KD Coaching Newsletter, January 2020, Issue 6
The CEO, The Scientist, and The Worker Bee
Happy New Year Ya’ll!
I, for one, am excited. I hope you are too. I’m jumping off in the newsletter this year with a concept I’ve been teaching my coaching clients that I think everyone can use: The CEO, The Scientist, and The Worker Bee.
I used to think these were 3 different personality types I saw in academic medicine – the leaders, the thinkers, and the doers.
Do you identify with one or the other? I did. I was an EXCELLENT Worker Bee. Give me the task and it’s done, period. I had a preternatural ability to disregard things like food and sleep to get things done. This Worker Bee talent got me far. Far beyond my expectations.
And then – I hit a wall. I realized that I did not have the luxury of just being a Worker Bee. If I had big dreams for my career, and tangible goals I wanted to meet, then I had to evolve. If I wanted a career on MY terms, I had to evolve.
We do a lot of planning out our goals, our time, our grants. Today I want to offer you a strategy to plan out your ROLES. Your career roles for yourself. You need all 3 to be successful on your own terms, to be productive without losing your mind, and to be different and still valued by your institution.
You need ALL 3.
What are they?
Worker Bee – Gets sh*t done. Lit searches, clinic follow up, data dictionaries, student lectures, etc.
Scientist – Ideas, ideas, ideas. Collaborations, adapting new concepts, light-bulb moments.
CEO – The boss, the decider, the planner, the accountability manager.
I would offer that most of us have well-honed Worker Bees, excited Scientists…and barely there CEOs. Some of us have even abdicated the CEO role to someone else…a mentor, a division director, or a department chair. 😬
Time to reclaim, folks.
You need your Worker Bee, but without the ideas of the Scientist and the structure from the CEO…your Worker Bee will work for anybody and anything. 👎🏾
You need your Scientist to translate your passion into real ideas...but without the execution of your Worker Bee and the advocacy of your CEO, your Scientist will have no room to learn and create. 🧐
And you need your CEO to create and protect your time and space, and to build the roadmap for your career...but without the value of your Scientist’s creativity and the commitment and resilience of your Worker Bee – your CEO will have no reason to stand up and advocate for you. 🤷🏾♀️
We need ALL 3.
The Worker Bee, the Scientist, and the CEO are all within every one of us. These mental muscles may be atrophied or underdeveloped, but they are there!
If you want to make deliberate space for your career roles, then pull out a pen and paper and do this reflection and activity for 2020. Let’s set your career team up for success!
- How much time does your Worker Bee spend working directly for your career advancement?
- How secure and consistent is the time your Scientist has to read, create, write, and collaborate?
- Does your CEO know who she’s leading and why? How much time does she get to plan and when is she in charge?
Consider your answers above. If there’s room to improve, let’s do it. Pick a day a week and give 1 hour to your CEO. Her first task? A priority list to organize your Worker Bee and protect your Scientist. Her second task? An accountability plan to ensure you do #1. 💪🏾
Now, the optimal time ratio for these roles changes over the course of our careers and within each individual. Here's a starting point I think is the sweet spot for junior faculty:
Worker Bee: 50%
Remember this pertains to the breakdown of your *non-clinical* time. 😊
Happy 2020. Here’s to your CEOs stepping up and showing out. 🙌🏾
PS – I coach WOC in academic medicine to build the skills and strategies to properly care for and maximize the talents of their Worker Bee, Scientist, and CEO selves. If you are ready to learn and apply all of the “intangibles” that get glossed over in career development and secure grant funding in a way that fits with the rest of your life, then my coaching is for you! My slots opened up again in Dec 2019, and once again, I’m booked out quickly, through June 2020. Stay tuned for info on the next enrollment cycle!
PPS – You can reach me anytime just by replying to a newsletter. It goes directly to my inbox, and yes, I read all of them 😊!
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