A new director started at our organization about a year ago. She is technically skilled in her area of expertise, and we had a large gap in this particularly area prior to her arrival. We are fortunate to have her expertise and technical knowledge, but I have identified increasing opportunites to improve her leadership or behavioral skills, particularly around communication.
One complicating factor is the reporting structure. All parties involved support the current reporting structure for this individual and team, but it has made feedback and communication more challenging. This director dual reports to an Assistant Vice President in my division and to a VP in a different operational division. Additionally, there are physician dyad partner leaders for each of those leaders, so there are essentially four separate individuals with differing opinions about how she should operate and lead.
Another complicating factor is that she was brought in to lead a very large, organizational project. This project is over $10 million in capital and it is critical that we complete this project by January 2019.
As mentioned, her primary leadership opportunity is around communication. She struggles with transparency and being direct, sharing the right level of information with the right people, and asking for assistance. One example of her transparency/directness challenge is when an issue with a vendor arose, it took about three conversations to determine who was responsible for the issue we were experiencing. Instead of just being direct about who was responsible, she tried to deflect and it made things more confusing, therefore taking longer than needed to resolve this particular issue. Another example of communication challenges is the number of negative interactions that her peers have had with her. Several individuals have provided feedback that her communication to other leaders or teams was inappropriate.
While I am happy with her technical skills, her leadership behaviors are unacceptable. Her skills are highly sought after in the industry, and we need to complete the project on time and on budget. All of this leads to me feeling like we need to address her behavior, but it puts the organization at too great of a risk if she were to leave and not complete the project.