• Heeding Wise Words

    May 01, 2015

    Four healthcare leaders share invaluable advice that they still rely on.

    Taking a Mindful Approach

    Craig Ganger, director, managed care and decision support, Premier HealthWhen I was a new director, my boss and mentor gave me the article "Toxic Success and the Mind of a Surgeon" (Pearsall, P., JAMA Surgery, 2004). The author discusses the personal and professional problems experienced by successful people and recommends a mindful approach to life as a remedy. At the time, I was striving to exceed expectations at work, while at home my wife and I had just welcomed our second child. My boss advised me to not let professional ambitions come before my important roles as husband and father. That advice was invaluable, and I share it today with my own staff.

    Craig A. Ganger is director, managed care and decision support, Premier Health, Dayton, Ohio, and a member of HFMA’s Southwestern Ohio Chapter.

    Believing in Yourself

    Philip Kane, director of network and competitive analytics, Florida BlueWhen I was uneasy about making decisions, one of my first managers would encourage me by saying, "You are closer to the problem and know much more than I do. Have faith in your skills and judgment." His comments helped me transition from having a technical orientation to becoming more business savvy. Our customers now expect to have real-time insights before making key business decisions. This transformation of data into recommendations can produce anxiety in the results-driven individuals on my team. However, when I repeat my manager's message during challenging situations, our group is reassured.

    Philip Kane, ASA, MAAA, is director of network and competitive analytics at Florida Blue, Jacksonville, Fla., and a member of HFMA’s Florida Chapter.

    Recognizing Your Contribution

    Joseph Kvedar, MD, vice president, Connected Health, Partners HealthCareMany years ago, I was invited to join a committee made up of Partners HealthCare senior executives to explore the early use of technology in care delivery. Soon, I was responsible for running the meetings, a role I wasn't comfortable filling as the most junior person around the table. My mentor pulled me aside and asked why I wasn't taking charge. When I explained my apprehension, he reminded me that I was the content expert and this group was looking to me for leadership. Lesson learned: You don't have to be the most senior person on the team to take a leadership role. Leadership is contextual.

    Joseph C. Kvedar, MD, Vice President, Connected Health, Partners HealthCare, Boston.

    Initiating Change

    Margaret Pearce, RN, PhD, is CNO, University of Utah Hospitals and ClinicsFresh to the chief nursing officer role, I was eager to learn. At a national conference, I invited myself to a CEO roundtable discussion. Instead of being irritated at my presence, a seasoned CEO welcomed me. I asked him why my staff resisted change while I was eager to adopt it. He gave me this advice that I follow to this day: "Everyone needs time to adjust to change. As a leader, you've had more time to adjust to change before you announce it, and you must allow your staff the same adjustment period."

    Margaret Pearce, RN, PhD, is CNO for the University of Utah Hospitals and Clinics and assistant dean of clinical affairs at the University of Utah's College of Nursing, Salt Lake City.

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