The balance between work-life and self-care with Matthew Painter

Matthew Painter, Ph.D., is the director of leadership development at Birmingham, Ala-based UAB Health System.

Dr. Painter will serve on the panel "Starting a Leadership Development Program from Scratch: Triumphs and Tribulations" at Becker's 10th Annual CEO + CFO Roundtable. As part of an ongoing series, Becker's is talking to healthcare leaders who plan to speak at the conference on Nov. 7-10 in Chicago. 

To learn more and register, click here.

Becker's Healthcare aims to foster peer-to-peer conversation between healthcare's brightest leaders and thinkers. In that vein, responses to our Speaker Series are published straight from interviewees. Here is what our speakers had to say.

Question: What is the smartest thing you've done in the last year to set your system up for success? 

Dr. Matthew Painter: We began embarking on doing more after-action reviews after each substantive event. So the after-action reviews allow us to identify the things that are working and not working and then take action. Overall, this allows us to identify things that work particularly well when we execute and identify opportunities we need to address to improve our delivery and effectiveness.

Q: What are you most excited about right now and what makes you nervous? 

MP: I'm most excited about the appetite for organizational health and leadership development. It's always the right time to invest in leadership, and I think that's just becoming increasingly acute. What makes me nervous is although the appetite is there, sometimes the resources and intentionality are not. Therefore, we often operate in a very reactionary manner. 

Q: How are you thinking about growth and investments for the next year or two? 

MP: When you think of growth and investments, it always means leadership skill building. So we must have the right leaders, skilled leaders, managing growth and performance in a sustainable and leader-like way. That's what we're making and continuing to make. We're continuing the journey, investing in the leadership capacity of our management team.

Q: What will healthcare executives need to be effective leaders for the next five years?  

MP: I think humility is always one of the things that leaders need. It's becoming increasingly apparent that, in this environment, nobody has all the answers. So the humility piece is absolutely critical. So coupled with that is just focus and identification and focus on values. While that may seem elementary, it's an essential driver for how we operate, creating some definition around those values in action and structures that reinforce those values. Our healthcare executives need to create a more prosperous, enduring organization. Lastly, I would just say that there are professionals in this space that executives can partner with and should partner with. These partnerships with organization and leadership development are meaningful because they can help with that value identification and structure.

Q: How are you building resilient and diverse teams? 

MP: In our role, building resilient and diverse teams is helping managers understand the importance of this and partnering with our managers in the healthcare system. We also continually promote personalized resilience, and when we have the opportunity, we tend to crowdsource ideas. In healthcare, many people know what resilience means and what they need to do, but they don't always have the creativity in execution. That's where we lend them the space and the voice to say, "This is how I do it," or, "This is where I'm struggling," and then offer ideas for one another. We try to role model what it means to have a work-life balance and self-care.

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