Today, I finally caught up with a Quality Teleconference that was held 2 weeks ago. The key note speaker was really phenomenal. The speaker was direct, intuitive, and shared the importance of establishing and maintaining key strategic relationships, in addition to your familiar, comfortable network. It was refreshing to hear this concept because its one of the key learnings that I share with others, and where I have experienced the most professional growth.
Two years ago, I went to an ACHE Conference in South Florida and was introduced to a gentleman standing near the corner of the room, and I noticed that he was surrounded by a circle of important looking people. The person who introduced me to him, described him as a "very important'" man that every growing healthcare professional needs to meet. I recall being so nervous to meet him and feeling less than adequate to receive his business card when it was offered. How many times do you take a business card and drop it into your purse and forget about it, later to clean out of your purse and throw it away with old receipts?
When faced with a fork in the road whether to pursue an operations role or to stay in nursing, I found that little lost business card in the bottom of my purse. I swallowed hard, and mustered up the courage to call this "very important" man. To my astonishment, he remembered me and agreed to meet with me the following Monday in his office to discuss my theoretical fork in the road.
Over the following 6 months, this very experienced, and insightful CEO mentored me and helped me to clarify my interest, challenges, and a direction for my next endeavor. He listened to my concerns about negotiating at an uneven table as a woman, and how to effectively prioritize my needs and interest in the midst of uncertainty. His feedback was invaluable and reaffirmed my confidence that I could make the next big step in my career.
Zeff Ross, Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer Memorial Regional Hospital and I have stayed in contact over the last few years and I am forever thankful for his mentorship. As leaders and business professionals it is imperative that we establish and maintain relationships that will help us to grow, share wisdom and to reaffirm our professional strengths and opportunities. As a member of ACHE, and some of the other professional organizations mentorship is part of the perks, and is encouraged, yet few professionals sign up for the opportunity.
My Motivational Monday message is to reach out and find a mentor or become one! Together, we can make better traction in our careers and outcomes, and support one another in this very rapidly changing healthcare marketplace. It can be a very lonely world in such a dynamic environment as a CEO or executive. There are many of us who are here to support you in navigating your next fork in the road.