In this episode, Heather speaks with Mario Harding, Associate Chief Operating Officer at Denver Health, about the origins of his leadership style, leading him to success as a humble leader. Mario relays a story when he was not present for his team during a time when they needed him. He sheds light on important qualities of a leader: vulnerability, being present, taking care of yourself first, balance, putting yourself out there for your team, giving yourself grace, and a strong support network.
Heather and Mario also discuss how to reconcile personal drive with true care, as well as the sacrifices necessary in leadership— not only to care for others but to care for yourself better as a leader. Delegation can be key to improving yourself, by allowing you to be more present and providing others with opportunities to grow.
- Don’t let your circumstances define what you can do.
- Take care of yourself and balance priority projects.
- As a leader, always be present especially during tough times.
- Be a vulnerable leader and put yourself out there.
- Being a leader means giving yourself grace.
- Ask yourself as a leader, “What can I let go of?”
- Delegation can be seen as giving a gift to someone else.
- Hear from other leaders; let their stories lift you out of self-doubt.
What an insightful episode! Hope you don’t miss this!
Seeing Both Sides
My leadership journey continues to evolve and grow. I’ve been in the healthcare industry for over 20 plus years now. I have worked at various organizations and hospitals that have way more money.
Then there are places like Denver Health, whose mission is to serve the underserved, the uninsured, and the very vulnerable patient population. So along with that comes this humility that I’ve been able to see both sides. As a leader, I continue to learn and to educate myself from others.
Building Support Systems
I’ve had times where I’ve made mistakes or failures, but I don’t let that override what I’ve accomplished. I try to find some balance in making sure of the things that I do and how I contribute to the organization. It’s also critical to be authentic and at the same time making sure that the things that you’re doing are really valuable to your time as well.
If you are striving for perfection, if that’s what you choose to do, just know that you may not get there. But why put that on yourself? I think it’s extremely and absolutely critically important as a leader that when you find yourself in a place where you make a mistake, learn from it, move on and forgive yourself.
But like I said, learning point. I think the other thing that comes to mind really is also about surrounding yourself with people who support you. Whether it’s professionally or personally, you’re going to need folks to maybe vent, have honest conversations, or have something that’s creating a challenge for you.
It’s absolutely important to help people more to build you up and not tear you down when you need it the most. Again, Support. Surround yourself while there’s enough negativity out. With the pandemic right now, there just is.
Personal and Professional
I don’t know it all as a leader. You have to be in a position to make sure that you rely on those around you who may have greater experience or knowledge in the subject to help you get to where you need to be. That has helped me in the years as a healthcare lever.
I look for opportunities to find leaders who need to be elevated and taken out of their comfort zone a bit. As I work with my direct reports, I really encourage them to do the same—find someone who has a voice but may need to be given the opportunity to use that voice more so than they have in the past. I am very much about supporting my team, lifting them up, and being transparent
I want to do more. I want to do better. I’m blessed because having people around me to help support my career certainly has put me in a place that has impacted my leadership role. I take that personal side really intersects with my professional journey.