Myth busters #5, Part 2: There's no right way to make promotion decisions

April 25, 2017

Thomas F. Hilton, PhD

In Myth busters #5, Part 1, guest blogger Tom Hilton talked about the importance of leadership competencies in improving organizational performance. Part 2 continues the discussion

Why do leadership competencies matter? 

Researcher and Harvard psychology professor David McClelland found that as you move to higher and higher levels of responsibility, leadership ability begins to overshadow technical skill. Of course, in the health field, many supervisory positions in clinics require educational credentials, licensure, and technical skills. However, if people cannot also lead, they will make ineffective bosses regardless of their professional accomplishments. Bill Gates might be a technological wizard, but Microsoft would never have become the corporate giant it is today without his ability to energize, inspire, and animate a rapidly growing workforce. 

How do you stop the downward spiral due to bad leadership? The answer depends. Surely replacing the person in charge can be a solution—when it is feasible. That is not always the case. Another strategy is for directors to diffuse leadership responsibilities by creating self-managed teams (SMTs) where workgroups report to the boss as a group—no supervisor. SMTs usually reinfuse empowerment among team members and begin to turn things around. Creating SMTs usually requires an outside consultant to coach the change. 

Alcohol in the Dairy State: Can Wisconsin Change its Drinking Culture?

April 10, 2017

Maureen Fitzgerald
Communications Coordinator, ATTC Network Coordinating Office
Editor, NIATx

Wisconsin gets a lot of attention for its alcohol culture. And during April, Alcohol Awareness Month, it’s hard not to be reminded of the news and statistics about alcohol use in the Dairy Stateespecially if it’s your home state.  (The NIATx main office and the ATTC Network Coordinating Office are both located at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.)

For example, last year, Wisconsin made national headlines as the location of 12 (yes, 12!) of the “drunkest” cities in the United States. The online news outlet 24/7 Wall St. published the report, which was based on a review of self-reported data on heavy and binge drinking rates across the country.

Julia Sherman, Coordinator of the Wisconsin Alcohol Policy Project  (WAPP) at the University of Wisconsin Law School, says the report is misleading, but acknowledges Wisconsin has a serious alcohol problem. “The writers at 24/7 Wall Street used aggregated county-wide data and made a judgement about individual municipalities. Interesting story but flawed analysis,”  says Sherman.

Still, there’s no doubt that Wisconsin has a serious problem with over consumption of alcohol:
  • A 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) report estimated Wisconsin’s rate of impaired driving at 24 percent—almost twice the national average of 13 percent. [1]
  • In 2014, Wisconsin had the nation’s third-highest rate of adult binge drinking.[2] (That’s an improvement from previous years when the state ranked highest in that category.)
  • Each year, Wisconsin residents (age 18 or older) consume 143 more servings of alcohol than the average American. [3]