Follow the Leader

Equal parts inspirational and motivational

If you’ve ever had the good fortune to work for an exceptional leader, you know the type: someone who can inspire, motivate and empower—someone who lays the groundwork for personal and organizational success. The best part is that these gifted few drive you to do more, better and faster—and you want to do what is asked because you believe in the vision and in them. It’s rare for all these traits and skills to align, so if you have come across one of these leaders, consider yourself lucky. (If this describes you, congratulations!)

This month, QP’s stars aligned to bring you an issue dedicated to stories of exemplary leadership. Within the articles you’ll find tips and ideas for encouraging and inspiring these qualities within your own sphere of influence—and embodying them yourself.

Many quality and healthcare professionals have rallied around the nomination of Don Berwick, M.D., to head the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. While we’ve heard much about Berwick’s accomplishments at the helm of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, we know a bit less about how he arrived where he is today. Not anymore. Author Charles Kenney takes on the task of profiling this visionary leader in "Reviving Healthcare." Whether or not you support Berwick’s nomination to this important post, his ability to lead change is admirable.

"Time to Align" describes the relationships among culture, vision, leadership and quality, and argues that all are needed in the right amounts to achieve success. Author David Pietenpol also explains why it’s so important that quality become embedded in an organization’s culture, so that it is no longer a goal but a norm.

Another article follows our leadership theme: Ford CEO Alan Mulally has all but become the poster child for promoting quality as a driver of corporate success and competitive position. I had the good fortune of seeing Mulally deliver the keynote address at ASQ’s World Conference on Quality and Improvement (WCQI) in May, and I offer some highlights in "Built-in Quality." Accompanying that piece is an exclusive Q&A transcribed from a conversation Mulally had with ASQ executives before his address. Mulally’s support of ASQ’s quality commitment is gratifying and humbling. If you’d like to see video of Mulally’s address, visit www.asq.org/members/mulally-wcqi.html.

The ASQ WCQI is always a gold mine for the ideas, inspiration and authors we rely upon to make QP the leading publication in the quality field. I always walk away with many promising article leads, but there is always room for more. If you are interested in writing an article, please consider submitting it to QP. Author guidelines can be found here: www.asq.org/qualityprogress/information/authorguidelines/index.htm.

Seiche Sanders

Seiche Sanders

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