Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Meeting a Humble Leader

Last week, I was at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) National Forum and I had the wonderful opportunity to hear General Stanley McChrystal give a plenary address on leadership. General McChrystal graduated from West Point in 1976, became an Army Ranger and rose through the ranks. In 1990, he became an action officer for Army Special Operations, working in Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC). In 1991, he saw action in the Desert Shield and Desert Storm tours. His last assignment was as Commander, International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and Commander, U.S. Forces Afghanistan (USFOR-A). He previously served as Commander of JSOC from 2003 to 2008, where he was credited with the death of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, leader of Al-Qaeda in Iraq.

General McChrystal spoke about the need to communicate quickly and up and down throughout the ranks in order to get the job done as leaders. He explained how JSOC was able to defeat Al-Qaeda in Iraq by changing the existing top-down communication system and getting the whole team involved in decision making. I reflected that we do not work under such a continually high pressure, high stakes environment, but to get to our vision, we could learn a lot from General McChrystal’s work.

As many of you know, this year GBMC has teamed up with WMAR-TV ABC2 to collect hundreds of needed items for the Fill the House initiative for the House of Ruth. Recently, we added a different twist. Instead of collecting parking fees, we handed out flyers asking visitors to "pay it forward" by donating much-needed items to the House of Ruth. Many visitors opted to “open their wallets” and gave money on the spot to help the cause. I am happy to announce that we collected over $4,000.00 for the House of Ruth. I want to thank all members of The GBMC leadership team who worked the parking booths along with the many people who helped with the campaign.

I know that you who attended this year’s annual Employee Holiday Meal enjoyed the good food and festivities. This is a system tradition that draws many GBMC HealthCare employees. Music filled the air at the meals as members of the GBMC Holiday Choir put on a wonderful lunch-time concert. Thanks to all who did their part to make sure this year’s event was a success and I wish you all Happy Holidays!

Wishing all those who celebrate the Festival of Lights a very Happy Hanukkah.

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