I’ve had the gift of seeing a range of verticals, from aerospace and engineering to philanthropy and retail. Regardless of industry, I have learned that it’s essential to reflect on a paradigm that can truly transform organizational culture — the concept of wanting more for your team than from your team.
True leadership transcends transactional exchanges; it’s about creating an environment where team members feel valued, empowered, and motivated to bring their best to the table. When we actually invest in one another, the results will begin to manifest.
While not always easy, a posture of authenticity begins with a foundation of gratitude. As leaders, expressing genuine appreciation for the efforts of our teams not only fosters a positive workplace but also reinforces the idea that success is a collective journey. Last month, someone asked why our staff meetings are always ‘so positive’, insinuating that our meetings lacked recognition of the difficulties healthcare is facing.
My answer was simple: gratitude for one another is always welcome, but particularly important during times of duress, so we carve out a chunk of every meeting to do just that. And not by accident, our team is awesome enough that we have plenty of content. You don’t have to sacrifice kindness for execution; ironically, one breeds the other.
Every hire matters. Motivation, a cornerstone of effective leadership, flourishes when our leaders invest in the growth and well-being of their teams. Instead of merely setting targets, I want my leadership to envision themselves as mentors and guides, seeking to unlock the full potential of each person on their team. When individuals feel that their leaders genuinely care about their development, it becomes a powerful catalyst for innovation and excellence!
This was beautifully exemplified this year as I watched staff embrace large, intimidating roles; they simply needed someone to believe in them and give them a chance to flourish. New responsibilities were given because our team has built a foundation on trust and open dialogue about the importance of opportunities. As soon as an opportunity surfaced, we started tapping shoulders, even if it meant the team member left our own department and went somewhere else in the system.
Everyone reading this can immediately identify someone who cares more about your work product than they do about you. Not only does this transactional approach hurt productivity, but it also erodes trust. Authentic relationships are the bedrock of a thriving work culture. Leaders who prioritize building connections based on trust, empathy, and understanding create an atmosphere where collaboration thrives. These relationships extend beyond professional spheres, acknowledging the unique strengths and aspirations of each team member. There is no secret to this recipe for success; the approach extends from the boardroom to the classroom as I highlighted during my TED Talk.
Regardless of your position, take a moment and reflect. Are you kicking down doors for your team? Are you asking how you can help? Do you authentically care about your team’s personal and professional growth? If so, how are you measuring your impact?
Leadership isn’t about barking orders; it’s about illuminating the path forward together. When leaders want more for their teams — more growth, more opportunities, and more fulfillment — it sets the stage for unparalleled success. So, let’s foster gratitude, inspire motivation, and cultivate authentic relationships to propel our teams to new heights by wanting more for our teams than from our teams.
This piece was written by Bradd Busick, SVP and CIO at MultiCare Health System. To view the original (published on LinkedIn), please click here.