What qualities make an outstanding leader, whether in health care or another field? Your list may include being collaborative, courageous, empathetic, innovative, inspiring and intelligent. Based on my experiences and observations during the COVID-19 pandemic, I’d add a couple more: being humble and resilient. 

In pre-pandemic times, Forbes published an article, “What Makes a Good Leader,” outlining 15 insights on transitioning from a manager to a leader. Three resonated with me most, then and now:

  • Managers micromanage, leaders inspire. Leaders inspire others to bring their best selves to the job — instead of telling them exactly what to do — and also engage teams and bring out the best in them. 
  • Leaders have the courage to face what others fear. Leaders help teams see the path forward, to help ease their anxiety and understand the part they play in shaping a positive future.
  • Leaders give away their power. Leaders empower others, and in doing so, unleash the creativity, expertise and grit of their teams. 

The AHA Leadership Summit, convening July 28–29, brings together hospital and health care leaders across the country who embody the qualities of outstanding leadership and represent excellence in our field. 

This year’s Summit will be virtual, with interactive programming that focuses on high-level, transformational strategies and innovative approaches for delivering value and health equity through operational excellence, creative partnerships and redefined delivery models. 

In addition, special attention will be paid to the strategies and practices that enable health care leaders to remain resilient and respond successfully during periods of sustained crisis. 

Starting this week, the Leadership Summit is offering a new opportunity for participants to connect in advance and throughout the virtual conference in affinity groups. Members engage in deeper networking, issue exploration, success sharing and problem solving. 

Each affinity group will focus on one of five topics — behavioral health and expanding access through partnerships, governance excellence, leading for resilience and transformation, innovation and digital health, and the value journey — and be supplemented with the insights of special subject matter experts and shared resources. Summit registrants can join up to two affinity groups. 

I encourage you and your leadership teams and governing boards to participate in the Summit — whether you’re a seasoned veteran or a new attender. Bring your team to the virtual table and empower them to gather fresh thinking and knowledge to use in new ways.

This is an incredible opportunity to connect on a deeper level with peers, as we all tackle emerging issues and reimagine health care in a post-pandemic world. 

Rod Hochman, M.D.
AHA Chair

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