Posts tagged leadership
Want to change a life? Be a mentor.

By Mike McBride

Mentoring has been one of the most rewarding benefits in my career. I have also been the beneficiary of great relationships with mentors and am forever grateful that extremely busy professionals made time for me - and made me feel like a priority - when I was learning my role as a young administrator and a new leader.

There is so much more to the mentor and mentee relationship than just learning the ropes – it’s about being a guide, a coach and a friend. The relationship is mutually beneficial, and I continue to fill both of the roles – mentor and mentee. I have been in the position of the young careerist seeking guidance, as the mentor providing the guidance, and as the mentee who needed the support to progress in my knowledge and experience. My mentors helped shape who I am today, and from their insight and lessons, I am able to mentor others to help them develop their talent, avoid common pitfalls, and guide career paths. 

Perhaps the most unique aspect of being a mentee is having the full confidence to ask the mentor about industry or workplace-related questions they might not be comfortable asking others. The relationship is built on mutual trust and cannot exist without a clear understanding that questions asked in confidence stay in confidence.

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Working Naked

By Michael J. Zappa 

The human body is the most brilliant machine ever created and the quintessential work of art.  The headline above is not referring to your creativity and accomplishments in your clothing optional private abode; it is taking literary license from 19th century Danish author, Hans Christian Andersen.

Reflect on the fairy tale, The Emperor’s New Clothes.  The Emperor (leader) was a vain man, concerned more with appearances, accolades, and maintaining his current position than the harsh realities that others faced.  His subjects were afraid to express their honest opinions to him, fearing they might be deemed unfit for their position or even stupid.  The climax of this tale occurs when he is fooled by some weavers into wearing a “spectacular new suit” that, in fact, doesn’t exist at all.  The Emperor is allowed to parade through the town naked.  Finally, a mere child blurts out in honesty that the Emperor is wearing nothing at all.

Leaders at all levels of an organization run the risk of being caught naked at work, but this risk increases as one ascends the ranks.  People see pleasing their boss as important, essential to keeping their jobs.  Most leaders would proclaim they are wise enough to detect blatant deception, but it is often more subtle than that.  Very often what happens is filtering; direct reports present the info that makes them look good and their boss is expecting.  This filtering of information is equivalent to a slight degree of course variation which becomes obvious 100 miles or more into the journey.

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Lessons from Global Health Development: Insights from Four Change Models

by Rob Thames

This is Part 3B of this three-part series.

Part 3A briefly reviewed four change methods. This Part 3B compares them to elicit insights.

Motivational Interviewing, Kotter’s 8-Step Model, Baldrige Communities of Excellence, and SEED-SCALE, reviewed in Part 3A, were selected to reflect and reveal the wisdom of a range of disciplines, applications at different levels (individual, organizational, community and population) and purposes to aid change practitioners in the thinking and doing of their craft. How can comparing these models elicit deeper insights to affect sustainable change sooner and better?

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Good Operations is Good Strategy

Good operations is good strategy. Operational excellence. Blocking and tackling. Within health systems, the ongoing importance of good operations should be highlighted as a foundational element of every strategic plan. Good operations is a “no lose” strategy that positions a health system for success regardless of the many external forces providing new challenges. Value-based contracting, risk-sharing and Medicare break even strategies are all dependent on the fundamentals of sound operations. Operational Excellence requires strong and improving performance across a broad spectrum of metrics related to safety and quality, customer service and cost efficiency.

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Joy in Leaders = Joy in Work

By Dr. Michael J. Zappa

Focusing on joy, especially in work, is gaining momentum. It has my attention! It is clear to me that the mindset and habits are exactly what great leaders have and do and what developing leaders should concentrate on.

It is very tempting for any leader, especially those in healthcare, to focus on what’s wrong, what needs to be fixed. It’s time to view the situation through a different lens…we need to focus on the meaning and purpose of our work. This is a distinct advantage for those of us in healthcare, our mission is making peoples lives better.

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Lessons from Global Health Development: Harnessing Methods of Change

Lessons from Global Health Development: Harnessing Methods of Change

By Rob Thames

This is Part 3A of this three-part series.

Read part 2.

This Part 3A briefly reviews four change methods and Part 3B will compare them. 

“I have no idea how to change anyone. But I carry around a long list of people in case I ever figure out how.” - Anonymous

Eliminate four billion dollars of waste from a large healthcare system next year. Increase the CMS TPS (Total Performance Score) for a hospital from the national average of 38.1 to 60 in two years. Reduce maternal, child and infant mortality in Nigeria by 50% in three years. These are large-scale improvement goals – at healthcare system, hospital and population health levels, respectively.

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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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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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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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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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