We learn today from a CEO of a major hospital of nearly 600 beds. This woman truly walks the talk. Once, during a major snowstorm that paralyzed the city, she showed up in her car to assist with shuttling patients and family from the hospital to their homes, without once mentioning who she was to the patients. Just getting the job done! The interview is short, but precise…
What are a couple of the most important things a leader can do?
There have to be uncompromising, visible actions. The actions have to back up the words. And underneath it all is the aspect of doing what is right for the patient. That can never be compromised. It is easy to talk about and difficult to accomplish. However, if people can actually see that you use that as a metric, always, even when not convenient or easy with budget constraints, they will see that you are serious about what you are leading. Sometimes the most important things are just the small things. Being there to help in the moment. Always be looking for the need and acting promptly to fill that need.
Sometimes there can be some definite problems with doctors and nurses working together. How do you lead that?
Physicians can do so much when they support the nursing team. Nurses have the ability to make the physician’s role highly effective. If they feel that they are being treated with respect and are included as an integral part of the healthcare team, things progress very well. There has to be respect across the board of the roles that each play. Truly, in healthcare, there are not more important or less important roles. Healthcare today is truly now a team environment. Just something as simple as a physician giving the nurses their cellphone number and encouraging them to use it and then responding as a team member when called can do great things.
What is a key to being a leader among colleagues?
Being clinically credible is significant. Nothing happens without that. Respect has to be there. Further, ego has to be off the table. Leadership is not about the person. It is about how to get people behind a vision. The key question is about being able to help and coach people. It is beings able to to have the difficult, hard conversations and still keep the vision on the horizon, even with disagreement. It is getting the people you are leading to push together for the right result.