Steven Madix, PhD
Associate Professor, Louisiana Tech University
BA: Pre-professional Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, Louisiana Tech University, 1995
MA: Audiology, Louisiana Tech University, 1997
MA: Speech Language Pathology, Louisiana Tech University, 1999
PhD: Speech and Hearing Science, University of Tennessee, 2005
Why are you interested in serving on the Academy board?
The American Academy of Audiology is the professional home of audiology, and it is and will continue to be, the national organization that protects and advances audiology. It is the largest organization dedicated to and consisting solely of audiologists, and I take great pride in being an active member. Serving on the Academy board will allow me the opportunity to share what I have learned and seen during my career as a practicing clinical audiologist in the private sector, and as a university faculty member, as well as clinical supervisor, that has been actively involved in the advocacy of our profession. I feel that the major purpose of any executive board is to see that the goals of the membership get implemented using the resources that are available and if those resources aren’t available, it is the board’s charge to make them available through planning and implementation. Implementation is the heavy lifting portion of realizing any goal, and my experiences with implementation at the state level have given me valuable insights that I feel will benefit the Academy board, the organization, and the profession.
What challenges or key issues do you see for the audiology profession in the next five years? What would you hope to accomplish about these challenges during your term on the board?
In my opinion, the profession of audiology faces two significant challenges that we should focus our efforts on in the next five years, and they are connected and equally important. Audiology has not achieved the autonomy that it deserves and has prepared for, and in spite of the recent promotion of audiology as a top tier career in popular mainstream media outlets, we still suffer from an identity crisis. We don’t enjoy the autonomy that other doctoral professions have, and we need to focus our efforts diligently, one step at a time, in identifying and then implementing measures that will help us realize our goal of autonomy. Achieving autonomy will increase public awareness and knowledge of who we are and what we do. Our identity crisis comes from being paired too closely with speech-language pathology, and not always being easily separated from hearing instrument specialists by the general public. I believe that the steps to solving this problem include addressing the academic preparation and experiences of our future audiologists, both at the undergraduate and graduate level and working more closely with the state academies to make audiology more visible. I strongly feel that as we improve the general public’s awareness of what an audiologist is and its value in healthcare, the issue of obtaining autonomy will become more manageable and ultimately realized. The Academy is already initiating closer relationships with the state academies, and we need to keep fostering these relationships. Both of the issues that I have addressed require numbers to achieve a better outcome; numbers in the form of membership and financial donations and contributions. I believe that we will see increases in both forms of numbers as we highlight to our membership the progress that has already been made, the plan for securing more ground, and how they can be a significant part of this achievement at both the state and the national level.
What experience do you have in the planning, evaluation, and implementation of a strategic plan?
I am the founding president of the Louisiana Academy of Audiology and currently it’s executive director. I fully understand the anxiety, excitement, challenges, setbacks, and joys of pioneering a strategic plan, implementing that plan with little to no money but with a handful of dedicated people, and then seeing that plan successfully realized. I formed the executive board of the Louisiana Academy four years ago, and since that time I have had the pleasure of seeing our membership grow, securing a lobbyist to be our legislative advisor and voice, and breathing a sigh of relief as we became financially sound. Although I far from accomplished this alone, I was the architect of our state’s strategic plan for a professional home for audiology. I have also had the pleasure of working with the Academy on various committees where we are continually coming up with strategic plans to accomplish the Academy’s goals for the profession. Most recently, I was named the Chair-elect for the Student Academy of Audiology Advisory Council (SAAAC) and have begun work on implementing the strategic plans they already have, and have begun planning the goals that I would like to see accomplished when I am the president of the SAAAC. I have learned a tremendous amount about strategic planning and implementation through these experiences, and I believe I have also contributed.
List any experience in Financial Management. Describe your experience in developing and implementing a budget for practice, business, department, or organization?
My first professional experience as an audiologist was to develop an audiology practice within a hospital setting. My first task was constructing a meager budget that had to be justified to the hospitals executive board. Two years later, I was constructing a budget for my private practice. I learned a tremendous amount through those experiences, and I still carry those lessons with me today. As the founding president of the Louisiana Academy of Audiology, I was responsible for determining the budget for the formation of our Academy, securing the necessary funds, and then budgeting for our first annual professional conference. Through conservative fiscal planning and implementation, our initial membership drive was successful both concerning member recruitment and net financial gain. Within our state academy, my greatest strategic planning success was crafting the budget of our first annual professional conference. Again, through conservative fiscal planning and implementation, we enjoyed a very financially successful event that paved the way for the formation of our foundation and our legislative component that included securing a legislative lobbyist. As executive director of the Louisiana Academy, I am responsible for the short and long term financial health or our organization. I evaluate our financial numbers monthly about our professional goals, and report our status to our state academy board, along with my recommendations for what will help us maintain our financial health and prosperity.
Select three competencies you feel best to represent your leadership strengths.
Commitment, Leadership Skills, Relationship Building
Based on the three competencies you selected that best represent your leadership strengths, comment on how these qualities would positively affect your ability to serve on the Academy board.
Nothing of any real value occurs long-term without commitment. Commitment is a dedication that comes from the realization that what you are proposing to do is worthwhile, valuable, and serves a greater good. If your proposed endeavor meets those criteria, then commitment will not be difficult to embrace. Commitment is a dedication to something where the fruits of that undertaking may not be enjoyed by you, but rather those who come after you, and you are accepting and find comfort in that. What the American Academy of Audiology stands for and works for meets my criteria of something deserving of commitment. I am committed to our profession because I believe what we do is worthwhile, valuable, and serves a greater good. I will be committed to the Academy board because it protects and advances an honorable profession.
I feel that every member of the Academy board should have some level of leadership skill. Leadership skills come in many forms and can be expressed in many different ways. My personal leadership style is motivating others through demonstrating my commitment and passion to the goal or the organization, recognizing and publicly acknowledging the contributions of those working with me, and constantly evaluating if we have the right person in the right position with the appropriate support. I have always been hesitant to label myself as a leader, as saying that out loud takes on a character of boldness that doesn’t always fit my personality. However, I have come to realize that my passion and commitment to the profession is contagious, and I have had success communicating the profession’s needs to the right people so that we realized our mission and were successful. I have also come to realize through my advocacy at the state level, that I am capable of formulating efficient, effective strategic plans and can manage their implementation successfully.
No one will care to work with you if they feel you don’t care about them. Building relationships based on trust, collegiality and respect are essential to realizing worthwhile goals. Building strong relationships take time as well nurturing. Great teams are built through strong interpersonal relationships. Great victories are accomplished by great teams, and I have had the pleasure of building some great teams.