PFL at HopkinsIt was a treat a few weeks ago to address Ann-Michele Gundlach’s “Foundations of Leadership” course in the MHA Program at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.  Here’s an article that was published in the Winter Newsletter of the Association of University Programs in Health Administration:

For a number of years, one of the integrating activities of the Foundations of Leadership course in the MHA Program at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health has been the HBR case study, Paul Levy: Taking Charge at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.  This case study CD details the steps Mr. Levy undertook as the new CEO to turnaround this failing medical institution and features him discussing progress over his first six months in the job. This year we were privileged to have Mr. Levy attend the last class of the term as our guest speaker and provide an engaging “live case” experience. True to his persona in the case study CD, Mr. Levy was stimulating and forthright as he recounted his experience with the BIDMC turnaround. Additionally, he offered leadership lessons for building and revitalizing a health care institution in this age of change. This rare opportunity to learn firsthand brought theory to life.

A number of leadership lessons stood out from Mr. Levy’s talk. First and foremost, he emphasized the importance of developing trust through transparency and consistency. This has been the theme of his blog about running a hospital which he began publishing in 2006 second lesson was about the importance of creating an environment in which people can learn and achieve. This is underscored by his philosophy that “people want to do good in the world” and they can through their work in health care organizations.  Of the many other points Mr. Levy made about leadership, perhaps the most salient was that “people want to know there is someone in charge who cares about them.” Rounding out his talk was the emphasis Mr. Levy placed on the importance of patient safety in the delivery of health care services and the leader’s role in ensuring its primacy.

Mr. Levy also graciously provided each student in the class with a copy of his book Goal Play! Leadership Lessons from the Soccer Field which he wrote as a guide to improving leadership. We could not have had a better finish to this course than having Paul Levy bring this case study to life.