How, as a leader, do you keep the organization positive and willing to keep driving forward?
Excerpt from “Stewardship: The Noblest Form Of Leadership,” Profile in Healthcare Excellence with R.Edward Howell, CEO, University of Virginia Medical Center
Dr. Cary Gutbezahl (CCC): You mentioned earlier that you had attempted to make changes, and they were minimally successful. You also talked about how sometimes leaders initiate projects then results don’t turn out as anticipated. That’s a more common story than most would like to admit.
How, as a leader, do you keep the organization positive and willing to keep driving forward? To try new things in the face of prior experiences that were less than optimal?
ENCOURAGE PROGRESS AND STOP PUNISHING GOOD DEEDS
R. Edward Howell (REH): All too many organizations recognize the idiom of “no good deed goes unpunished.” Keep your organization from punishing good deeds. That’s an effective tool in keeping people positive and driving on.
When you make big changes, you have to understand that people are going to be impacted. I made a concerted effort to be very respectful and supportive of the people who might be negatively impacted.
That’s a responsibility of leadership— when the organization sees that you won’t stifle creativity and initiative.
You have to handle changes in a respectful manner. If you don’t handle those changes respectfully, you scorch the earth that you’re asking someone else to plant and harvest the benefits from. There’s no sense in scorching the earth.
Download the complete white paper, “Stewardship: The Noblest Form Of Leadership,” Profile in Healthcare Excellence with R.Edward Howell, CEO, University of Virginia Medical Center.