Education: Bachelor’s degree, sociology, Princeton University; MBA, University of Chicago
What’s the best business lesson you’ve learned?
Always think through the implications of decisions that are made. That is thinking through the impact of a decision on various groups of people employees, physicians, community, the board. Thinking things through to the point where you don’t get caught by surprise because some group reacts negatively and you think, ‘Darn, I should have thought of that.’ I think just viewing the consequences of your actions on various constituents and anticipating reactions, and therefore, make sure that when decisions are made, you anticipate reactions. Also related to that is communicating to those constituents in advance of a decision, so they’re aware of it and understand the reasons for it. In other words, preselling and precommunicating the action so you can mitigate negative reaction. Better still is getting input from those constituents before the decision is made.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Throughout my childhood, I wanted to be a doctor. My father is a physician, so I always figured I would follow in his footsteps. I started college with that in mind, but midway through I changed courses when it became apparent to me that it really wasn’t my forte because I wasn’t interested in the hard sciences.
The field of hospital administration I chose because I liked health care, and if I wasn’t going to be a doctor, I still wanted to be in health care, and administration seemed to be a better fit for my skills and interests.
My major was sociology. It’s not a terribly ... useful major, but as it turned out, that since I entered hospital administration, it was relevant in terms of relationships and people skills.
What was your first job?
I really did not have a real job until the summer after my freshman year in college. My job at that time was a busboy in a restaurant in Ocean City, N.J. about as low level of a job as you can find.