first such win for an African American
head coach. Dungy established another
NFL first by leading his teams to the
playoffs for ten consecutive years. Dungy
has seen himself as a mentor leader from
early in his NFL career. He recently published the best seller, The Mentor Leader,
and in it, Dungy describes mentor leadership as “building and adding value
to the lives of people in the process” of
Dungy suggests three habits that
form the philosophy of a mentor leader:
character, courage, and competence.
Like Wooden, Dungy suggests leadership is about the adding of value to the
lives of others. In doing so, Dungy believes that will have a good impact on
an organization. The Mentor Leader also
suggests that leaders always have a platform. As leaders, we can always impact
someone’s life, even if we are not aware
we are doing so. It also reminds us that,
regardless of our personal situation in
life, leaders are always role models for
Coach Mike Tomlin,
Coach Tomlin became the youngest head
coach in NFL history to coach in and win
a Super Bowl when he led the Pittsburgh
Steelers to victory in Super Bowl XLIII.
Coach Tomlin routinely expresses that
“the standard is the standard” to his team
and to those who support them. No matter where you are and no matter what
you are doing, while working for Tomlin,
you must meet the standard. Early in the
2010 season, Tomlin shared with everyone who was listening to his week three
post game press conference that, “I mean
what I say when I say I expect them to
uphold a standard. The standard is winning. . . . they are capable and embrace
it.” As Tomlin prepares to coach in Super
Bowl XLV he continues to state that “the
standard is the standard” to be sure his
team is aligned and has a clear understanding of his expectations as a leader.
Many leaders may look the other way
at certain behaviors in their departments.
Some may make the simple excuse that
their staff may be having a bad day or
that physicians just behave in a certain
manner. Changing expectations on behavior can not only create confusion for
your employees, it changes the standard.
When specific behavior is accepted, it
may slowly change your standard of
Many of my family, friends, and colleagues would describe me as competitive
and that at times I overuse this skill with
a win-at-all-costs attitude. I would tend
to agree. I love to win. Yet for me winning
is not about me, it is as our coaches suggest, about others. I was recently asked
by a new clinical leader if I missed taking care of patients. Without thinking,
my response was that I take part in the
care (add value) of every patient as a
leader. Every decision we make as leaders
(coaches) impacts many others regardless of the magnitude of our decision
and, at times, our direct involvement.
Operational excellence, in any field,
is about winning. We all have different
definitions of winning, defined by the
strategic vision for our organizations.
An organization’s managers, supervisors,
and employees all play an important role
in the team to achieve the vision of the
organization. As some elite coaches have
suggested, winning starts with each of us
being our best.
Today’s environment requires consistent change. Yet many in the radiology field change the wrong things for the
wrong reasons. Many organizations and
individuals look for instant gratification,
specifically in this new era of competitiveness. Many evaluate what their competitors are doing in the market, what cars
their neighbors are buying, or become
jealous over a friend’s success. Focusing
on others and not improving yourself
takes your focus away from what is important—you and the team you lead.
Keeping your focus on your operations
and what you can control may very well
help you coach a winning team.
1 Wooden J, Jamison S. Wooden on Leadership:
How to Create a Winning Organization.
New York, N Y: McGraw Hill; 2005.
2 Wooden J, Carty J. Coach Wooden’s Pyramid of
Success Playbook. Ventura, CA: Regal; 2005.
3Dungy T. The Mentor Leader: Secrets to Building People and Teams That Win Consistently.
Carol Stream, Illinois: Tyndale House Publishers; 2010.
Jason C. Theadore, MHA, CRA, RT(R) is director of
diagnostic and therapeutic services at OhioHealth in
Columbus, OH. He can be contacted at JTheador@