According to a recent collaborative study by researchers at Northwestern University and the University of Notre Dame, “Women who communicate regularly with a female-dominated inner circle are more likely to attain high-ranking leadership positions.” This research makes me even more proud of the events the HBA hosts to help women network and rise in their careers.
I was honored to facilitate last month’s executive workshop in northern Chicago on optimizing personal and professional success and want to share some of the wonderful advice created collaboratively at the session. These director-level leaders participated in a peer-to-peer advising session, then shared their top takeaways focusing on four key challenges:
Challenge #1: Creating the Foundations that Allow for Innovation
Innovation doesn’t come from merely putting a group of smart people in a room with some bright colored walls, a white board and an afternoon of exercises. Nor does it exclusively come from your R&D department. Instead, it comes from your company’s culture. Your organization should foster innovation through building collaborative relationships, investing in your people and allowing your teams the ability to focus on a few key initiatives instead of an overflowing pile of too many things to achieve.
A key component for leaders to remember is that you shouldn’t put all of your resources into today’s success: be sure to watch for market disruptors on the horizon. You want to be a successful leader? It’s time to put on your risk-reward hat for what could and should be the future of your organization.
I’d add that if your corporate culture punishes failure with firing or political backlash, you can rest assured no one will ever innovate. Ever. Allow your people to take educated risks. Acknowledging that some things won’t work and some things will, is the only way for you to find the next big thing in your industry.
Challenge #2: Prevent “Everyday Fires” from Derailing Your Long-Term Success
Every leader has faced those “fires” in the form of emails, phone calls and meetings that take you away from strategic goals and focus your attention on whatever is urgent today. This is the quickest way to waste time and assure you don’t meet your goals. Instead, try the “Stop, Drop and Roll” methodology as a tactical reminder of how to deal with the “small but urgent” tasks that take us away from our priorities.
Stop: Stop responding to every single “fire” by reacting without thinking. Instead, take a moment and decide what is important for both you and the members of your team to work on.
Drop: Drop anything that is important but non-specific to you. Instead, delegate the task to someone else on your team.
Roll: Roll off anything that is important but your team doesn’t have the time or skill set to do. Plan on contracting this work out to an outside party.
Challenge #3: Managing Patient Expectations
Expectations from patients, regulators and society in general have risen. The team agreed that quality care and patient safety always have and always will be, the priority. Fortunately, enhancements in data analytics and technology can further advance the overall patient experience. For example, the move to system-wide electronic medical records has helped patients receive more comprehensive and collaborative care.
The future may be in patients managing their own portable medical profiles, giving individuals the ability to keep their own data and even the ability to share it with doctors, scientists and medical institutions. This would enable the medical community as a whole to gain insights and improve care for those with chronic conditions and diseases. While the participants believe this is the future, they know there are many hurdles to jump through or related to HIPAA data privacy and security requirements before this can become a reality.
Challenge #4: Shift your Mindset and Actions to Continue Climbing the Executive Ladder
As a leader, you need to be fantastic at self-assessment. This means you must review yourself honestly, look for the developmental opportunities for your team and delegate things that they currently can’t do.
Keep in mind that leaders can’t let perfectionism stand in the way of getting great business results. This means letting go and automating tasks so that you and your team can spend more time on the most strategic activities for personal and corporate success.
This inspiring and insightful content, coupled with the opportunity to network, are two of many reasons for you to participate in more HBA events: great people supporting each other with both motivation and business savvy content to help you and others like you rise in your career.
With much appreciation for the opportunity to support your personal and business success,
co-director of programming, HBA Northern Chicago
strategic initiatives leader, Point B