CHI SVP and division executive officer Jeff Drop on letting people embrace failure

Jeff Drop is senior vice president at Englewood, Colo.-based Catholic Health Initiatives and division executive officer of the system's Fargo division.

As division executive officer, Mr. Drop oversees 18 hospitals across North Dakota and Minnesota. Mr. Drop has held leadership positions within CHI for over 20 years, previously serving as president of Pendleton, Ore.-based St. Anthony Hospital.

Mr. Drop earned a master's degree in public administration from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh and an undergraduate degree from Pennsylvania State University in University Park, Pa.

Mr. Drop took the time to answer three key leadership questions from Becker's.

Editor's note: Responses have been lightly edited for length and style.

Question: What are the most important factors to consider when building an executive team?

Jeff Drop: One of the most important factors for me is that the new team members fit into the management style of the CEO. The executive team must be a complementary addition to the vision the CEO has for the organization. The members of the executive team must also be self-starting individuals and capable of making decisions on their own while not being afraid of making mistakes.

Q: In the past 12 months, how have you adapted to new patient experience expectations in the age of consumerism?

JD: My way of thinking about patient experience is one of convenience — we need to wait on our patients instead of having our patients wait for us to treat them. Quality, speed and convenience will set successful health systems apart in attracting patients to their services. We also have to be ready to offer what the patient wants and needs as opposed to making the patient fit into an outdated healthcare system.

Q: How do you develop leaders within your organization?

JD: I develop leaders by letting them do their jobs and make their own mistakes. Leaders need to develop their own way of doing things within the parameters of the organization. Leaders need to learn from their mistakes and take ownership of both success and failure. It is like being thrown into the deep end of the swimming pool — but I have a life vest attached to them.

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