Headquarter's Report: ADA Members Leading by Example in Development of Professional Leadership Training Program

Author: Stephanie Czuhajewski, Executive Director

Some people are leaders by virtue of their position (owner, manager, director), while others lead by the position of their virtues. ADA is fortunate to have many members who are outstanding leaders in both respects, and who are dedicated to mentoring and growing future leaders within the profession of audiology.

With the support of several ADA leaders, we are in the process of developing a robust professional leadership training course, designed to provide a meaningful mix of didactic and experiential learning opportunities.

While it is understood that to some extent leadership skills are developed through experience and shaped under pressure and over time, there is also evidence that shows that leadership skills can be successfully taught (and learned) through coursework that provokes the examination of beliefs, principles and assumptions about roles, responsibilities and competencies, while providing practical training in core areas. That said, is there really a need for it among ADA members?

In order to fully examine and consider the development of a professional leadership training program for audiologists, ADA recently conducted a survey of its members. The results demonstrated both a clear need for and a clear demand for such a program among respondents. Of the 196 survey respondents, 68 percent identified themselves as licensed audiologists, practicing 10 years or more and 28 percent identified themselves as either 4th year students or licensed audiologists, practicing less than 10 years. Survey results were very consistent with 85 percent of both segments stating that they do not believe that universities/Au.D. programs are adequately preparing students for positions in leadership, business or management.

Ninety percent of seasoned professionals stated that either they or one of their colleagues or employees would benefit from professional leadership training. The response was even higher among 4th year students and young professionals with 98 percent stating that if ADA were to offer such training, they would be interested in participating as a student in the course.

Respondents also identified several topics for potential course modules, which were consistent with the Healthcare Leadership Alliance (HLA) Model, which will be used to develop the program.
Figure 1: The core dimensions of the HLA Model

ADA is committed to the advancement of practitioner excellence, high ethical standards, professional autonomy and sound business practices in the provision of quality audiologic care. We believe that clinical and business acumen can be best harnessed for the greater good, when combined with a purposeful attention to leadership development.

To that end, we look forward to bringing members a relevant and thoughtful professional leadership training program in 2014. If you are interested in participating as a leader in the development of the curriculum for the ADA Professional Leadership Training Program, please contact me at sczuhajewski@audiologist.org for more information.    

ADA would like to thank the Professional Leadership Training Program Committee
Lori Cameron, Au.D. (Chair)
Brenda Berge, Au.D.
Sara Burdak, Au.D.
Jennifer Gryska, Au.D.
Christopher Hamilton, Au.D.
Susan Parr, Au.D.