team members. Develop self directed
teams that allow members to feel a part
of the process. They will drive it if they
buy it! When team members know they
are responsible for coming up with
solutions and they have the power, they
will not fall back on excuses and will
surprise you with what they accomplish.
Remember, you cannot let the team run
the house, but you can let them have the
empowerment to drive customer service
( 3) Allow yourself to be human. When you
make mistakes, admit them. Allow your
staff to see you have learned from them
and that it is okay to make a mistake.
This is the hardest thing for a leader to
do because we don’t like to admit failure
or that we are weak and mistake prone.
However, it has been proven that leaders
gain greater team member loyalty when
they show they are just as human as the
rest of the team.
( 4) Accept criticism. Do not take criticism
as personally, it’s not. Remember, as a
leader you are setting an example. When
a leader does not admit mistakes, takes
it personal when an idea does not work
out, or gets defensive when a team
member criticizes an idea, then they create a culture that does not encourage
risk taking. Sometimes we have to roll
the dice and take a risk. When you do
and it does not work out you have to
show your human side. By doing this
you create a culture that relies on principle instead of ego.
( 5) Allow your ideas to be challenged. Let
your team members know it is okay to
challenge ideas. Encourage them. This
creates great dialogue and may unveil
issues that were not thought of in the
initial idea development. Team members must be free to express ideas and
concepts without fear or censure. You
do not have to act on all of them but
they should be discussed. A department
that follows the leader without challenge
rarely achieves a culture of excellence.
( 6) Challenges must be public. Do not allow
your challenges to be private. A good
leader encourages team members to
publicly develop and convey ideas and
challenges. It creates accountability for
everyone involved. You will find that the
goals you develop for your department
will have the best chance of accom-
plishment when they are bought into
by the team members. This is only
achieved when, publicly, everyone
believes in them because they had a part
in their development (or they were at
least allowed to challenge them). By
making ideas public they have a better
chance of success. Let’s face it, secret
plans rarely are achieved.
Remember, developing a culture of
excellence does not mean you must
develop a culture of perfection. You must
allow your team members to take risks
and understand that if those risks fail, we’ll
talk about them, dissect them, and learn
from them so they are not repeated again.
They must be able to present ideas and
concepts without repercussion or consequences and they must be able to challenge the status quo. They must feel their
input and ideas are wanted as you move
down the road to excellence. Remember,
team member buy-in drives team member
accountability. Team members will drive
what they believe in! Without these seven
steps you are much more likely to see
resistance and culture failure as the supportive atmosphere is gone. Without a
strong cultural pillar your other pillars will
fail as well. You need to ensure that the
cultural pillar is strong if you want to be
successful in implementing these pillars
across your department.
1Studer Q. Results That Last. Hoboken, New
Jersey: Wiley and Sons; 2008.
Ed Yoder is the administrative director of medical
imaging at Winter Haven Hospital in Winter Haven, FL.
He holds a master’s degree in business administration,
as well as a master’s degree in healthcare administration
from the University of St. Francis. Ed is also a member
of the AHRA Board of Directors. He may be contacted