Women in Leadership: Kim Radcliffe
Kim Radcliffe is the senior vice president of clinical operations. In her current role, she leads a multi-specialty team of clinical experts who focus on providing patient-centric and injury-specific clinical oversight. Kim carries with her more than 20 years of experience in management and leadership within the healthcare industry. In this feature, Kim shares how the same advice she gives her daughter translates to her leadership role.
How would you describe your leadership style?
I would say I am a relationship-oriented and collaborative leader with an open door policy. It’s incredibly important to me to build relationships through trust and respect across all levels on the team. I work to earn respect by ensuring everyone has a say in decisions that are made.
What advice would you give to other leaders?
There are three things I always tell my daughter, and I think these translate perfectly to any leadership role: be kind, be positive and be respectful.
Be kind – If you balance authority with kindness, you’ll be a more effective leader. It doesn’t take any energy to be kind to someone – it just takes a second to understand where that person is coming from and provide empathy.
Be positive – You have to lead by example when building a positive culture. No one wants to follow a negative leader. Even through difficult situations, if you are positive, your team will be more likely to stay positive.
Be respectful – Effective leadership is only achievable if your team respects you. I believe the best way to receive respect is to first respect others.
What values did you learn while working in customer service that you carry with you today?
Customer service is one of those jobs I think everyone should have at a young age. Successful customer service requires hard work and commitment, which are two things I carry with me today. I want my team to have a stake in the company and understand that their reliability and commitment will pay off.
I also think a service mentality is crucial for everyone working in the healthcare industry, not just those in customer service positions When we interact with our customers, it’s important they know we hear them and are here to help.
How do you continue to stay positive through less than ideal situations?
It’s tremendously helpful to realize it’s not personal. When you take a step back to realize where the other person is coming from and then work together to find middle ground, it makes the team stronger. I like to find the middle ground in situations and work to ensure each party feels good about the final decision.
What does authenticity mean to you, and how do you become an authentic leader?
Being authentic isn’t just about being yourself and saying, “everyone must accept me for who I am.” Being a successful authentic leader means being honest with yourself about who you are and figuring out how to translate that into the type of leader you want to be.
I was always a social person growing up – I was hyper and talked a lot. I used to think, “people are just going to like me the way I am or not.” I realized that if I’m going to be professional and have influence over a team, I have to approach people as individuals, recognize their personality styles and nuances and adapt my communication to how others respond. I learned not to compromise my values but to figure out how to be my outgoing self while still being sensitive to the needs of my team members.
What are the most important decisions you make as a leader at One Call?
Personnel decisions are, by far, the most important for the team and the entire organization. One of my favorite books is called “The Energy Bus” by John Gordon. It discusses the importance of having a cohesive energy among a team and demonstrates how one person can disrupt the efficiency of an entire team and organization. As a leader, it’s important to me to fill my bus with the right energy and attitudes.
Can you name a person who has had a tremendous impact on you as a leader? Why and how did this person influence your life?
Right out of physical therapy school, I worked in a busy clinic that buzzed with patients and physicians. I watched every day as my manager managed the clinic and served patients. I learned so much about how to develop relationships with the clinic staff and how to manage difficult patients and frustrated doctors. She became my champion and advocate. I still carry the management and relationship skills she taught me years ago in my role today.