Lessons 5 health system executives learned from other leaders

"We've all had to make tough decisions," wrote Terry Shaw, president and CEO of AdventHealth in a July 6 LinkedIn post. "Sometimes we might even look back and wonder whether we did the right thing." 

The Altamonte Springs, Fla.-based health system is approaching its 50-year anniversary, and its leadership has been reflecting on lessons learned, according to Mr. Shaw. 

"A leader I worked for once told me, 'When making hard decisions, we look to our mission, values and what's best for those we serve — and take ourselves out of it,'" Mr. Shaw wrote. "This takes the ego out of decision making so you can lead with integrity. When you do this, you're rarely left questioning yourself down the road."

He invited others to share words of wisdom they have learned from other leaders, "past or present." Here is how four health system leaders from across the nation responded: 

Kevin Metcalfe. CEO, Anaheim Global Medical Center and South Coast Global Medical Center (Santa Ana, Calif.): 

"No Margin, No Mission."

Andrew Piper. Division Director of Revenue Integrity at CommonSpirit Health (Chicago):

"If you're going to say no to an idea, be prepared with a better one." 

Tory Shepherd. CEO, Rutherford Regional Health System (Rutherfordton, N.C.): 

"Approach every place with a mindset of longevity. Focus on how to make it better than when you found it. Do not dwell on your own timeline, a legacy remains even after you have left, if it is rooted in the people. Strive to move from good to great. Do not settle for mediocrity, the community you serve deserves better. Anything worth doing is not generally easy. Keep the patients first in every decision, the rest will follow. Servant leadership has to survive beyond you, you must inspire others to continue the same to help pave the path you and the team have forged."

Deborah Spielman. Chief Operating Officer, Centura Porter Adventist Hospital (Denver): 

"Focus on reflecting the mission daily in the smaller decisions so when tough decisions have to be made, your team and peers have confidence you are leading from the heart and not your own agenda."

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