Thinking about leadership
Recently, I was asked to offer some thoughts on leadership as part of the "BCBS Leadership Stories: Improving the Health of America" series. Making the opportunity more challenging was the fact that I would be sharing my perspectives in an interview session – with cameras rolling. I must admit, the experience really forced me to sharpen and shorten my definition and associated examples of leadership in action.
To me, a key aspect of leading is compassion. And one of the most compelling examples of compassion in action I’ve seen is from those individuals and organizations deeply involved in the delivery of palliative care – comprehensive assistance provided to those dealing in any way with serious illness.
I’m proud that my company, Regence, committed several years ago to be a leader in this underappreciated area. We boldly decided to offer the industry’s most comprehensive palliative care benefit to our members. More than that, we aggressively reached out to like-minded individuals and organizations across the region to raise awareness of the need for a more encompassing approach to palliative care, including the too-often ignored issue of advance care planning. I can tell you from personal experience, this holistic approach to palliative care makes a huge difference.
Building on the firm foundation of compassion, I believe another major trait of effective leaders and leading organizations is an insatiable quest for and commitment to innovation. To me, leading means constantly being on the lookout for new ways to delight or even astound customers. It means rejecting complacency and replacing it with endless curiosity.
I’ve been fortunate in my career to work alongside some truly inspiring leaders, and for a company that exemplifies the compassion and commitment to innovation that are required to transform the industry we serve – health care – to become truly person-focused and economically sustainable.
Watch the video or learn more about the "BCBS Leadership Stories: Improving the Health of America" series.