Mentoring and teaching medical students, residents, fellows, and postdocs is similar to being a commanding officer: you have to adapt to ever-changing group of people and still achieve the mission you set in mind.
“Leadership is loving people”
The secret behind getting people to follow you is to love them more. The secret to leading many is to love much.
There are certain traits of good leaders and teachers found in literature and from my own experience which make a difference in those who succeed.
- Be humble: you already achieved the top of the pyramid, you are here because of the work of others who helped you to get here.
- Say thank you: it is no sign of weakness but a sign of humility and strength.
- Communicate directly: it builds trust and emotional connection
- Asking for help is no sign of weakness but a sign of sanity.
- Understand and face your fears: “Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear – not absence of fear.” Learn to forget about their past screw-ups.
- Listen when they talk to you.
- Encourage them when they didn’t ask for it.
- Give them the benefit of the doubt even when it hurts you.
- Show respect to those around you (even when you don’t feel like it).
- Communicate (in a way that not only informs but inspires).
- Be generous (with time, encouragement and responsibility).
- Be decisive (and take responsibility for your decisions).
- Express your passion but explain the reasons for your direction.
- Don’t assume people can read your mind. Be clear in direction.
- Be genuine and honest with yourself.
- Learn from your own mistakes.
- Learn to rest and recharge