Here is what I know. Black Lives Matter. The murder of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and so many others are horrible and reprehensible. Police brutality and the continued acts of violence, most notably against black men and women, cannot continue.
I also know that it is a challenging time and that leading during prolonged periods of uncertainty and difficulty like we have experienced over the past several months and continue to experience is hard. I worry about my family, my team, and their families and my community. Every day brings difficult decisions, and complex problems to navigate. It is tiring and stressful.
I share this with you because I want to be transparent. I think the best way to lead and care for those for whom I am responsible is to let them know what I’m feeling–to be upfront and honest about my experiences.
I am steady and confident in my management decisions as I continue to lead 8,000 team members through a global health crisis. We have done excellent work, and I am immensely proud and grateful for all that my team has accomplished, but that does not preclude anxious or challenging moments. And just as I share with my team our tactics for delivering the best care possible while combating a pandemic, I also communicate to them my personal feelings and the challenges I’m facing.
To lead and to lead well is to be strategic and thoughtful but is also to be kind, honest, and most notably vulnerable. It’s about looking at yourself and then sharing who you are with others—your failures, your struggles, and your successes. By letting team members see my true self—good and bad—and acknowledging that things can be hard sometimes, and that’s okay, gives them a license to be authentic too. It also creates an incredible bond of trust and mutual respect that is invaluable and incredibly special.
But it is important to remember now more than ever that embracing vulnerability allows you to have open and honest conversations, even when they are difficult and uncomfortable. In the days and weeks ahead, I am committed to having those conversations. I’m committed to listening, learning, reflecting, and doing better. I’m also committed to taking the necessary steps to ensure that my words and actions lead to meaningful change at TGH and in my community.