Presentation on theme: "Leadership Interview Sarra Borne Strengths Based Leadership VETE-312 Tarleton State University."— Presentation transcript:
Leadership Interview Sarra Borne Strengths Based Leadership VETE-312 Tarleton State University
I chose Dr. Derek Burney, DVM, PhD, DACVIM (SAIM) as the subject for my leadership interview. Not only is he the CEO of VSNT (Veterinary Specialists of North Texas), but he is also a pilot, and he finds time to participate in scouting with his son (who is about six months away from becoming an Eagle Scout) Over a series of face to face interviews (some included just popping into his office and asking a single question) I was able to ask Dr. Burney about his definition of leadership, what makes a great leader, and the mistakes a leader can make.
How would you define leadership? Dr Burney said: A leader is someone who provides a constant example to others and never asks anyone to do something that they wouldn’t be willing to do themselves. A leader is honest and forthright and not afraid to admit they were wrong or didn’t know the answer to a question. A leader is someone who has followers. In other words, leadership requires others. A leader inspires others to pursue his vision he doesn’t have to motivate by fear.
Do you think leaders are born or made? Dr. Burney: Leaders are made, although some people do have certain genetic dispositions that enable them to more easily make others follow.
What is the one leadership characteristic that you think all leaders should possess? DR BURNEY: A HARD WORK ETHIC!
Be honest - - Men vs. Women Dr Burney: As leaders? No real difference. They may have different styles and qualities but they are no more or less effective.
How or where did you first develop your leadership skills? Dr. Burney: I started in High School in 4H and FFA (Future Farmers of America). In college in veterinary school and on through vet school. The vast majority though I would have to say was in high school as a district officer.
What is the 4H club? The 4H club is a youth development and empowerment organization. They engage kids in hands-on learning in science, a healthy lifestyle, and food security. What is the Future Farmers of America? Like the 4H club, the FFA is a group that aspires to prepare the youth of today for the leadership challenges of tomorrow. They teach that agriculture is more than planting it’s science, business and art.
What mistakes do you think people in leadership positions make most often? Dr B said: Assuming people will follow them just because they have a title. They fail to build respect in their followers. Another big one is not having empathy or an understanding of what others have to do to accomplish their own goals. Not giving feedback, positive or negative in a timely manner. Waiting for a performance review to tell someone how well (or poorly) they are doing their job. They can’t fix it if they don’t know you aren’t pleased. On the other hand people are often motivated by praise and you get better work out of someone who knows they are doing a good job.
Being too much of a micro-manager, or being too hands off. Both of these are bad leadership choices. If you micromanage the staff, you’ll never know what they can accomplish when left to their own devices. On the other hand, if you don’t give them any direction they can end up doing it (whatever it happens to be) incorrectly. I think the biggest mistake though is expecting your staff to “do as I say, not as I do”. Management has to lead by example. If the boss tells the staff they have to stay late and then jets out the door it’ s hard to keep the staff motivated to keep on task. “If you’re not making mistakes, than you’re not doing anything. I’m positive that a doer makes mistakes.” - John Wooden “Success does not consist in never making mistakes but in never making the same one a second time” – George Bernard Shaw
What do you do to ensure you don’t stagnate? Dr B said: I’m constantly reading trade journals, leadership and management books, listening to audio books and podcasts etc. The Harvard Business Review IdeaCast https://itunes.apple.com/podcast/hbr-ideacast/id ?mt=2 What Great Bosses Know Andy Stanley Leadership Podcast https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/andy-stanley-leadership- podcast/id ?mt=2
What is the hardest job facing you in your role as a leader and CEO? I’d have to say the hardest thing I’ve had to do so far was firing a large group of people who really didn’t deserve it for the good of the company. This happened a few years ago and it still bothers me to this day. Some of these people were colleagues that I’d worked with for a long time, but their department just wasn’t performing in a way that made it worthwhile for the company to keep the department open. We were losing money on Dermatology at an alarming rate, and it was either lose the department or risk closing the doors of the entire hospital. So, the partners decided to regroup and focus on Oncology. Which has turned out to be a highly successful decision but it didn’t make it any easier.
How would your staff and colleagues describe your leadership style? Dr. B said: Bossy and manipulative. Ok, seriously. I’d have to say laid back with just a touch of pissedoffness. Author’s note: Dr. Burney is actually a great boss, really easy to work for because he has a great sense of humor but also works hard and expects us to get stuff done.
How do you motivate others? Are there any steps that you take? Dr. B said: Probably by explaining the reasons that we do what we do. Fear is not a good motivator. The “do this or else” style works for a while but people leave because of it. I try to bring passion and positive energy with me it doesn’t always work some days I’d rather just stay in bed. Humor is also a good motivator. I find that a good joke gets us back on track. I have an open door policy. Employees are welcome to come in and talk about what’s on their minds. You’d be surprised sometimes to find out what an employee needs to be motivated – it isn’t always money.
What advice would (or do) you give someone going into a leadership position for the first time? Dr. B said: Be honest, truthful and straightforward. Don’t ask others to do what you won’t do yourself. Sadly, that takes most people all of the ability they have to just do those simple things – (don’t write that down…) (Author’s note: Sorry boss, but that quote was a gem it’s going in.) The foundation stones for a balanced success are honesty, character, integrity, faith, love and loyalty – Zig Ziglar If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything. – Mark Twain
Do you think the upcoming generation is being adequately prepared for leadership roles? Dr B said: Some of the upcoming generation are some are not. There is a lot of stuff competing for people’s time, it’s hard to adequately prepare for the future. There are a lot of timewasters especially for the younger generation. I despise and am totally against the “can’t fail, everyone gets a medal” way we’re raising our youth. Some of the best successes come on the heels of a defeat. You’re only defeated if you think you are. I don’t believe in the unwinnable scenario a la Star Trek.
Any final words of advice? Dr B said: Make a decision! Many people are afraid to make decisions – that is making the decision to just let life happen. Don’t just sit there, make a decision if it’s wrong fix it- but at least you did something. “Action may not always bring happiness; but there is no happiness without action” – Benjamin Disraeli “Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?” “That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.” “I don’t much care where—” “Then it doesn’t matter which way you go.” -Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland