Posts in Leadership
The Benefits of Building a Diverse Team

By Rand O’Leary

“Strength lies in differences, not in similarities.” - Steven Covey

Diversity and inclusion are top priorities in many organizations today, and there are plenty of benefits that come with implementation. First of all, there’s an increase in profitability. A McKinsey & Company report found that companies with leadership in the top quartile for gender diversity were 15% more likely to have financial returns above their industry median, and those with leadership in the top quartile for racial and ethnic diversity were 35% more likely to do the same. On the other hand, McKinsey also found in a follow up that companies with executive teams in the bottom quartile for both gender diversity and racial and ethnic diversity were 29% less likely to achieve above-average profitability.

There’s more at stake than immediate profitability. Through my own experience, I’ve also seen improvements in:

Retention - Diverse leadership communicates that leaders cannot all look and sound the same, and a diverse leadership team helps create an environment where people of all races, genders, sexuality, religions, socio-economic backgrounds can thrive. It creates an environment where employees can see their path to advancement and leadership positions within the industry.

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Inspired Leaders Create Strong Organizations

By Rand O’Leary

Gallup’s State of the American Workplace reports that while the U.S. has more than 100 million full-time employees, only about one-third of them could be considered engaged at work. These are the staffers leaders dream about - they love their jobs and just make their organizations better. At the other end of the spectrum, 16% of employees are actively disengaged and generally miserable at work, and the remaining 51% of employees are not engaged at all – they’re just there.

For a leader, those are some sobering statistics, and should serve as a wakeup call. While engagement is important, chances are, you don’t just want your employees to engage, you want them to be inspired. Suze Orman once said you cannot inspire unless you’re inspired yourself. That means as a leader you should have passion – for the work, for the mission, and for what that means to people and the communities you serve.  

Inspired employees impact an organization’s bottom line too, and studies have shown that inspired employees are more than twice as productive as satisfied employees. Inspiring behavior unleashes the energy within people to do their best work. It also helps them connect with an organization’s purpose and meaning.

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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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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!

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

Today’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.”

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What learning to fly taught me about handling adversity

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.

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When is achieving all your goals not good enough?

So, we’ve closed the books on another year, and it’s time to review your performance.  Maybe you’ve completed all your goals -- congratulations you’ve failed.  Failed? How could that be, I’ve completed all my goals? And therein lies the problem, you didn’t set your goals (or the bar) high enough for your own performance.  Goals by definition are aspirations and should be set high enough to stretch the organization and yourself in new directions.  If you are constantly beating your goals, you’re not stretching enough.

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New Year’s Resolution: Become A Better Leader!

In all the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, its easy to forget that in just a few weeks most of us will be looking at the New Year and a list of resolutions or promises that we have made to ourselves that we hope to accomplish.  Some of our old favorites are bound to make the list, lose some weight, exercise, give more to charity, get back in touch with family or old friends. 

But what about including in this year’s list the commitment to be a better leader next year?

Research tells us that when we write our goals down, we are far more likely to achieve them, so begin the year by taking a good hard look at what is means to be a leader, remember, you may have the title but being the leader of people requires these fundamental building blocks, can you complete these?

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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”. 

As I reflect on this, I’m struck by the absolute simplicity of this statement, but also the way it speaks volumes.  This individual clearly understood that he was an integral part of the team, no matter what the role.  If he did his job well, he contributed to the overall success of the team, engineer, scientist, astronauts etc.  His job, although different in almost every way imaginable from his colleagues, still contributed to achieving the overall goal, that of putting a man on the moon.

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

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.

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

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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Does your new hire have the right stuff? How their personality has a long-term impact on your organization’s bottom line.

In healthcare, how often have you heard this, he/she is a great clinician, but has no personality.  Or, take me to hospital A, but if I’m really sick take me to hospital B, this assumes hospital A is the “Nice” hospital but Hospital B is where all the best clinicians work.  So, the obvious question is, can’t you have both?  Yes, if you select the right people. 

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Is Innovation in Revenue Cycle Dead?

By Ben Reigle, Founder, RCM Leaders Forum

At the RCM Leaders Forum in May, I suggested we are practicing the same techniques and processes from 10 years ago. No one in the group disagreed. I really thought I would get some optimists arguing with me. There was no dissent. If a collection of the best leaders in the industry (a collective $150B+ in net revenue between them) would agree, is innovation dead? If so, what do we do about it?

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

By Rand O’Leary

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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