Engage, Learn, Adapt, Lead with Merritt McKenzie, MSHA

The Healthcare QualityCast

Engage, Learn, Adapt, Lead with Merritt McKenzie, MSHA

October 12, 2021

Engage, Learn, Adapt, Lead with Merritt McKenzie, MSHA

Meet today’s guest, Merritt Mckenzie, a health care executive who is passionate about growing and scaling organizations through personnel development to impact patients, families, and the community. With over 26 years of experience, starting as an occupational therapist, then a certified hand therapist, Merit later moved into leadership roles including running a sales organization, and lastly took up the role of General Manager.

In this episode, Merritt discusses leadership in health care services, with particular emphasis on qualities and tools of great leadership, as well as challenges leaders face with practical solutions.

Top Takeaways

  • [01:20] Step into your greatness; Don’t be afraid of calculated risks. It is through those risks that you end up learning, developing, and becoming better in your career.
  • [08:22] Critical concepts that emerging healthcare leaders should have: Diversity within the workforce, Embracing Technology, Empowerment Leadership, and Being Innovative.  
  • [12:20] Leaders tend to always want to have the answer because they know it already, rather they should be the last to speak and ask more of the questions. 
  • [19:14] Lessons learned from successes and failures: Firstly, it is so important that leaders are intentional about mentoring someone but also sponsorship as well. Secondly, be courageous and listen to your inner voice.
  • [26:10] Personal leadership tools: Self-awareness; leaders need to be aware of the impact they are having on others around them. Another is that we should be obsessively curious about people around us if we hope to be impactful in their lives. Other tools include the Strengths Finder tool and the Predictive Index. 
  • [30:22] Lessons from an influential leader: Treat people well, be thoughtful and kind to people. 
  • [38:30] Leaders do not take time to engage their employees and strategize to harness the full value of their employees. Leaders also often fail to be intentional about listening to all stakeholders at every level of the organization.
  • [44:32] Best career advice ever: “Be You”; there’s only one person that can be the best you there is, and that’s you.
  • [48:25] Key attributes of an effective Healthcare leader: Engage, Learn, Adapt, Lead. 
  • [52:08] Professional Groups recommended for listeners; A.C.H.E (American College of Healthcare Executives), N.A.H.S.E (National Association of Health Service Executives), The Private Directors Association, The Black Corporate Board Readiness Program.
  • [54:20] Books Recommended: “Unleashed: The Unapologetic Leader’s Guide to Empowering Everyone Around You” by Frances X. Frei “The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership” by John C. Maxwell
  • [56:13] Advice for health organizations: Be intentional about having a program to develop leaders, and make no assumptions that it is happening organically. 
  • [57:43] I want to be intentional about helping team members and colleagues grow and prosper personally and professionally. Hopefully, this shows in clinical outcomes and the growth of the business.

Key Quotes:

“The best way to predict the future is to create it” – [Abraham Lincoln]

“It is important to step into your greatness”

“What fear did I confront today?”

“Companies who are diverse in their workforce as well as their senior leadership, outperform other companies who are homogenous”

“Be intentional and unafraid to pilot and test things as much as possible”

“Know that you were called for this, you may not be perfect, but it’s not about perfection, It’s about the process”

“Many years ago, I intentionally wanted to make sure I left any person I engaged…better than I found them”


Find | Merritt Mckenzie On LinkedIn

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