Laboratory Administration
Leading / interfacing

Topic Completed: 1 April 2013

Revised: 12 March 2019

Copyright: 2002-2019,, Inc.

PubMed Search: laboratory administration[title]planning

Richard E. Horowitz, M.D.
Page views in 2018: 213
Page views in 2019 to date: 160
Cite this page: Horowitz R. General. website. Accessed November 19th, 2019.
  • To administer or manage means doing four things: Plan, Lead, Organize and Control
  • In previous chapter, we outlined the Essence of Planning, using a Template for Strategic Planning that culminates in specific goals for each section of the laboratory with detailed objectives and a business plan with financial projections and budgets
  • This chapter outlines the general and specific leadership responsibilities and interfacing requirements of pathologists, the essential communication and interpersonal skills (Emotional Intelligence) that are pre requisites and "How to" connect and lead in the pathology group, in the medical staff, in the laboratory, in the hospital and beyond
Leadership Responsibilities
  • Pathologists are expected to be brilliant physicians and make accurate diagnoses but they are also responsible for the overall performance of their laboratory
  • They must establish goals and objectives and determine the organizational structure
  • They are responsible for employees, equipment and supplies
  • They must assure quality and comply with laws and regulations and show a positive bottom line
  • In other words, pathologists, in addition to being doctors, have to be managers; they are expected to plan, to lead, to organize and to control the laboratory
Leadership Requirements
  • Pathologists must be leaders in their hospitals or health systems, leaders in their professional organizations and in their community
  • The prime competencies required for leadership are professional and technical expertise and interpersonal and communication skills
  • A leader must also be able to lead and motivate, be decisive, be able to delegate and yet be humble and always ethical
  • The toughest of these tasks is leading, all pathologists need to be leaders, leaders in their practice group or academic department, in their laboratory - even young pathologists just out of residency are given responsibilities for leading laboratory sections
  • Most important, a leader must have emotional intelligence, or simply another way of defining interpersonal skills; emotional intelligence is what effective leaders have
Emotional Intelligence for Effective Interfacing and Leading
  • Dr. Daniel Goleman, the psychologist who articulated the concept, contends that intelligence and technical knowledge are important, but emotional intelligence is the sine qua non of leadership (Working with Emotional Intelligence; 2000, Emotional Intelligence; 2006)

  • He studied nearly 200 large companies and found that effective leaders have a high degree of emotional intelligence while individuals without it, even though they may have a first class education, exceptional training and have good ideas, are not effective leaders

  • According to Dr. Goleman there are five components: Self Awareness, Self Regulation, Motivation, Empathy and Social Skill:
    • Self awareness means recognizing and understanding your own values, moods, emotions and drives and their effect on others; leaders with high self awareness are self confident and realistically assess themselves and others
    • Self regulation is the ability to control or redirect disruptive impulses or moods, to temporarily suspend judgment - to think before acting; the self regulated leader is never impulsive and is seen as trustworthy and open to change
    • Motivation is the third essential of emotional intelligence; it is a passion for work for reasons that go beyond money or status or the usual rewards
    • The motivated leader pursues goals with energy and persistence, not for what it will get them but for achievement's sake alone

  • The first three components of emotional intelligence, self awareness, self regulation and motivation are skills about managing the self; the last two, Empathy and Social Skill, concern a person's ability to manage relationships with others:
    • Empathy means considering your associates and employees' feelings when making decisions; empathy requires the ability to understand the emotional make up of others, to care about it and treat people with consideration
    • Social skill is not simple; it's more than friendliness, although people with high social skill are rarely mean spirited; social skill means proficiency in managing relationships and building networks; an ability to find common ground and build rapport

  • Developing or enhancing emotional intelligence and thus leadership effectiveness is not simple; it cannot happen without a sincere desire and a concerted effort
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