SCCM is performing maintenance on its websites. For the best browsing experience, please use Microsoft Edge or Safari. Those using Chrome or Firefox may experience access issues at this time.

SCCM Pod-501: Leadership and Management Skills

visual bubble
visual bubble

Gain valuable insights and tools on topics including mentorship, leadership, and workplace relationships that are specific to practitioners in critical care. Experts from SCCM’s Leadership, Empowerment, and Development (LEAD) Committee discuss the leadership and management skills to enhance your professional role.

*If you are unable to play the podcast please click here to download the file.

Category: Other


Dr. Madden: Hello, and welcome to the Society of Critical Care Medicine Podcast. My name is Maureen Madden, and I’m your host. I have the pleasure of having Dr. Lynn Kelso, an assistant professor at the University of Kentucky College of Nursing in Lexington, Kentucky, and we are going to discuss the Leadership and Management Skills to Enhance Your Professional Role Congress precourse. Welcome, Dr. Kelso.

Dr. Kelso: Thank you very much. I’m happy to be here.

Dr. Madden: I’m loving that we’re going to have this conversation. Before we get started, do you have any disclosures?

Dr. Kelso: No, I do not.

Dr. Madden: Okay. I’d love for you to tell me a little bit about the Leadership and Management Skills to Enhance Your Professional Role precourse. I had not really known a lot about this, but I had been toggling through the Society’s web pages and I came across it and I also discovered the precourse. Due to my responsibilities, often I can’t attend some of the precourses, so I’d love to hear about how this was created. Then we’ll talk a little bit about what the content is and how everybody else may have the potential opportunity to access it.

Dr. Kelso: Thank you very much for that. This came out of the LEAD Committee. The LEAD Committee stands for Leadership, Empowerment, and Development. It’s a committee that was looking at providing information to Society members that can help them with their career and advancing their career but in matters that are not clinically related, so other areas where they might need help, if they want to run an ICU, if they want to go into private practice, different things that they might want to do to advance their career, working with other people, leading teams that, again, aren’t met by the clinical information that we receive from the Society on an ongoing basis.

This is the second precourse that the LEAD Committee has put on. We did our first last year in San Francisco. A lot of the information we are using in the precourse comes from querying the membership and what type of topics are they really interested in that could really help them in their career advancement.

Some of the things that we really look at are financing and how to work with finances within a department, within an ICU, how can they work with that? As they learn more about that, how can that help them to really take on more of a leadership role or a directorship maybe of the ICU. Working with people in teams, if they want to be in a leadership position, they’re going to have to work with a lot of people, so there are going to be conflicts that they have to help resolve, that they have to work with. We see conflicts all the time in our clinical role but when you’re pulling that out and working with that as a manager, it’s a little bit different, and we don’t always have the same skill set or don’t feel as comfortable working with more peers as opposed to patients or family members.

Dr. Madden: Based on how you started describing the course, is this targeted to anybody specific, in mid-career, later career, is it early career, open to anybody?

Dr. Kelso: We are trying to really help people who are maybe not brand-new in their career. There will be information that can still be helpful for people who are just starting out, but people who have been maybe in their position for a year or two or have some experience in that position that want to start looking at advancing further, then people who may be in their mid-career who are looking at maybe making a change. Instead of doing as much clinical, they may want to get more into an administrative role or do a directorship role as opposed to, again, being active in the ICU as much because that takes a lot of energy and work. So they might be looking to pull back from that. It may be a work-life balance that they’re trying to develop a different role for themselves, so even in mid-career, this can be helpful.

There is some information that can be helpful for people who are, I don’t want to say near the end of their career, but are looking at kind of winding their career down. But how can they really help younger providers and younger healthcare workers to really elevate their level of, not just practice, but their managerial skills and their mentorship and their teaching skills and their nonclinical expertise can be very helpful for people in newer stages of their career.

Dr. Madden: I like how you phrase that, newer stages, because it applies to everybody across the spectrum. The other piece that, when I look at the agenda, which I want to ask you a little bit about in a moment, is these seem to be topics that most individuals in a healthcare role, you’re not given that in your foundational education or even as you go on to specialize in such. I think there’s enormous value here, and there should be enormous appeal for all of these things because many people I’ve talked to say they’ve taken on the leadership or the managerial roles, and all of a sudden they’re faced with budgets and things such as that, and they’re like, this was not something they were taught. I think that there’s, as I said, a really big appeal for a broad spectrum of individuals.

Just to talk about the agenda, you already referenced that last year was the first time, and then you said you got a lot of the topics because you were querying the membership. Is this a dynamic course? Are there foundational elements that you want to keep? Because it looks like, as you were talking about, that there are these more business model types of components, and then, as I put them in your more professional development maybe or a little bit more to your personality, how to make it work best with other people.

Dr. Kelso: We looked at some of the topics that we provided last year, and some of them were very well received, and people really wanted to continue almost the discussion around some of those topics, like some of the managerial skills, some of the financial skills that you mentioned. Because those are things that, while you may touch on them somewhere, you don’t get anything in depth within your educational processes or within your fellowship or within any of your early career to really be able to understand, what am I getting into if I’m going to be a manager and I’m going to have to deal with the budgets.

Looking at some of that, what do you have to do with that? Some of the questions that people had a lot of were related to conflict and conflict resolution, and how do they work with not only just peers, and how do you manage conflict with peers? But if you happen to have conflict with somebody who may be at a higher level than you, how can you best go about that? Because you don’t want to burn bridges, you don’t want to lose those relationships, but you have to be able to understand how to go through them and really to make an impact so that you can have a positive outcome with that.

So, looking at that and there’s a big thing we recognize, and we’ve recognized this all through healthcare, is differences between the different generations that are out there. Those of us who are nearing the end of our career and are looking more toward retirement, when we started out, there were no cell phones, and there was not easy internet access. It was a lot different when we were there versus how people are coming out and starting their careers now. How do you link and how do you bridge some of those gaps? How do you understand how to work together so that you can get the best outcomes for, again, not your patients because that’s a clinical piece, but how do you get the best out of your team and out of the healthcare providers that you are managing and that you are working with?

So we looked at that, and that’s where some of the personality testing comes in, understanding what your strengths are, understanding what the strengths of your team are so that you can really make sure that people are being utilized to their best advantages. Not having somebody who is really, really good at coming up with new ideas, trying to do all the little nuances of all the minor details because they might not be detail oriented, whereas you might have somebody who’s very detail oriented who would work very closely with somebody who can come up with these great ideas but isn’t quite sure how to actualize them.

How do those personality traits really work together? We looked at not only mentoring and finding a mentor, but how do you become a mentor? How do you transition from, I have all of these mentors in my profession but how do I now become a mentor for newer providers who are coming out and who are starting in their careers at this point, and how do you bridge between those two? That was another thing that we saw.

One of the things that we want to do with this precourse is we really want to make it interactive. This is another reason why it’s going to be very helpful to have people throughout their careers participating in this because they can all bring something to the table. Having an interactive conversation between participants and people who are there for this precourse is going to be very helpful, and they’re going to get more out of it if they can actively participate in some of the discussions that we’re going to have and the panels that we want to have, some of the breakout small-group table sessions that we want to have in this precourse.

Dr. Madden: So this is the precourse that’s going to be held at Congress in January of 2024. Right now, it’s scheduled for Saturday, January 20. It will be at the Phoenix Convention Center. It’s one full-day in-person education. It’s 8:00 a.m., it starts, to 6:00 p.m. Mountain Time; it’s in person.

Dr. Kelso: I will say, though, the 5:00 to 6:00 p.m. is a social hour.

Dr. Madden: Okay. That’s always a draw too, to make sure that you finish everything up.

Dr. Kelso: Get up, move around a lot more, and really interact with everybody who’s there.

Dr. Madden: But on the premise that, as you said, you want this to be interactive, you want it to be engaging, I have one question then. Is the registration limited to a set number of persons?

Dr. Kelso: We do not have that at this point. I mean, if we had a huge number of attendees who wanted to, there might be something limited in the room that we are using. But as of right now there is no limitation. It’s not like some of the precourses where you’re using a specific amount of equipment that you can only have so many people attending. We don’t have that limit at this point.

Dr. Madden: Excellent. That should be very reassuring to individuals who hear this as it comes closer to Congress and may not have realized that this valuable piece is there for them to access. One of the other things I was thinking as you’re speaking, and we’re going to talk about the agenda a little bit more, is you talked about personalities and doing some of those testing pieces to this. I don’t see it specifically in the agenda. Is there prework that you’re going to assign to people, or will you do some of these personality tests while you’re together?

Dr. Kelso: We would like people, when they register, there will be some information that we would really like them to do, some things that we would like them to look at before they come to the precourse, because then they will be able to be more actively involved in the discussions that we have and some of the flipped classroom-type presentations that we really want to do. Because, again, we’re really wanting to make sure that people don’t just listen to how to handle a crucial conversation, but maybe participate in one and really have more action in being able to work through some of those maybe crucial conversations or difficult pieces of conflict that they might come upon.

So there will be some prework that we would like people to do before they get there. We’re not going to turn people away at the door if you don’t have it done. This is what we would like you to do, and we think that you would be able to get a little bit more out of the precourse. But certainly, there are many people who have already done multiple different personality type tests; they may not want to do another one. There are many of them that are out there. If you already have an idea of what your personality type is, what your strengths are, you may not see a need to do another one. Sometimes they’re fun, so you might want to look at something different and see what it has to say about you, see if you’ve changed since the last time you did one if there’s anything different there.

Dr. Madden: I did see and, just to clarify, maybe people don’t understand some of the terminology, but flipped classroom, when you’re talking about that, because maybe you’ll have people who are much more clinically focused rather than still spending some time in the academic environment, that are those elements where you do some prep work in advance so then when you’re together in the flipped classroom, it’s more of a conversation and bringing together discussion components and maybe creating scenarios and coming to the resolution in that regard.

Dr. Kelso: Correct. Yes, and some of those that we want to do that with are, again, the conflict resolution, the crucial conversations that you could have with somebody else, because you would definitely get more out of being able to participate and actively work through exercises in that situation than you would be just listening to somebody talk to you.

Dr. Madden: Can you just touch on crucial conversations a little bit for individuals who may not realize that that’s an actual process that’s been well-documented and written about?

Dr. Kelso: Yeah. There is a lot of research looking at best ways to go about holding and having crucial conversations with other people. And it always is going to depend upon how emergent it is. I mean, if you’re in the middle of a clinical situation and you see somebody doing something incorrectly, that crucial conversation needs to happen right now, and we need to fix it to prevent any error from occurring. But a lot of times, there may be people who have differing opinions, people who want to do things a different way and there’s conflict between members of the group because of it. Each side sees their way of doing something as being more important or that they know more and you should do what I say and how I say it.

So determining that there is a difference of opinion could affect the outcomes of potentially patient care. It could affect the outcomes of the workings of the team, identifying that there is a situation present and then figuring out who are the people who are involved in this and who do you really need to talk with about what’s going on and making sure that you understand where you are coming from and that you understand what your abilities are when you’re talking about this, what your goal is for having this conversation with somebody else, where do you want to get to. Do you want to find a middle ground? Do you recognize that this is the direction that we are going?

I want you to be able to get on board with that and be comfortable with it. Or do I want more of your opinion in there, and I really want to hear what you have to say and figure out how we can bring some of those pieces into there? You want to make sure that there is one. There is some kind of conflict and we’re just not making it. Sometimes I think we’re very good, particularly with social media, about making conflicts that don’t really actually exist. But making sure there is something that needs to be discussed among team members.

You want to make sure, again, if you have the time to do it, that you’re in a very safe environment, that you’re keeping things confidential, that you are able to be trusted with the information that people are sharing with you so that they can feel comfortable really bringing forth some of the concerns they might have, the problems they might see and really looking at then how can we utilize the information I’m bringing forward, and how can I help somebody to move past what’s happening?

Dr. Madden: I think this is really exciting. From a personal perspective, I have always strongly advocated for effective communication and really tell people about that words truly matter and the words you choose because, as you said with social media, creating a conflict where it really doesn’t exist, but it’s about perception. So it doesn’t matter what you thought maybe you were putting out there, somebody else perceived it in a different manner.

I think, looking at this agenda and also looking afterwards, you have full access to the online course with the expert presentations, which also is incredibly valuable because maybe in the moment in time, something was sitting in your brain and you just needed to go back through it and hear it again and it resonates more effectively. I think that’s a great value that you continue to have access to this.

Dr. Kelso: You’re interacting with the people who are presenting some of the topics there. A lot of us, we share email addresses and we share contact information so that If people who are participating in the precourse had questions about something specific, they had somebody they could access. They had somebody that they could communicate with to try to figure out, how can I go about this the best way.

Dr. Madden: At this moment right now, do you have any ability to describe who maybe some of those subject matter experts are? Are you going to be part of this course in Phoenix?

Dr. Kelso: Yes, I will be part of the course in Phoenix. There are a number of us, mostly from the LEAD Committee, who are members of the Society from all different backgrounds, all different professionals. We have physicians, nurses, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, respiratory therapists, pharmacists. We really are trying to make sure that we are definitely filling that multiprofessional piece so that we can really bring in information from all the different areas that we have.

There are some of the members of the committee who have more expertise working with, say, budgets and the financial piece because they’ve done that a lot in their career, so they are going to be presenting some more on that information. We have some who have done more with developing teams and really looking at the strengths of the members of the team and how can they work best together, and they’re going to share their expertise on that.

Some members of the committee who have really worked with conflict and conflict resolution and how have they been able to manage that in their practice setting within their department, within their division, with the professionals that they work with. We are trying to pull people who do have expertise in these areas. If we would have no one who does that, we are asking people that we know from the Society or even from outside the Society who might have expertise in a specific area to join us so that they can provide the information that could be very helpful.

Dr. Madden: This is really exciting. We’re almost out of time, so I have just two items. One, I want to encourage any of the listeners, if you want to learn some more about the Leadership, Empowerment, and Development Program, you can go on to the Society’s website and look under career and leadership so you can investigate this a little bit more. It also brings you to the Congress offering so you can look at what is posted there in terms of the agenda. But before we close out, Dr. Kelso, I really want to ask, for you, if there’s anything else that we haven’t touched upon that you feel you would like to share.

Dr. Kelso: I think we’ve really touched upon what we’re looking for for the precourse and what we’re really hoping to provide to members of the Society when they participate in the precourse. But we are always looking for things that might be important to you, information that you’re really looking for that you haven’t been able to find somewhere. Things that we could potentially put together, programs that we could develop. We put together podcasts. We put together webcasts. We develop infographics for some of this, which would just be a single page of information that someone could look at to really gain some insight on a particular topic. So if you have issues like that that you think we could help with, please, you can send them to me, you can send them to the Society, and they will be forwarded to the LEAD Committee, and we can look at developing something could help that out.

Dr. Madden: Excellent. So just to remind people, many of the things you mentioned are on the Society’s website already, where I said, under the LEAD page. So please go there to check it out. But I really want to thank you for your time and the opportunity to talk about this program. As I said, I’m very excited about it, and I know that clearly you have a lot of expertise and passion about it, so I appreciate that. This is going to conclude another episode of the Society of Critical Care Medicine Podcast. If you’re listening on your favorite podcast app and you liked what you heard, consider rating and leaving a review. For the Society of Critical Care Medicine Podcast, I’m Maureen Madden.

Disclaimer: The information discussed in this podcast was provided by the Society of Critical Care Medicine’s Leadership, Empowerment, and Development (LEAD) Committee. Find other professional development topics and more in the SCCM resource library.

Maureen A. Madden, DNP, RN, CPNC-AC, CCRN, FCCM is a professor of pediatrics at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and a pediatric critical care nurse practitioner in the pediatric intensive care unit at Bristol Myers Squibb Children’s Hospital in New Brunswick, New Jersey, USA.

Join or renew your membership with SCCM, the only multiprofessional society dedicated exclusively to the advancement of critical care. Contact a customer service representative at +1 847 827-6888 or visit for more information. The SCCM Podcast is the copyrighted material of the Society of Critical Care Medicine, and all rights are reserved. Find more episodes at

This podcast is for educational purposes only. The material presented is intended to represent an approach, view, statement or opinion of the presenter that may be helpful to others. The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the presenters and do not necessarily reflect the opinions or views of SCCM. SCCM does not recommend or endorse any specific test, physician, product, procedure, opinion, or other information that may be mentioned.

Some episodes of the SCCM Podcast include a transcript of the episode’s audio. Although the transcription is largely accurate, in some cases it is incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors and should not be treated as an authoritative record.



Knowledge Area: Professional Development and Education