this event provided perspective for me as both a CEO and a board member. There are some great takeaways from Charles Weathers
and the breakout sessions that I would like to share:
- Charles Weathers reminded me there is a difference between a diverse board and an inclusive board. This is more than just optics; the opinions and experiences that an inclusive board brings allows an organization to provide better services to their community.
- “Take the best and leave the rest,” or as I think about it, taking 100% responsibility. While people like to be a hero, this requires there also be a victim and a villain. By being responsible only for yourself, you transform those roles from hero to coach, villains to challengers and victims to creators.
- Similar to responsibility, Charles reminded us to serve on boards that we have the time and passion to commit to. Being able to say “No” is very powerful because it allows us to take responsibility for our lives and benefits the organizations we do decide to work with.
- A positive relationship between a CEO and board chair is crucial. Several years ago, I had a conversation with my board chair about a family matter. In a loving and supportive way, my board chair was able to ask about my personal needs while making sure the organization would continue to be successful. Having a comfort level that allows a good working relationship between CEO and board chair contributes to organizational success.
About the Author
Michael Riordan serves as CEO of the Strategic Coordinating Organization (SCO) for Greenville Health System (GHS). GHS is one of the largest not-for-profit health systems in the Southeast with eight medical campuses, over 150 physician practice sites, more than 15,000 employees, including almost 2,000 physicians and providers, and operating revenues of approximately $2.2 billion.
Prior to joining GHS he served as president and CEO of the University of Chicago Hospitals and Health System and as senior associate hospital administrator for Emory University Hospital and Crawford Long Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia. He also served three years in the United States Marine Corps as a lieutenant.
Riordan currently serves on the governing boards of the Association of American Medical Colleges Council of Teaching Hospitals and Health Systems, and Health Sciences South Carolina. He is Chairman of the Furman University Board of Trustees and serves on the board of Liberty Fellowship, an incubator for leadership in South Carolina.
Riordan earned a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts/English and a master’s degree in education/psychology from Columbia University in New York, as well as a master’s degree in health systems from the Georgia Institute of Technology.