36: Diagnosing Your Leadership Potential

by Jen Barna MD | Leadership, Physician Coaching, Podcast

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“‘There’re many intricacies around all the ways in which I see adapting leadership approaches can have really positive long lasting impacts across all areas of healthcare, so this is why I’m really passionate about it.” -Lisa Kuzman 

In this episode, Cohost and DocWorking Coach Jill Farmer talks with leadership expert Lisa Kuzman to discuss Lisa’s innovative approach to leadership in healthcare. Leadership can be tricky if it gets thrust upon you, but performing successfully in a leadership role can also be really rewarding. In this episode, the conversation focuses on helpful ways to uncover your leadership potential as well as your own personal leadership style. This perspective can be very beneficial in understanding yourself, your team, and tailoring your leadership style to play to your strengths. So tune in and diagnose your leadership potential today!



Lisa Kuzman is a clinical social worker turned Leadership Coach for Women of Influence, who helps her clients understand how to create massive change without re-traumatizing themselves. She also provides trauma-sensitive certification and supervision for coaches in the personal development industry


By blending her 15 years of mental health experience in healthcare, learnings from entrepreneurship, and personal trauma survivorship she supports her clients with understanding how the high-risk threshold of running a business and showing up as a leader can trigger old stuff that needs to be attended to rather than ignored so it doesn’t block one’s ability to create change. 


While physicians earn a great wage and hold positions of power, medical training doesn’t adequately prepare one for the leadership acumen required to manage their multifaceted roles. Lisa’s approach to leadership, her background in healthcare, and her understanding of trauma offer unique insights that physicians can apply to every area of their lives. She is also the host of Serving it Hot, a podcast about women in leadership. You can find her website here or follow her on Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn

Excerpts from the show:


“What ends up happening is that the thing you’re really good at gets you the promotion and gets you this title and responsibility, but those aren’t the things you really want to be doing because they’re not the things you’re really good at. So what ends up happening is all of a sudden there’s this extra pressure because there are these other responsibilities beyond your zone of genius and you’re not prepared for it. So you’re prepared, of course, to do the thing you’re really good at, but the element of leadership skills is what’s missing from stepping into that new role. And people just kind of think, ‘Oh you’re super smart, you’re really good at what you do. Obviously you’ll be great at this leadership role! And then that’s not always the case that it feels so good to the person who accepts that position.” -Lisa Kuzman

“It’s such an important part of leadership in my opinion and it’s something that is often missed especially in healthcare. There’re elements of the natural make up of who we are as people, part of our personality, part of the real vulnerable elements of what makes us human that other humans can connect with. And people who end up, in the example that you just used, getting promoted into this position, I call the accidental leader. Accidental leaders often are like, ‘Why are you not just doing it?’ They don’t see the need necessarily to provide the leadership guidance because they just expect that that’s part of what people know they’re supposed to do. But then that’s a part of their job requirement so by embracing your humor, actually doing relationship building, owning some of the parts of your personality around your natural gifts and skills. So I think even taking a personality test is something that I really encourage new leaders to do. Because when you don’t know yourself very well it can be hard to know what to delegate, what you should hold responsibility for and how to actually navigate that in a way that’s going to feel good to you. Because there’s enough difficulty with leadership anyway, if you’re doing it in a way that feels really in conflict with your natural make up that is going to be something that’s going to make it even harder.” -Lisa Kuzman

“There’s so much burnout happening in healthcare that is not being really discussed or addressed and a part of it has to do with the systems at play. And when it comes to leadership, if we don’t start getting rid of the antiquated ways of showing up, like for instance compartmentalization, that’s a big thing that happens often in healthcare. You can’t bring your home to work and you don’t take your work home. Well that’s not really how life works. It’s very hard to do that and it leaves a lot of humanity off the table. So when we think about burnout and we think about these structures and we think about the way that things are just generally shifting, even millennials, you know the things that millennials are wanting in their workspaces as well. We are being called to create change because what’s been working for all of this time is not effective anymore. I would venture a guess that it wasn’t always effective and everybody just kind of adopted it, but that adaptability around those old structures and making it work, that’s not working anymore.” -Lisa Kuzman

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Podcast produced by: Amanda Taran

Board-certified practicing radiologist, founder and CEO of DocWorking, and host of top ranked DocWorking: The Whole Physician Podcast

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