Discuss one element of Nancy’s story that resonated with your own, and explore how her example and advice might help you navigate the road ahead.
Nancy’s story was nothing short of remarkable. Although she is inspirational on so many levels, the one element of her story that resonated with me the most was her leadership style. In particular, she emphasized the importance of taking calculated risks, being open to new ideas, and remaining humble. It was clear to me that Nancy was a doer, not a dreamer; she saw the problems in the Henry Ford Health System and made it her personal mission to institute change, against all odds. During the economic turmoil in Detroit, she could have simply allowed the system to continue in the trajectory of her predecessors, but she had a vision of how the health system should run and let nothing come in the way of achieving that goal.
What really stood out to me, though, was that despite being so accomplished, her humility shone through as she spoke. I really appreciated how she made an active effort to remember the names of everyone in the hospital, making them feel valued and respected. She understands that the health system is a multifaceted organization and that there must be mutual respect between employers and employees at each level. When making decisions, she listened to and took into account the needs and opinions of her employees—an important characteristic of a strong leader.
I learned a lot from Nancy’s story about being an effective leader and will carry her words with me throughout my experiences in health care. In my conversation with my mentor this week, we discussed the various avenues and opportunities for leadership as a physician, including mentorship roles and sitting on boards of national healthcare organizations. I certainly hope to pursue some of these opportunities in the future, and I will do my best to emulate Nancy’s values of mutual respect, initiative, and perseverance.