This month, Straub Medical Center
Vice-President for Patient Services and Chief Nurse Executive Andrew Moats took
time to share insights into his background and approach to leadership, and some
words of advice.
for us your unique path to leadership.
I started my career as a floor nurse
on a medical surgical unit at Straub. I also worked in other areas,
experiencing a range of different patient populations and shift types. After a
few years I was asked to take on the role of temporary supervisor for the 4th,
5th and 6th floors. I hesitantly took that position, eventually becoming
permanent supervisor, and found that I loved it. While in that role, when
managers took vacations I would fill in for them on their units. I then became
manager of the 6th floor and spent several years working as manager
of medical surgical units. During that time, I enrolled in the UH Executive
Program in Nursing Administration and got my Master’s Degree. I was then
promoted to Director of Hospital Operations. In that role I oversaw a variety
of different departments – inpatient, ancillary, and some outpatient areas.
After our CNE left, I was named temporary CNE in addition to Director of
Hospital Operations for about a year, and became permanent in both roles for a
year after that. This summer I was promoted to Vice President of Patient
Services and permanent Chief Nurse Executive.
or what influenced your leadership style?
I’ve been fortunate to have had the
opportunity to work with great leaders and see their leadership style – how
people interact with them, what they do that makes them effective. I try to
take characteristics that I think work and emulate that in what I do. Probably
the one primary characteristic I’ve learned and observed is that if you put the
patient and their care first and use that as your frame of reference it usually
makes decision making easier.
Q3: What was an important early leadership lesson for you?
Probably what I learned being a
nursing supervisor. One of the things I learned early on is that staff
appreciate transparency, treating people fairly, and taking ownership for what
occurs. As a leader you need to understand the rationale for decisions made so
it can be effectively explained to staff. Your staff need to see that you are
confident in your decision and believe it’s truly the right decision for the
organization. It’s important to be aligned with your organizational leadership
team and be able to communicate things that you genuinely believe in and that are in the
best interest of the patients.
Q4: What are some things you've done in terms of influencing your facility and organization's culture?
I think it’s really making sure that
I’m acting in a way that promotes the culture I want everyone else to emulate.
I think staff look to leadership, managers, and directors to set the tone for
the organization. I always have to remember that when I’m walking around in the
halls, in the cafeteria, or talking to patients; the culture that I project is
observed and a great culture in an organization starts from the top. If people
see me not doing what I speak to, I won’t come across as genuine.
Q5: What advice
would you give to those looking to advance in the area of health care
administration and leadership?
Let your leaders know that you’re interested in advancing, and be
willing to take risks with new positions. As opportunities arise, jump at the
chance. Have the mindset that other people may see your potential more than you
see it in yourself. Be willing to take a leap of faith, and do your best with
whatever you’re given.
Mahalo, Andrew, for sharing your story and thoughts with us!