This post was written by Gretchen Hammer, a previous member of our team.
“Looking at something and seeing it not for what you are looking at in the moment but for the potential that it may have…there is an expectation that things can grow beyond exactly what you see in front of you.”
Majora Carter, urban revitalization strategist and
Keynote Speaker at CCMU’s Annual Luncheon
For the past three years now, I've had the opportunity to coach my seven-year-old's soccer team. At every practice, we work to improve our dribbling skills, understand the rules of the game, and the beginnings of how to work together as a team. Come game time though, I am careful not to "over coach" and to just let the boys play. One exception is that after every halftime, when the teams switch sides, I always walk on the field and ask my starting four, "what direction are we going?" Most of the time four arms fly up and point toward our new goal. Every once in a while though, one player will not have made the halftime directional shift and points in the wrong direction. This quick check-in helps to remind them of our new direction and ensures that all members of the team are on the same page.
Inspiring a Shared Vision is one of the Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership, and I believe it the hardest of the five. The others, Modeling the Way, Challenging the Process, Enabling Others to Act, and Encouraging the Heart are by no means easy. They take high levels of emotional intelligence, practice, and discipline, but Inspiring a Shared Vision requires first that you have a vision.
Over the last year, as we have developed the Colorado Network of Health Alliances, we have had the opportunity to get to know and learn from a wide array of incredible local leaders. These leaders have looked at the health care system in their community, seen its potential, and worked with their community to establish a shared vision for its future.
In many communities across Colorado, a more accessible health care system is a key part of their community vision. In the next six months, the expansion of Medicaid and the launch of Connect for Health Colorado will be a significant opportunity for communities to secure one part of the access equation: health insurance. Communities aiming to create a more accessible health care system are furiously working to maximize the impact of the new opportunities for coverage. In parallel, they are working on other key aspects of the access equation: the availability of health care services and improving the efficiency of their health care systems through things like electronically-connected health care providers and community-based supports for people transitioning between health care settings.
During the crunch time of change, it is easy to lose sight of the shared vision and the connection to people in the community. At our Health is Local event next week, we aim to begin a conversation about how health care leaders in Colorado can stay connected with members of the community and their shared vision for a better health care system. We will also explore how we can recognize and celebrate progress toward our vision, as well as identify and rectify areas where our efforts are not having the intended outcomes. We are pleased to host Majora Carter, a nationally-celebrated urban revitalization strategist who has worked to engage and inspire change in communities across the nation.
We hope you will join us for this important conversation.