Marty’s Corner: The Many Facets of Leadership
Our team recently attended the Association for Healthcare Foodservice Annual Conference, as we do each year. The program for that conference is always strong and this year was no exception. The opening keynote speaker was Mark Sanborn, whose session was entitled, “Leading the Revolution – What to Do Now!” I first heard Mark speak at a leadership conference for the (former) American Dietetic Association the year I was its president. It happened to be Mark’s 50th birthday that day. Our board of directors was each given his book, You Don’t Need a Title to be a Leader, which I very much enjoyed reading. Mark spoke about the fact that you sometimes need to disrupt the status quo, eliminate those in the organization who impede progress (he calls them “tub stoppers”, as in the near-universal but mind-boggling practice of hotel housekeepers to put the stopper down), and focus on developing not only your team members but yourself.
Another terrific general session was “Work Culture Revolution – Why Staff Engagement Matters”, given by Maggie Hsu from Zappos.com. She also spoke about the need to develop employees and how a lack of professional development opportunities can affect employee retention. She emphasized that business decisions need to be transparent and not always from the top down. She described a different organizational structure called a “holacracy”, where there are no bosses or managers, employees set their own priorities and deadlines.
I’m personally always fascinated by the topic of changing demographics and so was intrigued by John Maketa’s general session, “Demographics and Impact – Charting the Course Through Demographic Change.” He discussed how the workforce is changing in terms of millennials and their values/priorities, the increasing presence of women in leadership roles, and the changing racial and ethnic makeup of our country. There were plenty of other great sessions at the conference, including panels of highly-respected AHF leaders, discussing their challenges and innovations at their respective workplaces. The AHF Annual Conference is always a great place to “re-charge” and is packed with thought-provoking sessions that help you to re-examine how you conduct business and how you can continue to serve both your customers and work colleagues better.
Article by: Marty Yadrick, MBI, MS, RDN, FAND - Director of Nutrition Informatics and former President of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics; Fusion, 4th Quarter, 2017