This post was authored by Rosanne Nelson, an ACC staff member focused on member leadership development and the facilitator of ACC’s Leadership Academy.
Two years ago, a diverse group of 14 early career and Fellows-in-Training members of the ACC came together as strangers in a room. Each had been appointed to Cohort I of the College’s inaugural Leadership Academy program, the ACC program serves to meet our early career / FIT members where they need to be met, and supports leadership challenges in diverse practice areas. Few in the room during our initial meeting knew what to expect. As the leadership development program facilitator, I too was experiencing this program for the first time, and even upon our first meeting, I was amazed by their thirst for knowledge, and humbled by their admission of wanting to ‘lead better.’ As such, we set off to learn and lead together. Admittedly, the path was not as clear at the start. However, this group was eager, open, and honest about what they needed. Thus, a recipe for success was well underway.
We worked on managing conflict; we role-played challenging scenarios; we addressed how best to influence others while managing challenging conversations. We encouraged each other to think a little differently – to ‘try on a new pair of shoes’ and see how they feel. We created opportunities for self-awareness through meaningful assessments, and regrouped along the way. We listened intently to a diverse and esteemed group of member leaders share their views on their professional leadership journey over the years.
Finally, each Leadership Academy member, or appointee, was tasked with embarking on a final Capstone project that linked their leadership knowledge to an effort of personal meaning and contribution to the College. As leadership is not a solo sport, each appointee was paired with a member leader to serve as his or her mentor during the final phase of the program. While these mentor-mentee relationships began as simple relationships, many have evolved to something quite meaningful a year later. The inaugural Cohort officially comes to a close on Sunday, April 3, as part of ACC.16 in Chicago; however, the leadership growth and development will continue far beyond the classroom.
Over the past two years, this diverse group of 14 strangers evolved into a community of learners, leaders and dear friends, and as their two-years of learning to lead comes to a close, we look forward to the energy and talents from the next group of leaders in cardiology as we launch Cohort II. We are thrilled to launch the second iteration of the program and watch it continue to grow and evolve with an equally engaged and excited group. Cohort II is comprised of 16 geographically dispersed early career and FIT members hailing from federal, CV group, academic and university environments. We remain delighted by the interest and eagerness toward ACC’s leadership development programming and look forward to great things from these future leaders of cardiology!
To learn more about ACC’s Leadership Academy and ACC’s focus on building leaders in cardiology, read Building Leaders for the Future of Cardiology from ACC’s Cardiology magazine.