Bob MacLafferty is an experienced administrative laboratory director with over twenty-five years directing laboratories.
Leadership scope, especially a wide variety, can be a key differentiator for a leader. Bob MacLafferty has enjoyed such a variety, including the following:
- 25 bed critical access hospital where he carried full laboratory information system responsibilities in addition to director duties.
- 50 bed hospital where he designed and implemented its first LIS, supported other departments by coordinating clinical informatics, and directed both the laboratory and imaging departments.
- 350 bed hospital where Bob assumed directorship the laboratories of a two campus hospital, including integrating staff and procedures and consolidating testing.
- Regional laboratory director of five hospitals with full operational control of one facility and responsibility for regionalizing the other laboratories including test consolidation, supporting centers of excellence, initiating and supporting student training programs for long range staffing needs.
Leadership Style and Values can help describe a leader and what spirit he brings to an organization.
- Employee Value is a central factor in Bob MacLafferty’s leadership style. The current focus on customer satisfaction, while critical, gains little traction without a group of motivated employees who feel valued and heard. He invests a significant part of each day, listening to staff one-on-one or in small groups. “I can’t think of a more important part of my day,” Bob says. Placing high value on staff in the workplace is so important.
- Accessibility to both staff and fellow leaders is a vital factor and ties in will with placing value on employees. When staff are cheerfully welcomed when they come to his office with challenges, they believe that he really does have an “open door”! Rounding, a method promoted by Quint Studer in Hardwiring Excellence, is something he practices every day. A quarter-mile walk is what it takes to visit all parts of the laboratory on campus. Regular rounding for offsite locations, with a span of almost three hours, is a challenge, but very important. Rounding by instant message, email, and phone in between face to face visits is part of the solution.
- Collaboration is central to making healthcare quality, service and operational gains. Bob MacLafferty has found ample opportunity to do so in several forums. Working with subject matter experts, either supervisors or front line staff, ensures that enough input will be brought to bear on challenges and improvements within the department. Improving quality and service across the hospital works so much better when silos are left behind and multiple departments work together. Being able to collaborate with fellow leaders and staff in other service lines ensures that we can all pull in the same direction to accomplish goals.
- Mission focus is one way to describe the alignment between what an organization or a leader says and what they do. Bob chooses to lead within organizations where the mission,vision, and values are more than just a plaque on the wall, but are living statements that guide decisions and behavior from one end of the organizational chart to the other.
As a leader, Bob MacLafferty continues to learn more about what he calls his faith footprint in the workplace. That is, how he shows Jesus as an integral part of his daily work life, not just Someone to refer to in church. This is the common theme for the bulk of his blog posts.
Bob believes that great things can happen in the workplace when staff are empowered with the tools and authority to do their jobs without micromanaging. Sharing expectations clearly and consistently is critical. In addition, affirming staff regularly for good performance underlines those expectations.