What qualities make for a good leader?
A good leader sees and stays open to many possibilities while simultaneously driving forward on the path that can impact the mission most. A good leader actively listens to information from many perspectives, asks targeted questions, and grows others with opportunities to do challenging work and make difficult decisions. An ‘aha’ moment for me was in 2011 when, at a leadership development conference, I looked around the room and realized people with vastly different personalities and skillsets can be impactful leaders - there is no single recipe.
Can you describe your leadership style?
I am a strategist who models an inclusive leadership style. I like to hear from everyone on the team, while I guide the organization toward the goals we need to achieve.
Has your style always been this way, or has it evolved?
It has evolved. Many years ago, I struggled to feel satisfied in my first significant leadership position because I was no longer directly producing programmatic outcomes. Over the years, I learned leadership is a long game, albeit interspersed with plenty of urgent decision-making. Now, as I focus more on strategic positioning, my style has evolved to embrace making introductions, putting ideas and concepts out there for others to run with, and getting people the resources and connections they need.
Has the COVID-19 pandemic and remote work affected your leadership style?
When we were all in the office daily and regularly out at community meetings, I think we took for granted the informal moments that happened around formal interactions. With remote work and fewer community gatherings, as a leader I am conscious of the precious moments I get to interact with others, whether virtually or in-person, in less formal ways.
Who are or have been your role models?
I had two great mentors in the early stages of my career. One was a strong role model for succeeding as a female in a male-dominated profession. The other taught me to lead from a deep grounding in fairness, equity, and ethics while focusing on the long-term impact.
What about your leadership do you want others to model?
Fairness, listening, and building partnerships that will remain intact through future leadership changes. No one person can create the level of change needed to bring equity in healthcare access and close the disparities in outcomes. Building strong partnerships is essential.
What are you most proud of when it comes to this honor?
Although I do not seek the limelight or accolades, I am very proud of what I have contributed and built in our community. I think of my work as planting ideas, nourishing their growth, and tending the seedlings until others take up the call for their success. I am also incredibly proud of helping other women to grow and become impactful leaders. From my time leading projects in Egypt, to running women’s health services across Maryland, and now at PCC, the women I have met or mentored have grown into leaders themselves.
What do you consider your greatest achievements?
I am proud to be a founding partner in Nexus Montgomery. This partnership among the six local hospitals creates positive impact for the shared community in ways that no single hospital could achieve on its own. Earlier in my leadership career, I also mentored women in Egypt and took great pride in modeling an inclusive leadership style for them that they had not experienced before. It was enormously satisfying and made a difference in their careers and lives.
What would you like your legacy to be?
I would like for the partnerships and programs I had a hand in bringing to fruition to thrive for as long as the community gets benefit from them.