Influencing Your Team: 10 Leadership Traits that Drive the Ability to Influence Teams

By Dr. Michael J. Zappa

All leaders will openly admit that they could not do their job without their team. However, as humans, I’d bet that most of them, in a moment of frustration, have thought “it would be easier if I just did it myself.” Why? Because influencing people is a gradual process, not simply a decision with immediate results.

Accepting the reality that no matter how brilliant or hard-working you are, you will always need your team which means you need to learn how to influence them.

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Lessons from Global Health Development: Relief vs Development

When faced with failure, what does a responder do? As an expert/advisor, you have a choice: correct the specific failure or strengthen the system (Taylor, Just and Lasting Change). To make this decision, it is critical to discern: is this an event-induced “disaster” – Ebola, Tsunami, Hurricane – or is it a chronic, systematic, or lifestyle-induced failure? In medicine, the difference is how a physician treats a patient with emergency trauma vs a patient with a chronic disease. The global relief vs development challenge has a healthcare leadership parallel: rescue or strengthen.

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Developing leaders must navigate the hallway of hell

by Michael J. Zappa

Enhancing our own leadership development along with the novice and advanced leaders on our teams is mission critical in healthcare today. The environment that we are challenged to be successful in is very harsh — increasing the cost of technology and pharmaceuticals, the ever increasing cost of labor, on top of declining reimbursement.

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The healthcare leadership matrix, how to create a 'win-win' after the deal is done

By Rand O’Leary

The healthcare environment continues to undergo rapid and profound change with mergers, acquisitions and new business models forever changing the landscape of how we lead and deliver healthcare for the next millennium. In my previous article, I discussed the concepts of leading your team through complex problem solving. Today the focus is on you, the leader, how you successfully navigate yourself through new relationships, complex reporting structures and multi-entity healthcare business models.

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Leadership – What It Is and What It Isn’t

By Gay Nord

There are likely more articles, books, blogs and seminars pertaining to Leadership than any other subject. In addition to our formal education and training as a leader, we have learned leadership traits from mentors, bosses, and other leaders over the years; we’ve learned what aspects of leadership we admire, and consider motivating and successful, AND...WHAT ASPECTS WE DON’T.

As a leader, leadership is not about you. Leadership is about those you serve and support, those you impact around you. I’ve learned over my career that command and control may yield short term gains in performance, and in emergent situations may be needed. However, if the goal is to create and sustain a high performing, forward thinking and dynamic organization and one that attracts the best talent, managing through fear and intimidation will not cut it. Relationships, trust, loyalty and truly caring about people, will build a resilient, loyal, high performing organization. Read Full Article.

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Off Track – Now What?

It happens. The organization is off plan…by a lot; and it is not the first time. More than a modest correction or a “wait until next month.” Many factors were likely involved, but the relentless dynamics of the market have overwhelmed a longstanding management team. It is akin to a cyclist who has slipped back from the peloton due to chronic cadence deficit – and now the gap is widening.

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It takes a team - the story of a turnaround that could have and should have happened

As discussed in the blog, Healthcare Can Not NOT Change (link to previous blog here), healthcare is a business. And, considering the economic contribution they make throughout their region, it is big business. With each hospital closure that hits the media, it is not simply the services provided that is at issue, but the financial impact to the community as well.

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Leading Your Team Through Complexity

By Rand O’Leary

Leading and working in healthcare has always been complex, never more so than in today’s healthcare environment. Increased regulations, government reforms, alternative based payment models, rising consumerism and expectations have come together in a perfect storm swirling around the industry. On top of this, the world economy has become a destabilizing factor as we realize now more than ever how interconnected we are to our world partners, almost a giant game of Jenga, where one false move by a world leader could topple the whole tower.

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Good Leaders Drive Results!

By Rand O’Leary

Leaders are expected to be creative problem solvers, challenge the status quo and visualize problems before they occur. Your success as a leader is largely dependent upon how quickly you seek improvement in broken processes, develop new procedures and maximize efficiency and effectiveness.

Below are three tips to help you stay in front of the curve when managing your people and organization through change and drive results:

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Success or Failure: Healthcare Can Not NOT Change

By Roger Barnhart

One can not, not change – especially in business. And, though not always a popular perspective, healthcare is not only a business, it is big business. With many rural communities, the local healthcare system is the primary economic driver. It may sound harsh, but in business, it has been said that we are either growing, adjusting or dying.

As an avid fitness enthusiast, I can personally attest that I must either work to improve, or I will lose the progress I have made - requiring almost constant re-assessment and modifications to my programs. Especially as I age. What I was able to do 10, much less 20 or 30 years ago will no longer render the same results today. Very much like rural health.

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In Praise of Corporate Tension

These words can immobilize the most courageous of hearts.  Many at the clinical sites believe corporate exists to disrupt and provide self-enhancement for the corporate individual making the demand.  The incoming request often appears as a consistent disruptor to the local individual who is focused on the hospital, clinic or community issues.  As a non-corporate individual, you are at the site addressing immediate and multiple priorities.  The demands can range from concerns for improving patient care, addressing colleague concerns or responding to the corporate enhanced financial issues to name just a few of the more common daily agenda items.  In fact, you may even be reacting to a situation affecting the greater importance (?) of your immediate supervisory interacting environment (i.e. keeping your local boss happy).  Whatever the corporate demand at the time, it can seem to distract from the work necessary to be successful at the site.  Furthermore, from the limited view in field, the request can sometimes make no sense as to its timing or priority except “Home Office needs it now.” 

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The Empowered Physician Leader

by Rand O’Leary

oday’s healthcare environment is shifting at an ever-increasing pace. The transition to community health focused care is both daunting and challenging for most organizations.  Now, more than ever physician leadership can play a crucial and important role. 

Setup Your Physician Leaders for Success 

Before we begin, it’s foundational to understand how physicians view leadership.  Physicians are trained to work independently, they value their autonomy and can be reluctant to delegate authority.  All good qualities if you’re the patient.  My colleague once said me, “these trauma surgeons are sure difficult to work with.”  My response, “Of course they are. They are trained to take charge, assess situations quickly and be right, every single time.  And If I’m critically injured, that’s who I want taking care of me.” But yes, when we ask them to take on the mantle of administrative leaders, they need our help. 

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Want to build your culture -- start by sweeping the floor!

Over the years, I’ve heard many stories inspirational stories on leadership, one of my favorites involves President John F. Kennedy and his first visit to NASA in 1962.  As the story goes, the President was touring the facility when he came across a janitor carrying a broom down the same hallway as the touring President.  Kennedy, a great lover of people stopped the and asked him what he did for NASA, not missing a beat he replied, “I’m helping to put a man on the moon.”

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Take your team to first place -- by putting yourself last

by Rand O’Leary

Many high performing companies have discovered the value of servant leadership, which simply defined is serving others first.  When leaders make this simple, but fundamental mind shift, the culture and the organization will follow as will bottom line results.  Employees working under leaders who put their needs first, build self-confidence, make decisions more autonomously, have greater job satisfaction and engagement, and are more likely to practice this same style with their direct reports.

How does servant leadership build organizational and team performance?

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Is it 'Mission Impossible' for healthcare? Why mission-driven leadership is still the answer.

By Rand O’Leary

Healthcare has been in a tremendous period of change, mergers, acquisitions, leadership restructures, and new and improved strategic plans and priorities fill the time of most leaders.  During this time of change, many leaders may wonder privately, does the mission of this organization still matter? Or is it only about the bottom line?   

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Are you holding your team back? Why task-oriented leaders should build their relationship skills to accomplish goals

Task oriented leaders, those using just workplans, measurements, goals, dashboards, etc.…  sometimes may be left scratching their heads when their teams do not accomplish their goals, or performance begins to decline without any clear reason as to why.

To motivate your teams, and accomplish your goals, perhaps you would be better served to examine your leadership relationship competencies. 

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Impacting Change Through Challenge

By Roger Barnhart

While talking with volunteers at the information desk, in walks the sweetest elderly couple. Both were in their mid to late 80s. The wife is using a cane with one hand and holding onto her husband for support with the other. 

An early August day, outside temperatures were in the upper 90s. It was my first week working within a $40M health system as interim CEO and consultant. The facility offered a vast array of both general and specialized services. Without counting the licensed beds, one would never know it was not an urban health system, but rather a Critical Access Hospital.

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What learning to fly taught me about handling adversity

By Rand O’Leary

When everything seems to be going against you, remember the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it, Henry Ford. 

Ask any pilot if they remember the first time they flew the airplane alone. And you’ll get a resounding yes!  The solo flight is a milestone in each pilot’s life, it’s the time when preparation and opportunity all come together.  You are alone in the airplane, no instructor by your side correcting mistakes, keeping you safe, it’s all up to you.

Although my solo was over 20 years ago, I remember it as though it were yesterday.  The weather, the sounds of the engine and the wheels rolling down the runway.  But what I remember the most about that day is looking over to my right and seeing that empty seat next to me, knowing I was completely responsible for returning this aircraft safely to the ground, intact.

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Sustainable Population Health -- Catcher or Pitcher?

Sustainable Population Health:
Part B – Catcher or Pitcher? 

Part B of this article addresses how growth plans of healthcare systems distinguish population health management from community and public health. 

Part A of this article clarified the terminology and implications of Community, Public and Population Health. So what does all this this mean for healthcare system leaders’ growth plans?

Healthcare providers have historically played catcher, “receiving” patients who sought care. Access meant being available when and where patients sought them. The transition from volume-based care to population health management requires a role change of providers from catcher/receiver to pitcher/initiator.

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