Dan Woloszyn has been in executive hospital leadership for 23 years, including nine years in his current role as the CEO of Rehab Hospital of Indiana (RHI). He has a unique management approach, combining servant leadership with understanding the neuropsychology of corporate hospital systems. Not only does he believe in looking at this neuropsychology from a clinical perspective, but through an administrative lens as well.
In today’s episode, you will hear how he incorporates these two philosophies into his everyday life, along with tangible examples of how to apply cross-sectional leadership to your own work.
Truth You Can Act On
1. Reach out, communicate, and serve others.
Dan Woloszyn: “You don’t have to be expert in everything, but there is one thing that I really believe one has to be expert in, certainly from a leadership standpoint, is to reach out and know others, and to serve others . You have to have an expertise with that to kind of drive a reduction of silos and an elimination of silos. And that can be done through one’s own expertise or actively seeking other’s expertise.”
Dan Wolosyzn: “I think each person and each leader truly has to believe it’s a privilege to serve others unconditionally. There’s a professional and humanistic component to that. My true belief is you have to love something about the people you lead to be truly elite effectively. If you don’t love something about the people you lead, you probably are not in the right place, and you’re probably not in the right place to be a leader.”
2. Trust and transparency are the foundations of cross sectional leadership.
Dan Woloszyn: “Being transparent about self, and certainly being honest, is extremely important. It’s being honest about one’s approach and any errors that might be committed and examples of approaches to correct the errors and how to grow with that. My belief is you have to think out loud and you have to be able to help others to get a sense of your own thought process as a leader and how you came to certain conclusions. I know sometimes that’s difficult for people to do, but it’s extremely beneficial where it helps in a sense to become kind of an external organizer for others, where you move from a point of, of brainstorming out loud a problem you might be faced with, verbalizing struggles, and even kind of working through some of those tactics out loud so others can benefit from a variety of things. I think what it does is it certainly lends to a relationship building and credibility and honesty and transparency.”
3. Model the behavior you are looking for in your culture.
Dan Woloszyn: “First and foremost, it has to start with me. Laying the foundation has to be about modeling and certainly me believing in and what truly is important for our organization. There’s always an expectation to look at the glass half full and everything that we do in a respectful way while modeling that and handing off to others who also will hand off to others, and that kind of permeates throughout the system.”
4. Make it a habit to regularly invite your leaders for collaboration and relationship building.
Dan Woloszyn: ”I think there’s a conscious effort to tie others, to create alliances, not only within the organization, but outside the organization, within our community and really address this kind of holistically. Concretely, we do this a lot. I invite staff and leaders, online staff leaders, all different, team members, to our department meetings. I invite them to board meetings. I have them look at operational pathways they’ve generated and share their stories, because without that you truly understand the nature of what everybody’s doing amongst the organization.”
- Dare to Lead by Brené Brown
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