LEADERSHIP—What Does it Really Mean?
We see and hear the terms “leader” and “leadership” all the time. They are in CHIME’s tagline (Digital Health Leaders) and vision statement (Exceptional Leaders Transforming Health and Care)…
A quick search for the word “leadership” on chimecentral.org displays pages and pages of results—from thought leadership articles and blogs to events like leadership academies and workshops to programs like Leadership from the Edge and podcasts featuring Leader to Leader conversations.
CHIME Was Built by Leaders
We know CHIME was built by leaders to serve leaders. It was intended to educate and nurture leaders. It consists of both physical and digital spaces where like-minded leaders in the healthcare IT industry can convene together.
So… Who are all these leaders? What are they leading? What is all this leadership about?
“A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.” – John Maxwell
Let’s break it down, 1-2-3 style.
1. A LEADER knows the way.
One of CHIME’S core values is Visionary Leadership. That “visionary” signifier is incredibly important. Let’s take the first Google definition that pops up for “visionary”: Thinking about or planning the future with imagination or wisdom. In order to lead others—whether they be employees, organizations, or an entire industry—you need to know where you’re taking them. To visualize what comes ahead takes creativity. First, ponder the possibilities! Then, using knowledge and expertise, narrow down the direction, and focus the path forward.
Healthcare is not simple. It is not easy. And technology is certainly not static. Successful leaders in healthcare, and especially in digital health, must not only have a strong plan for where they are going, but must also be flexible and ready to quickly adjust that route at any point—using imagination and wisdom—to make informed choices that lead down the best path.
2. A LEADER goes the way.
I hope we can all agree that the saying: “Do as I say, not as I do,” is NOT representative of an esteemed leader’s advice. A leader knows where they are going. They know where they are leading. AND they are visibly and confidently walking that path in front of others.
As a LEADER, you don’t select the path and then point others into that dark tunnel. You strap on your boots and put one foot in front of the other.
CHIME’s vision—Exceptional Leaders Transforming Health and Care—is founded on a key concept: transformation. Transformation is an act of change. CHIME Members are not leaders because they have specific titles. They are leaders because they have taken action to affect positive change. They have made difficult decisions. They have actively addressed immense challenges. And they have led teams on the ground through the execution of solutions.
3. A LEADER shows the way.
Now that this LEADER has the map in hand and boots on their feet, it’s time to bring out the flashlight, head lamp, laser pointer—whatever works—and ensure that all those people trusting in their guidance are actually, well, guided. Don’t just tell them where to go—show them how to get there. Prepare your teams and organizations. Equip them with the knowledge and comfort they need to make that journey along with you (or without you). If you fall (or take a vacation), ensure that your team can carry the torch forward because they get it—they understand the plan. They saw you execute on the plan. And they can see the direction they need to go in to meet that plan’s objectives.
True LEADERSHIP does not rely on followers. Leadership is the act of educating and mentoring new leaders to help carry the charge forward. For 30 years, CHIME Members have not just become better LEADERS in their professions, they have contributed knowledge, creativity, vision, experience, and guidance to their peers, their teams, and their industry.
CHIME Members are truly Visionary LEADERS who know, go, and show. Thank you for giving CHIME a reason to celebrate 30 years of LEADERSHIP! What does LEADERSHIP mean to you?
Next week’s Theme Word is VOICE. Submit your blog post, story, or article today! Email submissions to Katie at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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