“Most anybody can [build a high-performing team],” says Stephen Swensen. For leaders, the one phrase that signifies success in the eyes of those you serve is, “My supervisor cares about me as a person.”
“Who can’t do that?” asks Swensen. “That’s the sine qua non of an effective leader.”
“All of us in health care, we’re leaders. It just depends on the level where you want to call the leader,” adds Mary O’Connor. “If someone is motivated, absolutely, almost any individual can create a high-performing team.”
But at the end of the day, remember that our work is about patients, Tom Lee reminds the audience. “The work has to begin by defining a population of patients, what their needs are, and then saying, ‘Our team has a reason to exist, and our reason to exist is, we’re going to move the needle on something related to that patient population that matters to them.’”
“You need a reason for the team to exist. I don’t think this is in conflict with having high morale, but I don’t think you can have the high morale without that sort of mission,” says Lee.
From the NEJM Catalyst event Essentials of High-Performing Organizations, held at the University of Michigan’s Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation, July 25, 2018.