CEO blog: Popsicles and leadership

As regular readers of this blog know, I have monthly “Coffee Chat with Julia” (last month was a summer “popsicle chat”) opportunities with the Holland Bloorview team.

Why? I know that I can lead better by deepening my relationship with my team. These informal chats help me to do that. To make effective decisions you have to have multiple sources of insight: evidence and data, plans, surveys, external reviews, etc. This is especially important to me as we close out year 5 of our current strategic plan “Leadership in Childhood Disability” and develop our strategy for the next 5 years. And we can’t forget that I am still in my learning journey at Holland Bloorview.

Now, with my second anniversary at Holland Bloorview in sight, I’d like to supplement the coffee chats with “Skip Level” meetings. No, there is no actual skipping involved (but I probably could be convinced…). These are meetings I’ll be scheduling with the people who report to my direct reports. In other words, my office will be reaching out to schedule ½ hour meetings with people who report to Judy Hunter, Golda Milo-Manson, Stewart Wong, Diane Savage, Ben Sybring, Tom Chau and Marilyn Ballantyne.

So what am I likely to ask during the meeting?

What’s one thing you love about Holland Bloorview (or your job)?

What’s one thing you wish were different (and how might you make it so)?

What should I know about you?

What would you like to know from/about me?

This kind of information gathering helps me do a better job of supporting the whole Holland Bloorview team and opens and sustains lines of communication. Listening to people within Holland Bloorview is a critical source of insight for me. And listening to as diverse a set of internal voices with different points of view will deepen that insight.

It’s pretty simple: Meet more people. Chat more with greater intention. Learn and reflect. And then, together continue to build on the boundless potential of our clients and families.


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