On Being Bold: Inspirations From HFMA’s ANI

As I engaged, renewed, and reimagined what was possible at ANI, the question that struck me was: What if we were bold?

The beauty in life is seeing how little things fit together to make the big picture a reality. I love pondering deep questions of strategy, such as how the right people, right solution, and right timing can merge to create opportunity. It’s the quest of “what ifs” in action.

Such thoughts are inspired by what’s around us, what we read, what we reflect on, what we’ve experienced, and who we are. This year’s ANI was full of such inspiration, offering countless opportunities to witness boldness in the everyday contributions of ordinary leaders.

For example, keynoter Steve Pemberton’s inherent true grit matured into his unique, inspired ability to contribute, to serve, and to make a difference. It didn’t happen overnight. He suffered doubt and setbacks but ultimately leveraged his education, experiences, and relationships to become a servant leader for others. He boldly led from where he was.

There was the Arkansas Chapter, this year’s Shelton Award recipient. They had faced disappointment in their journey to achieve the recognition they desired—always close, but still out of reach. They made a choice and sought guidance from others to boldly set a goal merging their passion for their members and chapter with their purpose to lead healthcare finance. They made a commitment to a culture of sustained chapter excellence. They succeeded, leading from where they were as a team.

Members of HFMA Australia also exhibited boldness when they devoted the time, resources, and energy to fully engage with us at ANI. From day one, their openness was engaging. Our shared passion and purpose was apparent in every conversation. Granted, we occasionally looked through different lenses at health care, but the overall picture was incredibly similar. Collaboration was at the root of every interaction as we learned, shared, and built relationships. They led from where they were, independently at times, but ultimately as a team.

Lastly, keynoter Joseph Grenny set the stage for what healthy influence and leadership looks like. Through sharing his research and experience, he boldly laid out a path for us to contribute and make a difference in our roles, industry, and country, citing numerous examples of individuals who led from where they were.

These leaders boldly shared their stories to inspire us to “make it happen” for ourselves. They were ordinary people who made their contributions one day at a time, day in day out, which over time created extraordinary results. And that brings me back to my original question: What if we were bold? What difference could we make?