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September 21, 2023

Focus and Vision: Key Components of a Strong Leader

Focus and Vision: Key Components of a Strong Leader
by Nashville Health Care Council | Oct 02, 2014

Dr. Wright Pinson, deputy vice chancellor for health affairs, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, inspired LHC members with a lesson in leadership and change management at a luncheon on Tuesday, September 30. His favorite piece of advice? “It’s a marathon, not a sprint.”

Pinson believes that a leader’s role includes stepping back from the activities right at hand and looking at the overall picture. Leaders think ahead and articulate a vision, then communicate that goal to a group of individuals and mobilize them to accomplish it.

As both an accomplished surgeon and businessman, Pinson stresses the value of continuing education.

“Leaders need to educate themselves, and they need to work at it.”

He reminded LHC members that in addition to learning the technical, managerial skills, they should also focus on humanistic, leadership skills. Pinson advises that it is critically important to focus on the needs of the people around you – including peers, employees and employers. These needs include opportunity for personal development, appreciation and efficient work systems, as well as good working relationships.

To build positive relationships within an organization, Pinson suggests the Compliment to Criticism Ratio: three compliments to every one criticism. Positive reinforcements keep people engaged and motivated.

Pinson closed the program by reminding LHC members to stay focused on the core values and cultures of the organization. This is widely reported as a key influencer in a person’s working environment, and Pinson suggest that setting balanced goals in support helps create a positive workplace.

The discussion with Dr. Wright Pinson is part of ongoing programming for the Council’s Leadership Health Care initiative, offering members insight from national industry leaders in an interactive setting. For more information about Leadership Health Care,

C. Wright Pinson, MBA, M.D., is the deputy vice chancellor for health affairs at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and serves as CEO of the Vanderbilt Health System. This includes 2,000 academic clinical physicians, four hospitals with 62,000 admissions annually, 62,000 operations annually, 100 outpatient clinics with 2 million visits annually, and a yearly budget of $3 billion. Recently, he helped organize and became chairman of the board of the Vanderbilt Health Affiliated Network, a system covering the state of Tennessee.  Previously. he held positions as chief medical officer and chief of staff of the Vanderbilt Hospitals, H. William Scott professor and chairman of the department of surgery, and director of the Vanderbilt Transplant Center.

Pinson attended Miami University and the University of Colorado, graduating with distinction in physics.  While an engineer for IBM, he completed his MBA.  At Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, he trained in general and transplant surgery and is boarded in surgery and in critical care.  He now chairs the board of directors for the Governor’s Foundation for Health and Wellness of Tennessee.

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