Mount Auburn CEO Delivers First Distinguished Guest Lecture

11/17/2010

Jeanette Clough Shares Leadership Principles and Practices

Most companies fail not because they lack of vision; rather, they fail to execute that vision effectively, contended Suffolk University’s first Distinguished Guest Lecturer in Healthcare Administration, Jeanette G. Clough, in her first guest lecture. Delivered on November 3, 2010, it drew a large, attentive audience of students, faculty, and alumni. Jeanette herself is a graduate of Suffolk's MHA Program.

Jeanette Clough

Jeanette Clough
President and CEO of Mount Auburn Hospital

A former nurse who pursued a career as a healthcare executive, she’s now a trustee of the American Hospital Association and president and CEO of Mount Auburn Hospital, where she oversees a $350-million annual budget and guides 2,800 staff and 850 physicians. Boston Business Journal named Mount Auburn a “best place to work” for the fifth consecutive year in 2010.

In a lecture titled “Thoughts on Leadership,” she offered rich insights into the challenges of leading a major hospital in a complex industry that’s undergoing massive changes. Summarized, those insights may seem like familiar Management 101 content. But hearing her discuss them within the context of real-world workplace conditions – including her dramatic turnaround of a financially failing hospital – brought home how much effort and resourcefulness are required to execute a vision successfully and why there is no substitute for effective leadership. View a video of Jeanette's lecture

Jeanette Clough

Suffolk MHA graduate Linda Akuamoah-Boateng, Jeanette Clough, and
Suffolk MHA student Mary Ann Walsh

In the Q&A following her lecture, Jeanette was asked how she connects with her own employees. Her answer revealed an exceptionally accessible CEO. She holds frequent employee forums to discuss finances and projects under way and to answer questions. Staff can call her President’s Hotline to report concerns. She relies on key staff to be out and about and to relay information from the front lines. She writes a column for Mount Auburn’s magazine. She socializes with employees. And Mount Auburn honors employees-of-the-month and holds employee award ceremonies. You can never do enough to communicate with employees, she stressed.

Her leadership principles in a nutshell are these: Lead with passion and commitment. Think long term. Focus on results. Invest in employees and partner with MDs. Communicate, communicate, communicate. Celebrate often. Love what you do! And, “Bloom wherever you are planted!”

Apart from the reference to MDs, that guidance surely has value for workplaces of all kinds.

To read Jeanette’s alumni profile, click here. To read about her role in our April 2009 panel Women Making a Difference in Healthcare, click here

Suffolk MHA students Jenni Bendfeldt and Christine Kady contributed to this news story.

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