Pursuing a Master’s in Healthcare Administration has truly opened my mindset and vision for opportunities in the future to better healthcare especially with training I have received throughout medical school. I have found that truly visionary leaders look outside their disciplines as part of their visioning process. So I wanted to share three sources I have chosen unrelated to healthcare. They are Walmart, Berkshire Hathaway, and Amazon.
I chose Walmart and Berkshire Hathaway because they have stood the test of time. In a world that is constantly changing with newer ideas and better versions of what’s in front of you, it’s difficult to stand up to the test of time. In terms of Walmart, what are their strategies to keep their customers coming back? How do they engage new customers? The same could be said for patients if you will. How can a healthcare entity be “the place” to go for your healthcare needs the same way you would go to Walmart for your needs over Kroger or Publix or any other supermarket? You want to create rapport and stay that way without becoming complacent.
Warren Buffett is one of the best investors of all time, and you may have heard of his company, Berkshire Hathaway. Buffett demonstrates vision in the sector of business that I believe can be applied to healthcare. He advises people to continually learn new things, be humble, and build relationships to be successful. He also advises avoiding herd mentality. Avoid buying the latest and greatest of what everyone else is buying as they are probably overvalued. This applies to your hospital—take a good look at what is actually needed to perform at top level versus finding ways to pay for the latest and greatest that may not always be necessary. Buffett also keeps a lot of cash on hand stating, “so that we can both withstand unprecedented losses and . . . quickly seize acquisition or investment opportunities.” This should be a rule of thumb for any entity or business. It’s always better to have net gain than loss so you hold the cards. Another great piece of advice from him is knowing when to cut your losses—difficult to do, but necessary so you don’t dig your hole deeper.
Amazon founder and CEO, Jeff Bezos, also shares words of wisdom that I believe share a lot about his vision, innovation, and success with Amazon that can be applied to any healthcare entity. He shares that one should be customer-obsessed, be passionate, and be ready to take big risks and fail. “We take risks all the time, we talk about failure,” he said. “We need big failures in order to move the needle. If we don’t, we’re not swinging enough. You really should be swinging hard, and you will fail, but that’s okay.”
Who do you look to for inspiration on being a visionary? What is your visionary process?