Trinity Health Transformation
Triannual I
Triannual II
Triannual III


Block III: Alignment

What you’ll learn in this module

In this Alignment module, we’ll work through the future of leadership, the leader’s purpose, and flipping the organization to serve those who are in our charge. We’ll begin to “burn away” what is no longer serving that purpose and make room in our schedules for doing the essential work of a leader.

The Future of Leadership


To kick off our Alignment section and get all of our leaders on the same page, Jennifer spoke on the future of leadership. 

Simon Sinek’s video showed us that a leader is not someone who is in charge but rather someone who cares for and is responsible for those who are in their charge. 

This mindset flips the focus of leadership from that of self preservation – what is best for me, my success, my goals, and my future – to service to others – what is best for all of us, our sucesss, and how everyone can be lifted higher together. 

By focusing on serving those who are “in our charge” we are also helping our team become better at serving our patients and customers rather than simply serving the internal organization and spending our resources on meetings and internal processes. 

Healthcare is one of the only industries that has developed without providing directed, intentional training on the work of being a leader. We’re often trained only on the science and procedures of what is necessary to implement the care and services. 

This Leadership Quest is going to allow us to grow our own skills as leaders and improve our abilities to coach and train our employees to be better leaders themselves. It will equip us to not only teach them how to do the tasks of the job, but how to continue to develop as leaders themselves and develop the potential of their direct reports as well and to provide an exceptional customer experience.

Flipping Your Focus/Servant Leadership


Building on the idea of flipping our focus, we looked deeper at the models of traditional leadership and that internal, inward focus of serving ourselves, the organization, and the leaders above us.

This is another example of where other industries have outpaced healthcare and led the way in service to their employees and customers. Where healthcare may not have built the infrastructure to support this new focus, as leaders, we can set the tone and lead by example for this better way.

How do we change our processes to be able to serve those in our charge and reorient our focus to serve our employees, our patients, and the community?

Servant leadership is the model for our new future and will see leadership as an opportunity to benefit others. It will have us focus on measuring our success through growth and development, will have us share power and control with our teams to drive engagement, and will have us focus on what is for the benefit of all.

Trinity Health has been ahead of the curve on servant leadership and our team has already made incredible strides to live out this human and team centered focus, but recommitting to this focus will help us be an even stronger and more powerful team.

As a refresher, here are some ways to be a servant leader:

1. Lead by example
2. Show your team “why” their job matters
3. Encourage teamwork
4. Help your team grow and develop
5. Care for your team personally
6. Ask for feedback

Take some time to review page 18 of your Planner and think through the biggest challenges and opportunities that will come with shifting our focus from traditional leadership and being in charge to embodying servant leadership and serving those who are in our charge. 

The Leader's Purpose


We heard from Curly in the City Slickers clip that the secret to happiness in life is to find our one thing. 

Just one thing that our life is all about to simplify every pursuit. For leaders, with all of the frameworks and tools and techniques we have to do our roles better, they all boil down to just one thing: to make things grow.

If we think about that one thing through the lens of our Four Focuses, we can see how that one thing gives us an easy, clear directive about what to do next –

1. Resilience: our one thing around resilience is growing our personal abilities, growing a bigger reservoir of personal, physical, emotional, and mental strength, and growing our team’s resilience and adaptability in the face of change. So, as a leader who’s comitted to growth, we would find opportunities to do things off our bucket list or work through the resiiency challenge to grow those reserves. And, we’d encourage our team to do the same.

2. Engagement: our one thing for engagement is to grow our team’s abilities, their competence and capacity in their role so they can feel more confident, more assured, and more fulfilled by the workt that they do. As a leader, we would enact our one thing and help them grow through coaching, rounding, providing access to training and education, and providing them opportunities to use their skills to the fullest, serve, and have a deep, lasting impact.

3. Experience: our one thing for experience is to grow the health of our patients by providing exceptional care and grow everyday in providing top notch service to our customers and clients. We can grow our team’s skills through models like RELATE and ServiceFIRST that give us frameworks on how to be more attentive, a better listener, and become more caring and compassionate.

4. Innovation: our one thing for engagement is growing the operations of the organization. Through discovering a better way and continously and consistently growing our skills, we are able to increase efficiency, improve outcomes, and grow the business’ impact and bottom line.

While we have many tools and techniques and frameworks, distilling everything to our “one thing” helps make the next right step clear, actionable, and effective, no matter what element of our work we’re addressing.

“You know what the secret to life is? One thing. Just one thing. Once you figure it out, you stick to that.” – Curly

Exercise: Take one morning or one afternoon when you’re feeling overwhelmed and rethink every next action through this “one thing” lens. If your sole purpose as a leader is simply this one thing – growing, what would be the next best move? 

Growing and Burning


While growing is our one thing, anyone who’s worked in a garden or observed the work of forestry knows that sometimes, in order for things to grow, there needs to be pruning or prescriptive burning to clear out what’s dead, ineffective, and in the way of the path to growth. 

As a leader, we’re always going to be moving toward a state of growing – creating new things, taking on new roles, innovating our operations, etc. But, to do this effectively, we also have to be constantly burning away the things that prohibit growth and do not serve us, our teams, or the organization. 

We learned four ways to burn things away – be it unnecessary meetings, reports, or activities that you just can’t maintain to be an effective leader. Here are the four ways –

1. DELETE: Remove unnecessary time wasters from your schedule such as projects you never complete or unproductive meetings. 

2. DELEGATE: Assign important tasks to someone else to help them grow.

3. DEFER: Postpone essential tasks that don’t need handled right now. 

4. DO: Complete tasks that only take a couple of minutes. Getting them over and done with, now!

 If we don’t find a way to burn away things that aren’t serving our ultimate purpose, we won’t be able to live out that purpose. We can’t grow if we’re bogged down by all of these extra tasks that tear us away from what matters most. 

Know this. Without burning these things down, you will burn out. 

In healthcare, we know all too well that burn out is a real challenge, but consciously committing to burning things down that distract us is essential to our overall well being and effectiveness as a leader. 

TO DO: Use the “Burning Ideas” section at the end of each of your “This Month’s Accomplishments” worksheet and bring those ideas to your Leader-to-Leader 1:1 meetings. Ask your leader for support in how you can delete, delegate, defer, or do these items and burn them away for good, getting back to your ultimate purpose of long term, sustainable growth. 


Integrating What You’ve Learned


Access a digital download of the Triannual I Planner with Triannual I content and all planning pages from April 4th, 2022 to July 18th, 2022.


Download the Leader-to-Leader Update and Leader-to-Leader Agenda to prepare for your 1:1 meetings with your leader and direct reports.


Vision, Focus, Alignment, Action

Block I: Vision

In this Vision module, we’ll take a moment to reflect on our COVID experience and honor the strength, heroism, and grit of our incredible Trinity Health Team, we’ll dig into our current state to see where we are now, and we’ll set a powerful vision for the future of leadership at Trinity Health.


In this Focus module, we’ll acknowledge all of the things that pull our focus as healthcare leaders and simplify what’s most important to only four focuses: resilience, engagement, experience, and innovation. We’ll set the stage for framing ALL leadership functions around these core four.

Block III: Alignment

In this Alignment module, we’ll work through the future of leadership, the leader’s purpose, and flipping the organization to serve those who are in our charge. We’ll begin to “burn away” what is no longer serving that purpose and make room in our schedules for doing the essential work of a leader.

Block IV: Action

In the Action module, we’ll deep dive into our everyday schedules and re-orient our plans around the four focuses of a leader. You’ll integrate everything you’ve learned and leave this workshop style section having completed detailed annual, quarterly, monthly, and weekly plans in your Triannual I planner. 

Trinity Health Transformation
Triannual I
Triannual II
Triannual III

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