Lessons from a CEO – Leaders don’t lead organizations – Leaders lead people!

I had the opportunity to attend a CEO networking dinner where we had the privilege to hear from two of the leading CEOs in the health care industry discuss how they were leading through change - Dr. Akram Boutros of MetroHealth System and Rick Chiricosta of Medical Mutual. No, we didn't discuss politics - the discussion was around how important leadership is when it comes to successfully managing any change.

Dr. Boutros shared that he believes 'Leaders don't lead organizations, leaders lead people' - love this and fully agree. He shared how he puts that into practice as a leader with his team and entire organization - here are a few of the practices:

  • Clarity around the WHY - being very intentional around the Mission/Vision and Values. He redefined this for the organization and personally trains all new employees in this.
  • Alignment of Goals - focused on making sure all employees knew how what they did, from the laundry to the operating room, supports the mission and vision.
  • Made himself available - he is intentional in putting aside time for employees throughout the organization to share what is on their mind, ask questions and give feedback. This is now a practice his entire leadership team follows.
  • Trust in the people who work for you - delegating decisions, supporting them and giving them space to do the job they were hired to do. This is done by setting clear boundaries, being there when needed and hiring the right people.
  • Agility in Decisions - when the vision and mission is clear, you can make your decisions against them. Created decision matrices so that his team can make decisions quickly with less bureaucracy - empowering his team.

I loved the last story he shared where he gave away a secret to getting his employees to share 'anything' - he brings cookies to his open meetings that say 'Ask me Anything'....who can resist that?

CEOs that understand that the biggest differentiation they have is their people will treat their people that way and lead like a servant leader should. Change is constant - trusting your team, getting the right people around you, being crystal clear about expectations and encouraging them is just what this doctor ordered.

As a CEO coach, I love to see this type of leadership. If you are interested in growing your leadership or your leadership team, please reach out to me at jillwindel@talentspecialists.net. Visit my website: www.talentspecialists.net.

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