If you were expecting executive headshots and bios, we’re sorry to disappoint. To portray that this organization thrives on the leadership of a select few would be inaccurate.
Our mentality on leadership is much more broad. Leadership, The Westside Way, is the alignment of one’s actions with the mindsets, values, and behaviors that our organization cares deeply about. Exhibiting these traits is expected of each employee.
At Westside, we are on a mission to elevate the bar of providing exceptional pediatric therapy, and to move that mountain, we expect every one of us to lead. The emphasis on this mountain-moving is on the “we” part. We support and train all teammates in developing leadership skills through a Leadership Bootcamp training series that incorporates best practice management approaches from some of the world’s leading institutions.
During one’s onboarding, one of the first exercises they will complete will be Westside’s Leadership Bootcamp workshop. This is not your typical lecture and take notes seminar. Participants will spend most of their time sharing, role playing, dissecting real scenarios from Westside, and opening about themselves and the challenges they face.
The learnings are influenced by Stanford Business School’s most popular class: “Touchy Feely.” It really is a crash course in understanding the emotional undertones of all our actions and consequences. Strong emotional leaders can connect, empathize, and relate to their peers and those they manage. The Bootcamp puts everyone on the same starting point for beginning their journey in becoming strong, emotionally attuned leaders that know how to relate and connect with others.
The learnings from the general Bootcamp are an invaluable base of knowledge for everyone at Westside. But as employees track towards specific leadership roles, we have them enroll in role-specific courses that prepare them for the inner workings of being an effective Lead, Director, or Clinic Supervisor. These courses are taken both by individuals moving into those roles and those who simply want to explore leadership options available to them.
When an employee moves into a leadership role, the first 6 months are critical to their success. This is why our new leaders are put into a 6-month mentorship cohort program called “Elevate.” Group leadership trainings, ongoing 1-on-1 check-ins, cohort leadership retreats, and debrief meetings help ensure that new leaders have the support they need to hit the ground running in their new roles.
At Westside, we have the saying: “Always Stay a Student”. And we expect this mindset from every employee. Even if you have completed Bootcamps, role trainings, and mentorship programs like Elevate, your work is not done. You are always learning. We ensure that regular 1-on-1 meetings with your managers, biannual value-based performance reviews, and a culture of giving real-time feedback keep all leaders on a development track that continuously improves their skills.