The 91st episode of the Good Leadership Breakfast aired on the eve of Memorial Day Weekend. The virtual format allowed a large cadre of good leaders to tune in while preparing for the unofficial beginning of summer. And what a treat they received, meeting Megan Remark, President and CEO of Regions Hospital in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Megan’s charisma and mental toughness captivated our small studio audience (yes, things are opening up) – all I had to do was ask the simple question: “What was it like, running a hospital during the pandemic?”

 

 

 

 

Unvarnished honesty

That stage was set for that question by a compellingly simple video, which featured the front-line and last-chance healthcare workers from the Regions hospital team. The sincerity and hauntingly beautiful portraits were captured by Avi Nahum, an internal medicine physician at Regions, who was determined to capture the humanity of the caregivers, amidst the sea of Covid-related despair. Learn more about this project. 

“What I learned the most about myself as a leader, was that leadership in a crisis is about quick decision-making and a relentless focus on the needs of our people. Nothing else mattered,” recalled Remark. “The biggest change in me was realizing that we all had to be honest when responding to the question ‘how are you doing?’ It wasn’t helpful to say you were fine, if you were really hurting. We needed to have that shared experience to support each other when things were really, really difficult.”

Simple self-care

So, how did she blow off steam and recharge her batteries? “I have a long commute to work, so I regularly put on some of my favorite music and sing along at the top of my lungs. It really helps me,” she shared. You’ll have to tune into the podcast to hear what songs she’s been singing along with lately.

 

The full interview of Megan is available online, and on the Goodness Pays Leadership Podcast.