An influencer for change, Antoinette Hardy-Waller is the Chief Executive Officer of The Leverage Network, a non-profit organization dedicated solely to promoting the advancement of Black professionals on Boards and in Executive Leadership roles in all sectors of the healthcare industry and beyond. The Leverage Network (TLN) has a quarterly newsletter, Leverage — in this series of articles, we’ll be recapping previous issues of this newsletter. Today, we start with Issue #6 of Winter ’22.
Antoinette Hardy-Waller leads the Winter ‘22 issue of Leverage with a beacon of success and hope. “We have created an environment where the richness of our ideas, perspectives and experiences demonstrate value for partnering organizations and businesses.” She illustrates the impressive growth of TLN’s Healthcare Board Initiative (HcBI) and Healthcare Executive Leadership (HcEL) programs. Over 30% of HcBI’s graduates now have a seat at the table, and over 40% of HcEL executives have been promoted into higher leadership roles; altogether, TLN has helped prepare over 100 executives to transform the healthcare industry. These leaders now have a greater ability to bring inclusion and equity into their organizations’ everyday operations.
Following Antoinette’s inspiring message, this issue shares highlights from TLN’s Excell Hardy’s interview with Gyasi Chisley, the Managing Director/Head of Corporate Healthcare of PNC Bank and author of the 2021 book, Healthy Disruption: The Benefit and Burden of a Black Executive In America. Chisley’s goal for Healthy Disruption was to examine the phenomena of the American healthcare system as a microcosm of our society. He identifies we have a pertinent opportunity to move forward: “COVID nearly broke the U.S. healthcare system and economy while the events that further polarized the country…nearly broke our democracy. Conversation as well as confrontation is needed before we can cure the ills of the American healthcare system.”
We all know how the pandemic has rearranged human behavior to be more virtual than ever before — and there’s no going back. Next in Leverage, Signitt’s Brand Anthropologist and CEO Anouk Pappers calls attention to the significance of your online branding: “This is how people will find you. It is how they will decide if they want to connect with you, to work for or with you; to judge whether you are the right person to fill that open role.” As such, it is all too important for leaders to establish their online personal brand and consistently publish relevant content. “Google serves as your wingman (or wingwoman!) in achieving your goals,” remarks Pappers. In our digital world, anyone and everyone will search your name online — leverage the tools at your disposal to make sure they like what they see.
The final segment of this issue of Leverage is a reminder that taking an active, conscious approach to DEI is the only way to truly implement it. John Harpole, Executive Search and Leadership Advisory Consultant at Spencer Stuart, highlights the best practices for developing diverse leadership, including setting objectives to intentionally create and maintain an inclusive pool of talent throughout the hiring process. He emphasizes that “CEOs are made, not born,” — potential can often be more valuable than prior experience, and all executives (especially CEOs) need adequate onboarding support in order to be optimally positioned to succeed. Harpole concludes, “This is not easy, but if it is done well, the leadership choices available to the board will be richer, more inclusive, and will more likely lead to enhanced performance outcomes.”
Antoinette Hardy-Waller is a change catalyst actively working to improve diversity in healthcare, for patients and employees. Antoinette founded Strategic Healthcare Transformations (SHcT), a national consulting firm assisting health systems in the development of post-acute continuums of care and population health strategies. She is also the CEO of The Leverage Network, a non-profit organization dedicated to championing African Americans to Governance and Board roles in healthcare. With 30 years of experience in healthcare leadership and experience on various boards, she has made it her mission to make people’s voices heard.