A Vanderbilt University Medical Center Alumni Publication

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Gaining a New Perspective

August 2012

Time spent at Owen Graduate School of Management changed the thinking of Mark Kelley, M.D., M.M.H.C., chief of the Division of Surgical Oncology and Endocrine Surgery at Vanderbilt.

“I think a lot of us in the program were looking for a magic set of knowledge that would allow us to circumvent the barriers that we encounter trying to get things done at Vanderbilt. I started to realize that some of those barriers were inherent in working at a complex institution, and that they were going to be present in any place like this, so you just have to learn how to manage them better.

“Sometimes the biggest barrier is you, not knowing how to approach things in a way that’s going to be positive and achieve your goals. All of us are presented with challenges, and you naturally try to convince people to do what you think will work best, to make a strong argument for your case, thinking you’ll win everyone over. But you realize that’s
not going to work. The only thing you can really change is the way you approach things.

“That’s actually been very useful to me. The knowledge gained from the core courses has been useful, but the leadership development component of the program gave me insight about things that I could do differently to be more effective,” Kelley said.

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