This Week Health

Today: What does the next generation leader look like today

Your people are your organizations DNA. How are we doing?


Today in health, it, the next generation more than just a tagline. My name is bill Russell. I'm a former CIO for a 16 hospital system. And creator of this week health, a set of channels and events dedicated to leveraging the power of community. To propel healthcare forward. We want to thank our show sponsors who are investing in developing the next generation of health leaders. Short test artist, site parlance, certified health, notable and service. Now check them out at this week.

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Stand, click on that to give today. We believe in the generosity of our community. And we thank you in advance. All right. It's Friday on Fridays. I tend to talk about. , topics that are top of mind for me, things that have come up during the week conversations I've had or life experiences that I've had. , I have fewer years to retirement than I've served and it gets me to thinking. What am I doing to raise up the next generation of leaders? You hear that term next generation a lot. And that is really part of our origin story at this week health. And it is part of our discussion within the company. Are we helping to develop the next generation of health leaders? Let's talk about why it's more than a cliche to start. It's more than a tagline for your organization. It's more than a tagline for your department. I'm just going to focus on one level below. Whoever you are as a leader. I mean, for me, I was a CIO, so I'll focus on one level below the CIO for this discussion, but it's true. At applicable for any leader, team leader, department leader, whatever, what should the cultural makeup be of your team? And I have seven things. I'm sure there's more. And we could talk about that when I get through these seven. So let's start with the first one. You know, good leaders start as good followers. So, if you're wondering what is the next generation leader look like today? They're likely a follower. And good leaders, starters, good followers. They can listen, comprehend, ask good questions, support a mission, support your leadership. Support you as a leader. Bad followers. We get bad followers. Good followers to get good followers. That is not to say yes, men or yes, women. It is to say that they can participate in the vigorous. , discussion of ideas, but when a decision is made. They know how to support that decision and make it the best decision it can possibly be. The next generation of great leaders start as great followers. So you get where I'm going with this. How do we identify the next generation of leaders in the roles they're in today? Good leaders start is good followers. Let's go on from there. Good leaders are good thinkers. I alluded to yes, men and women. That's not what we're looking for. And that often can be seen when they're, when they act as a mirror. And they're just telling you back things that you said, sometimes you think that stuff's brilliant. Because it came out of your mouth and you think the things I'm saying is brilliant and they mirror it back to you and you think, oh, this person's smart. That's not necessarily the case. You want to find people that could disagree with you? In a productive way. , in fact, the more disagreement you have, I missed disagreement. I want more people around me that disagree with me that push my ideas that pushed me to be better. And, you know, a lot of times I present ideas in a very forceful way. That's why I do what I do today, but I present them in a very definitive way. And, , some people will just shrink from that and say, well, he must be right. And that kind of stuff. I have to strongly encourage my team, whatever that team is to push back. I want their ideas. I want their thoughts. I want them to tell me, Hey, I think you might be wrong. I think there's something you're not considering. I think there's, you know, have we considered this from this viewpoint? Have we looked at this from the nurse's perspective?

Have we looked at this? From the patient's perspective, you know, pushback in a productive, in a thought provoking generative way. See good leaders are good thinkers. You want good thought? And if not only in those discussions with you, you want to hear them producing new ideas and new thoughts in their realm. Of experience and expertise. Right. So if you've given them something to run and something to do, you want to hear things coming out of that that are not just your ideas, but they have expanded what you were doing before, because they are bringing new thinking to it. So good leaders are good thinkers. You're looking for good thinking. Number three good leaders have courage. This can't be underestimated. They will step up. They take on difficult tasks. They take on difficult projects. They will volunteer to take on difficult people. That other people might say, Hey, I don't want them on my team. I've struggled with them. They're too opinionated, those kinds of things, they will take on difficult people within reason and help those people to be even better. Right. So good leaders have courage are still remember. , and I talked about David Baker used to work for me. David Baker is the CIO at Pacific dental. And he's a great leader and he was a great follower. He's he's all these things actually. , and one of the things that just struck me as one of the first meetings I had with him and he was, gosh, he was, , I think he was a contractor, even. He wasn't even part of the organization. And I ended up hiring him, but he came into my office and we started talking. He goes, he goes, I have a project that is going to transform how the clinicians think about it and how things. Our functioning in it. Now, remember I inherited an it organization where the data center had gone down eight times in six weeks. The organization didn't think too highly of it at that moment. And David said, I have the project that is going to change how they think. And he was, he was willing to put himself out there. And have the courage to say, Hey, I've done the homework. I've done the research. I've talked to the clinicians. I've even done some pilots. I know they love this thing. We should do it. And they have courage and they put themselves out there. All right. Number four. Good leaders are good team members and their presence makes a team better. There are people, you know, the, the opposite of that, you know, people that are in teams and when you put them in a team, the team disintegrates, they become divisive. They don't. Work together well, and that kind of stuff. But good leaders start off as good team members and even good leaders are good team members. There's nobody that operates on their own. Right? So even the CEO has a team. And they function as a good team member amongst that team. But there their presence makes a team better. Look for people. Who, when they are a part of a team that team tends to rise, they tend to do. They tend to outperform what any one individual in that group. Can do or that group then. Proceeds to perform at a much higher level. You know, do you have people in your organization that when you put them into a group that group performs better, they are likely the next generation leader. Those are the kinds of people you're looking for. All right, so that's number four, number five, good leaders seek input and they are teachable. You don't know everything. Nor are you expected to find people who will teach you what they know, find people you can trust in areas of your weakness. Good leaders seek input and they're teachable. There's no leader. If you become a CEO, CIO, you know, the higher you go in the organization, you cannot possibly know anything. I know everything that there is to know. I was talking to a clinician who became a CIO. And I, I, we were just, , having drinks. And I asked him. I'm like, how do you manage the technical people? Like how do you know how to, how to find the right CTO as a clinician? Like you weren't brought up. I was brought up in the technical world, so that's like second nature to be. I, I know what questions to ask. I know when they're. Not really being forthright and those kinds of things. Cause it's the area I lived in and I was curious as a clinician, how they could do that. And, , and he started talking about building a great team, hiring the right people, discerning the right. , the right things in people you want on the team. And he said, look, when it's time to evaluate the skills, I recognize that I don't have the ability to diagnose their skills for that. I bring in the people that can diagnose their skills. And if that's not people within our organization, I will rely on partners. Who will be able to tell me, or I will rely on references that will tell me. And he goes, I spend a lot of time teaching my organization. How to interview well. And, , I don't have permission to share who that was or I would, , because I thought there was a ton of wisdom in that. , good leaders seek input. They are teachable. There are a countless people who have ascended to significant roles and yes, there is some luck to it and there's some timing to it and all those things. I'm not going to say that there isn't. But I will say that. A majority of them found mentors, found people. They listened to them. They pursued them. They had lunches with them. They ask them really good questions. So good leaders seek input and they are teachable. And by the way, I put, they are teachable for a reason. There are people that seek input and then ignored. But you gotta be teachable, , understand that. Every day you live. There's an opportunity to learn something. Number six good leaders have empathy and ability to communicate appropriately. And they see the person at the other end of the table. This is all a way of saying the same thing, which is essentially emotional intelligence is being able to read the room. See the person at the other end of the table. Try to put yourself in their position and have the ability to put yourself in their position. Hear what they're saying to you? And be able to do something with what they're saying to you. These are all important, , traits in a leader and you will see that as a follower. They have the ability to listen, the ability to communicate what is going on on the other side of the table and what that group. Is going through so good leaders have empathy. The ability to communicate appropriately at the right time. And I'll close with this number seven good leaders know when to lead. There's a time to stand up and say, okay, that's enough discussion. Let's do something. And just by virtue of that, they're the leader. They're the person who's saying. Okay, we've got enough data. We've got enough input. We've got enough. Buy-in we've got the champions. We're ready to go. Let's go. And a lot of times they're going to say, give me the ball. I want to run with it. But even if, if they're not. They know when it's like, we're ready. Timing is right. Let's go. Let's make this happen. So this isn't an exhaustive list. I could put a few more in play if I really wanted to. And likely you could add to this list as well, I would encourage you to do so. , because if you're a leader, You should know what you're looking for in the next generation. Cause that's what your developing, , I was. Going to start this off by saying, all of us will have the title of former at some point. In fact, I use that in one of my talks at the 2 29 project. I'm a former CIO. For a 16 hospital system and someday all of you will share that title. When I'm talking to CEOs, you will be a former CIO and it sort of puts that into perspective. That at some point you will be a former whatever you are today. And at that point, you want someone to step into that role. Who can do it. Somebody who you've, , who you've trained, somebody who you've mentored, somebody who you've put on the track and you want to make sure you're putting the right people on that track or whatever you're building today. We'll be torn down tomorrow. It's just the way it is. If you do add to the list, send me a note bill at this week. Love to hear it. , just as a reminder, here they are. Good leaders start as good followers. Good leaders are good thinkers. Good leaders have courage. Good leaders are good team members and their presence makes the team better. Good leaders seek input and they are teachable. Good leaders have empathy and an ability to communicate appropriately and good leaders know when to lead. All right. Here's my, so what the next generation is more than a future state. It is your current organization's DNA. If you aren't raising up leaders, the next generation of leaders. You are setting up your organization or department for future failure. Find the right team, invest in them, cultivate their skills, encourage them to develop even more skills invest in their future, and it will pay dividends in your present. All right. This is what I do on Fridays. I hope it helps that's all for today while your addict. Don't forget to share this podcast with a friend or colleague. Or your next generation leader. We want to thank our channel sponsors who are investing in our mission to develop the next generation of health leaders. Short test artist, site parlance, certified health. Notable and 📍 service. Now, check them out at this week. Thanks for listening. That's all for now.

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