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Keep On Keeping On

If you missed hearing Ruth Brinkley at the Women Leading Kentucky Roundtable in February, you missed a very good presentation of how she leads complex healthcare organizations. As President & CEO of KentuckyOne Health, Brinkley assured the sold-out crowd that her guidelines applied to women in any career field.

First, her philosophy of leadership: “It’s about the mission of the organization — delivering care (services) to those we’ve pledged to serve — and I expect people to give their best and commit to the mission.” This works for all of us, whether in sales, finance, retail or another field. Make sure you understand your mission and work hard to bring it about. “I particularly look for people who have deep experience,” she said, “who are resilient, have a lot of grit and determination and who are willing to hang in here for the long term.”

She spoke of three traits that she thought had helped her move ahead:
1. Readiness. Recognize your fears and deal with them, aware that we all feel afraid at one time or another. Take a risk. Make yourself useful to the organization by learning its language, its values. Package your skills and abilities so that organization management sees your value.
2. Resilience. Persevere, persevere, persevere. And take the time to restore, recharge yourself so that you have the energy needed.
3. Results. Keep your eye on what you want for your future. How is your current position helping or hindering your move toward your larger goals. Sometimes you may need to leave a position in order to get ahead. Be aware of what you’ve learned and contributed while in your current position.  Trailblazers will always have detractors, she said. Persevere and walk away from negativity.

Very good advice for all women in business, education, non-profit worlds!

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