Resilience – Questions And Answers (Part 2)

We have pleasure in presenting Part 2 of our 2-part Q&A series of informative insights from two of our exceptional interim executive leaders. They highlight the true grit, perseverance and resilience they’ve had to demonstrate through their professional working careers as leaders.

Herb Dyer provides a great holistic summary of what it takes to be a “gritty leader”. Furthermore we feature collective insights from our expert business leaders who highlight that maintaining a positive mind-set, coupled with self-motivation is non-negotiable to becoming a resilient leader, irrespective of what unchartered waters they sometimes need to navigate. As bold risk-takers, they clearly need to embrace change

Rodney Reider has a rich history of 25 years’ healthcare industry experience, having worked across various boards and with physicians, employees, and the community to strengthen core services to customers. As a strategic, enthusiastic, and accomplished leader he has mastered the ability to identify and draw upon team members’ strengths in order to optimize performance and face any challenges to reach a common goal.

Herb Dyer has a solid history as CEO of large healthcare organizations. He has extensive experience of having built trust with stakeholders, possessing a proven ability to identify and capitalize on opportunities to drive strong and sustained contributions to revenues, efficiency, and bottom-line results of leading healthcare organizations. Herb is a thought leader in the true sense, having written many inspiring blogs, some of which are interwoven with childhood lessons.

 Introduction by Herb Dyer

“Leaders need to make tough decisions, and they can’t always take no for an answer.  They need to be visionary…willing to ask the tough questions and go in directions others think are scary or that haven’t been successful in the past.  They need to collect information and hard data from multiple sources, analyze that objectively, and ultimately trust their gut instincts.  They have to see things through, not shrink when it gets tough, but also be willing to quickly go in another direction when things change.  By surrounding themselves with the right people, constantly scanning the environment, and effectively communicating not just the what, but the why, leaders can do risky things while experiencing less risk.

Being a tough-minded optimist has been highlighted as one of the most needed leadership traits. We asked our Leaders how they aligned their characteristics with this important trait?

Rodney: “I think I would reframe it as a “realistic optimist” who holds others accountable.  I want everyone to succeed and will provide the definitive support, encouragement and opportunity.  Ultimately, the focus and discipline instilling accountability ensures organizational success even if not all individuals can rise to the occasion of necessary performance.  A realistic optimist is crucial for the ideal leader to determine where the organization can go and who is ideal to be bringing it there together.

Herb: “Well, I’m definitely not a pessimist.  If you’re going to complain about something you need to be willing to take action to make it better.  I’m a solutions-driven leader.

“When I was in my mid-twenties, a colleague and friend approached me about a problem.  After listening, I offered a solution.  She said, ‘Herb, I did not come to you for an answer, I just wanted to share the problem with you.’  I didn’t know what to do with that response.  Why would you come to me with a problem if you didn’t want me to solve it?  Yet that experience changed the way I interacted with others.  Of course I’m still inclined to offer solutions, but I am more likely to ask what the person is seeking before engaging in the conversation and, if they just want me to listen, I find a way to do that without offering solutions.

“As you navigate the wins and losses and the bumps in the road, I’ve found it much easier to maintain my motivation, and the motivation of my team, by staying positive.  Somehow, we always find a way, and when you remind people of their ability to do that, you often find the pessimism and negativity dissipate.

 Our leaders describe themselves as “solution-driven leaders” and “realistic optimists” confirming that remaining positive is a critical character trait for any leader, irrespective of what challenges they might have to face. Their optimism equips them with the ability to maintain their own personal motivation, especially through unexpected situations where they need to support and encourage their teams in staying positive and preventing the likelihood of negativity creeping in and infecting the entire tea

Leaders of today need to future-proof themselves as they are faced with collective disruptions (e.g., AI/Robotics, working within a multi-generational workforce, unpredictable political and economic climate etc.) . We asked our Leaders for their opinion on what the makeup of a Future-Fit Leader look like?

Rodney: “The Future-Fit Leader must be an individual who is focused, disciplined, and has an insatiable curiosity and desire for improvement.  Improvement for the organization, those he/she leads and personal development to better serve the organization is key to anticipating, learning from and instituting the necessary innovations to continually move the organization forward in success!”

Herb: “To me, a Future-Fit Leader is someone with a passion to lead, a high level of integrity, intense customer focus, and a thirst for knowledge.  Someone who isn’t afraid of change and knows how to capitalize on new opportunities in innovative ways.  We’ll all need to be technically savvy which may require retooling and rebooting ourselves.  Like generations before, we will need to understand and embrace generational differences, address diversity and inclusion issues, and have the ability to influence political and economic directions.”

Our leaders believe that in order to equip themselves for the new world at work, they need to embrace the inevitable shift in generational, political, economic, technological factors etc. They should be unafraid of change and anticipate new learnings; opening themselves up for new opportunities where they can innovate.

Our leaders summarized what they believed to be the most important behavioural competencies needed in a leader, outside of their tactical skills and experience.

Rodney: “The leader must demonstrate acute listening skills both overtly as well as intuitively.  After reviewing a finite amount of data, the leader must have the ability to make a decision and take the necessary action towards continued success.  An innate desire and ability to inspire and serve as a source of energy to motivate others to accomplish more then they can on their own or ever initially thought possible.  Finally, the leader must be a person who reaffirms and reinforces the best parts of the existing culture.”

 Herb: “Tactical skills and experience play a small part in a leader’s success.  True leadership is more art than science so it’s the personal characteristics that are most important like vision, integrity, confidence, empathy/servant leadership, effective communication and a strong work ethic.”

Our leaders highlight that inherent behavioural capabilities and personal characteristics such as decision-making, motivational, communicative and empathy is what it takes to reaffirm and reinforce strong work ethic and culture.

We invite you to tune in to our forthcoming 2019 Webinars where you will benefit from hearing first-hand personal stories and receive practical tips from our leader panelists across various job disciplines:

Host: Jennifer LeMieux, Chief Operating Officer, HealthTechS3
Date and Time: February 20, 2019 at 12:00 pm CT
• Gigi Fergus, RN, BSN, BS, BA, MBA
• Debby Renner, RN, BSN, MS, PhD
• Christina Thomas, RN, MHA, FACHE

Host: Jennifer LeMieux, Chief Operating Officer, HealthTechS3
Date and Time: March 27, 2019 at 12:00 pm CT
• Herb Dyer, Former CEO with Ascension Healthcare
• Rodney Reiner, CEO with Saint Alphonsus Health System