Korn Ferry and Cleveland Clinic, a leadership development platform, is that we really need to be thinking about all physicians at all levels, and how we are educating them, how we are training them with regard to leadership. There's no question in my mind that physicians come out of training with a dearth of leadership skills, and we can be helping them think through that at the earliest stages of their careers as well.

I think as we, as we think about what's the conversation we had today, and what is necessary to be a successful leader in healthcare at all levels, we can really be providing them with a program, with coaching, with testing that allows them to understand, and then fully take a lifetime of leadership learning, the same way we take a lifetime of continuing medical education, for instance. I have been screaming from the rafters for years that we should be teaching medical students some form of leadership in medical school before we send them out into the world. I think we can get there over time. I think programs like the ones we're trying to build can help to do that as well.

You know, my goal, again, my goal at the institute is to see to it that physicians of all levels have somewhere to go to learn, in a cohort fashion, to learn from us, to learn from others, and then to take that into their daily lives, again, whether it's running a clinic of three or whether it's running a department of 500.

It's interesting, because one of the cohorts we've seen now, that is getting a lot of interest, Brian, is chairs. The organizations are saying to us, "Hey, this is great, and we understand the imperative and the importance of bringing it to sort of the up-and-comers, but we'd like to have a common base of thinking and knowledge for our chair group, because they come at it from various disciplines, and they come at it from various levels of knowledge base as well. Many are brand new. So we're really excited about that, and about how we can really make an impact on the future of physician growth, development, and learning.

Brian Bolwell, MD: For our listeners, the Cleveland Clinic and Korn Ferry do have a partnership that we're launching to address physician leadership, and to try to educate physicians at all levels, and I certainly agree with Charlie that every physician is a leader. I would argue, actually, that just about everybody is a leader, if you have a family or anybody who depends on you. So I think these skills are in fact extremely important to all docs. You know, I'm doing a lot of coaching right now, and one of the things I find alludes to something you said earlier, Charlie. Sometimes, physicians come to me who are in leadership roles, and they have concerns about some of the organizational imperatives. I'm sure that never happens in the corporate world, but you know, it sometimes happens here, so one of the things I always ask people is, "Well, what are you doing in your own local area? You know, tell me about your leadership there. Tell me about what opportunities you're seizing there." Because I think most of us have a lot of autonomy locally that sometimes not everybody fully appreciates.

Charles Falcone, MD: Absolutely, Brian, and I tell people this all the time as well, and it gets to what you were just saying. We can all make an impact, no matter how big or complex our own particular environment, or oversight, or group is, and it doesn't happen to be at the highest levels.

Brian Bolwell, MD: Yeah, I think that's really important. Just that learning right there is crucial. You know, in my case, I mean, my career was molded, from a leadership perspective, with my first 360, which I think I was educated about the importance of team building, and the importance of not just looking at operational metrics, but realizing that work and life is about relationships and relationship building, and I think that's probably true of a lot of physicians, so I think that some of these principles are applicable to work, but they're applicable beyond work as well, and I think this will be very valuable for anybody who participates.

Charles Falcone, MD: Couldn't agree with you more.

Brian Bolwell, MD: Charlie, we're close to wrapping up. Do you have any other closing thoughts about how you particularly teach leadership? Anything you'd like to emphasize to different groups of aspiring leaders, or anything you'd just like to leave us with?

Charles Falcone, MD: Yeah, thanks Brian, and it goes back to somebody asked me recently, you know, what's the... A lot of things I love about my job, of course, but the one thing I truly love is the ability to make an impact and influence the lives of physicians and physician leaders, and giving them advice, and working closely with them. You know, I get great satisfaction out of that.

The one thing I tell them, because I'll get a lot of calls about people who want to look at these big jobs, and figure out how to get to the CEO suite, and I remind them that they've got to really get involved in where they are. You know, make an impact, no matter what you're doing, at any level, because they forget that every time they walk into the operating room, every time they walk into the office, there are people depending on them. There are people looking up to them, and I remind them that they can make the greatest impact in the smallest of environments.

Brian Bolwell, MD: I think that's brilliant. I think that's basically thematic for this podcast, is make an impact, you know? Lead, work with your team, grow people, help them, support them, but boy, I think all of us can make impacts pretty much every day, in whatever we're doing, so I think that's wonderful.

Charlie, thank you so much, and for all of our listeners, thank you for participating and listening. We hope you've enjoyed today's conversation, and again, we thank you for tuning in and look forward to future podcasts of Beyond Leadership. Have a good day, everybody.

This concludes this episode of Beyond Leadership. You can find additional podcast episodes on our website, clevelandclinic.org/beyondleadership, or subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, Google Play, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts. We welcome any topic ideas you may have for future episodes, comments and questions about this or any past episode. You can let us know by emailing us at [email protected].

Beyond Leadership
Beyond Leadership VIEW ALL EPISODES

Beyond Leadership

Host Dr. Brian Bolwell escorts you through a network of thought leaders, sharing world-class insight on leadership and cutting-edge hospital management approaches. They will inspire and perhaps compel you to reinvent your practices – and yourself.

Developed and managed by Cleveland Clinic Global Executive Education.

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