Looking for Laboratory Leadership

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ONE ASPECT OF LABORATORY MANAGEMENT which is seldom discussed is the topic of leadership. Pure and simple, every laboratory organization and pathology group practice needs an effective leader if it is to survive and prosper. This is particularly true as reimbursement for lab services continues to shrink from year to year.

In too many laboratory organizations, leadership as a distinct skill gets short shrift when it’s time to pick the new director for the laboratory or a new president for the pathology group practice. Too often, this new top manager is selected on the basis of longevity of service, familiarity with the lab and its employees, a history of consistent execution of job duties, or political favoritism.

Such a selection process overlooks leadership as an essential quality. Leadership represents the ability to develop a vision of what the lab organization can be in the marketplace, combined with the skills to motivate the lab team to pursue that vision. Leadership is that art and science of impelling the organization to do the things necessary to convert its strategic business plan into successful reality.

Each year, THE DARK REPORT assembles a list of the lab industry Movers & Shakers. This is our attempt to identify those exceptional individuals in the lab and pathology professions whose track record indicates they have true leadership skills. Each year’s list of lab industry Movers & Shakers serves as a reminder that every lab organization in the United States is capable of achieving spectacular goals—but only if motivated and guided by a true leader!

That is why it is imperative for lab managers at all levels to gain a better appreciation of what makes a leader, and why it’s essential that their lab organization have a capable leader. In today’s healthcare marketplace, laboratory medicine must be supported by superior management skills if it is to maintain its vital role in the clinical environment.

Laboratories and pathology practices need leadership to help their organizations adapt to the changing market, incorporate new technology, and motivate employees to improve their personal talents and their productivity. Leadership is the necessary quality that insures success.

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