U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Baltimore District commander Colonel Trey Jordan talked to residents of the University of Maryland General Surgery Residency Program about leadership Sept. 25 in Baltimore.
Jordan began by asking the residents what fears them the most about leadership and facilitated a discussion establishing similarities between the training required of military and medical personnel.
He urged the residents not to fear inexperience, but rather to study and learn from previous leaders and to seek out uncomfortable situations as opportunities for growth.
“You have to realize you won’t always make the right decision. But that’s all part of the learning and growing process,” said Jordan.
Jordan shared his experiences from the Army and challenges he’s faced becoming an Army colonel.
“As a leader you’ll sometimes be the final decision maker,” said Jordan. “You have to make those tough decision based on your training. Trust your training.”
Residents asked about his lessons learned over the years on leadership and Jordan stated that clear communication is critical for success as well as respecting your team.
“If [your team] realizes that you’re willing to draw upon their strengths, they’ll respect you,” said Jordan. “You have to learn to rely on them.”
Jordan emphasized that it’s important that you believe in the decisions you’re making as a leader because otherwise it's going to be difficult to get support from your team.
When asked how he defines leadership, Jordan responded “it’s not about getting others to do what you want, it’s about getting others to want to do what you want them to.”
Jordan visited the University of Maryland Hospital on Sept. 24 to watch a surgery and understand how life in the hospital compares to life in the Army.
At the end of his talk, Jordan acknowledged that he witnessed how “[surgeons] are in combat every day” and expressed how impressed he was and with the quality of expertise and patient care he had observed during his time at University of Maryland Medical Center.