During a recent interview for our Healthcare Insight podcast, Rose Glenn — chief communications and marketing officer at Michigan Medicine and former president of the board of the American Hospital Association’s Society for Healthcare Strategy and Market Development — shares priceless advice gleaned from 30+ years of experience working for large, complex organizations.
A successful career won’t happen by accident. “I had a vision for what I wanted to do and in my mind had a roadmap on how to get there. I set my sights on wanting to be in a leadership role at one of the prestigious health systems and made the progression of my career along the lines that what would help me get here.”
Set goals for growth — and don’t limit them to your career. “I always believe that in addition to having professional goals every year, you need personal goals. Make them part of your overall direction for the year.”
Kindness trumps sharp elbows. “As important as it is to be assertive and to demonstrate strength and agility when it comes to change, it’s also really important to demonstrate kindness. I think a lot of people think you soar in a career because of sharp elbows and being really hard on people, and I’ve actually found the opposite to be true. Being kind is a great way to inspire and retain your team members.”
That doesn’t mean being a doormat. “Being kind is different than being passive or not speaking up, not speaking up and making a case for something you’re passionate about — those are all really important things to do. The mentors I learned from showed how to get a point across in a meeting without being mean or making enemies.
Mentoring is empowering for both parties. “I feel that I owe it to the people who helped me, so I really believe in mentoring younger women and men who are in my career field. I am mentoring three young women right now and I really enjoy it, and feel I get a lot out of talking to them and understanding where they’re coming from helps me with my younger team members.”
Did you know the Society for Healthcare Strategy and Market Development (SHSMD) offers a mentoring program? Learn more and sign up here.
Encourage those around you that their voice matters. “I know a young woman who was told during a review that she should be more deferential in meetings. That really concerned me because deference sounds like you’re supposed to take a seat back and not speak up—even if you’re knowledgeable about the subject or contributing to the discussion in a meaningful way. People need to be intentional when they coach young people and avoid going back to very old-fashioned thinking about deferring to the male in the room or the older person and cultivate that person’s confidence.”
Training is a team sport. “We try and integrate [professional development] into our daily practice at Michigan Medicine. For example, we have lunch-and-learns and rotate who brings in experts, so you’re inspiring people to keep up with what’s happening within your discipline and the industry. We also have workshops and created a team that holds a monthly series on diversity, equity and inclusion. There’s an abundance of great content out there, you don’t have to look far for it. Don’t rely on just yourself or any one person for education and development, you have a whole team of people and they will be excited by the challenge of helping the team grow.”
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