Summer 2018
Greater Charlotte Healthcare Executives Group (GCHEG) Quarterly Newsletter Summer 2018
In This Issue
President's Message
Greetings From Chapter President
Membership and Advancement
Welcome New GCHEG Members
Earn Your Board Certification in Healthcare Management
National News
National News Q2 2018
Two GCHEG Members Participating in Executive Program Presented by ACHE
Career and Articles of Interest
4 Steps to Establishing Your Leadership Philosophy
Enhance Your Decision-Making Skills: 3 Tips
GCHEG Member Submitted Articles
Equity Impact Circle Off To an Impactful Start
NC Chamber Foundation Unveils Healthcare Benchmarking Study
Why Business Coaching Works for Middle Managers
What's In Your Future?
Virtuoso Leadership in Health Care Is Our Responsibility
Share Your Experience and Photos!
Upcoming Events
Summer Events You Don't Want to Miss!
Staying Connected
Engaging with GCHEG on Social Media
Email deliverability
Ensure delivery of Chapter E-newsletter (Disclaimer)
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GCHEG Member Submitted Articles
Virtuoso Leadership in Health Care Is Our Responsibility
Submitted By: Laura R. Foxx - Corporate Operations at Atrium Health

Health care organizations comprise one of the most important industries in the world, yet it is also among the most reluctant to lead dramatic change to achieve high performing, sustainable transformation.  A recent research report by the American Hospital Association (2014) indicates that the skills most critical to the future of health care organizations require immediate representation rather than natural evolution. Assuming the commitment for change, the identification of virtuoso talent is not a difficult exercise. However, the traditional barriers of hierarchy and positioning authority preclude mobility of talent and therefore, active participation of many who have the experience and knowledge to participate at this extraordinary level. Notwithstanding the advent of external economic forces, industry giants – such as Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, JP Morgan Chase and others – are challenging the increasingly expensive delivery system in an effort to disrupt status quo. The health care industry owes itself a response that inspires virtuoso leadership; and rather than shrink like violets, needs a proactive strategy to change its own paradigm in favor of leveraging talent to deliver sustainable high quality, affordable care for all.

Leading dramatic change in any industry is not an easy proposition. Sustaining dramatic change is transformative. The seminal theory of transformational leadership belongs to James MacGregor Burns, Pulitzer Prize Historian, Professor Emeritus at Williams College and Distinguished Scholar at the Academy of Leadership of the School of Public Policy that bears his name at the University of Maryland. His research led to the groundbreaking transformational leadership paradigm; relationship-making steeped in articulated vision and honorific emotion, that motivates leaders and followers to inspire each other and to achieve common goals (Burns, 1978). Transformational leaders tend to be very charismatic and achieve organizational goals by inspiring others. What if organizations – collections of individuals – exhibit these same characteristics on behalf of achieving a dramatic change and/or paradigm shift?  The possibility of entire organizations assuming these characteristics is probably remote, but it is possible to empower followers to break through challenges and drive change that advance mission and vision, and achieve sustainable transformation.

In generations past, the time-honored tradition of institutional patience supported incrementally improved systems that took years to implement and control. Regulatory policies born decades ago remain dominant in evaluating an institution’s commitment to delivering high levels of care to its patients; guiding but not prohibiting institutions from leading dramatic change. The profoundness of dramatic change only occurs within the context of ambitious drive toward an attainable, but complex opportunity. Such opportunities are not achieved solely through continuous improvement, but follow a different path that requires extraordinary effort to achieve common goals.

Consolidation models that follow acquisition activity promise greatness, may not necessarily stimulate effective delivery systems, and most probably support assimilation rather than change. Transformational leaders share aspirations, mobilize talent, and empower virtuoso teams to accelerate the starting point and pave the way toward dramatic change. In their research on innovation and transformative organizations, Boynton and Fischer (2005) found that among the common attributes, virtuoso team members are individually skilled and collectively inspired to change the existing paradigm, usually within a time-sensitive directive. Examples of their inspirational case studies include Westside Story (original Broadway production); first successful trek to the South Pole; Thomas Edison’s invention factory; and multiple re-creations of the sound of jazz by Miles Davis. These cases proved that the seemingly impossible is possible.  Can virtuoso leadership inspire dramatic change in the health care industry?

As practitioners, we tend to focus on our jobs-at-hand and reflect infrequently on philosophies and theories that guide our knowledge and judgmental wisdom, overlooking the compelling need of the industry to empower virtuoso leaders and teams. To truly accept our roles as virtuoso, we must first identify ourselves as frontierspersons, early explorers, perhaps even, military field marshals. The acceptance, exploration, and implementation of ideas are the key to innovation and sustainable transformation (Hargadon & Sutton, 2000). Successful organizations devote time and effort to empower intellectual instincts from among all levels of their hierarchies. Absent that, and as virtuoso leaders in an industry that is “playing catch up,” our responsibilities to lead dramatic change require the following actions:

  1. Volunteer to take the toughest assignments; the seemingly impossible is always possible.

  2. Receive and listen to ALL ideas from ANYONE;

  3. Read broadly and read often. Acceptance and understanding of different world views are characteristics of effective leaders.   

  4. Find and recruit the best people, not just those who are available. Within the organization, there are many very talented people who never get asked to participate or join a committee;

  5. Articulate the vision, the emotional attachment that drives inspiration;

  6. Accept all as equal colleagues; share knowledge and information readily and freely;

  7. Fearlessness; not all actions will be accepted with open arms. Keep moving forward.



American Hospital Association (2014). Building a leadership team for the health care organization of the future. Retrieved from

Boynton, A. & Fischer, B. (2005). Virtuoso teams: Lessons from teams that changes their worlds. Harlow, England UK: Prentice Hall Financial Times.

Burns, J. (1997). Leadership. New York, NY: Harper & Row.

Hargadon, A. & Sutton, B. (200). Building an innovation factory. Harvard Business Review, 78(3),157-66, 217



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