lead entirely by being creative and doing new things
to fulfill a vision. We can lead by being competitive,
which encourages us to reach our goals in a timely
way. Strategy, organizational culture, competencies,
and leadership ability drive these activities. And we
can be controlling, which ensures that we complete
tasks through process-driven efforts that lead to efficiency and quality.
While leaders often use several or all of these strategies to achieve their goals, we typically use one or two
most often. At the retreat, we engaged in exercises to
discover how we make decisions and worked in small
groups to learn how these different approaches can be
used collaboratively. For example, I learned that my
dominant behavioral trait is “collaborative” and my
secondary is “creative.” It was fun for us to see where
each of the Regents landed in their personal and community profile.
Next came some hard work as we looked at the
Board of Regents—specifically, at how the board is
organized and the processes involved in achieving
our goals over the last several years. What needed to
change? Could we change? Could we be innovative
and creative? Did we need to be controlling and/or collaborative? We worked in groups and listed what we
thought we needed to change, and we listened closely
to one another.
We then began to brainstorm about how the
Regents could be more involved in leading the ACS,
and more effective as they serve the more than 80,000
members of the College. The important issues that
we discussed included how the Regents are elected
and how long they should serve, whether nonsurgeons
should have a seat on the Board, how meetings could be
conducted to better use the experience and knowledge
of the Regents, and how the Regents can play a more
active role with ACS committees, Advisory Councils,
domestic and international chapters, and other groups.
Following the retreat, Dr. Hoyt and the PI team
organized our numerous thoughts and ideas and developed four working groups to further discuss the issues.
We continued our discussion at the Regents’ meeting
at the 2014 Clinical Congress in San Francisco, CA.
We have already had our first conference calls, and the
group that I am in, which is led by ACS Regent Raymond F. Morgan, MD, FACS, has had a tremendously
productive call about the involvement of the Regents
with committees and chapters of the College. Initial
reports from each of the four working groups were presented at the February Regents’ meeting. Final recommendations and proposed changes are scheduled to be
submitted for approval at the June meeting.
Enthusiasm for these changes is strong among the
leadership of the ACS, and the energy that the Regents
have displayed has been exceptional. Following the
retreat, we all agreed that it is the perfect time for
changes on the Board of Regents, as we want to be
able to lead the ACS in the best way possible. By redefining our responsibilities and involvement throughout the College, the Board of Regents will be ready to
address the changes occurring in health care, medical
education, residency training, Maintenance of Certification, or any other surgery-related matter. I am more
excited about my ninth and final year as a Regent than
I was even in my first.
As they move on to new places to practice or train, I
advise young faculty and residents to always assess how
they contributed to the place they are leaving. Will the
other surgeons and staff have a party for you before you
leave, or will they have a party because you’ve gone? If
asked, would they welcome you back? Can you name
one or two things that you did to make the place you
are leaving a bit better than when you arrived? The
members of the Board of Regents involved in this self-assessment process hope to leave it better.
I want to thank all the members of the ACS for the
marvelous opportunity to serve as a Regent since 2006
and to serve as the Chair of the Board of Regents from
2012 to 2014—the first woman to do so. It was an amazing time to be in the position as the ACS celebrated its
100-year anniversary. Here’s to the next 100! ♦