Lording isn't Leading
Within the responses to Jason Marketti's March 9, 2011, article, "In Charge," I noticed two groups emerge: Those who promote a director that manages the department and those who believe a director should manage his employees' clinical decisions. These represent two types of directors, only one of which is a leader.
Directors who believe it is their role to tell employees how to do their jobs are lording their authority over their staff. These directors are seeking power or control, not pursuing leadership. Leaders don't tell staff how to do their jobs - they equip them to do their jobs more effectively and efficiently.
Specific to a physical therapy department, it is the responsibility of the staff (DPTs, PTs, PTAs and techs) to take care of the patients. The director's responsibility is to take care of his staff by supporting them with the tools they need to fulfill their duties.
A director must be skilled in management. If the director does not have equal or greater expertise than his staff, he cannot be a clinical resource. So, one of the tools he must provide his staff is a clinical resource. However, the most effective tool a director has at his disposal is the ability to serve. Service is the hallmark of leadership.
What are your experiences with lording directors versus directors who lead by serving?