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The Gracious Leader: Janet Smith Meeks, MBA, BBA

Updated: Feb 6

The author of Gracious Leadership: Lead Like You’ve Never Led Before, Janet Meeks has devoted four decades of her professional life to the healthcare and financial services industries. During the course of her career, she honed a leadership philosophy that transformed organizations by emphasizing positive corporate cultures, accountability, and something called the “Head-Heart Connection.” In this podcast Janet shares the story of her journey.

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Janet has served in Executive roles for four nationally known healthcare systems including the $14 Billion Trinity Health, one of the nation’s largest faith-based, non-profit healthcare systems, and the prestigious $5 Billion Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Before entering the healthcare sector, she worked in the financial services industry for Bank of Mississippi (now BancorpSouth, Inc). As CEO of Healthcare Alignment Advisors, Janet guides C-Suite Executives regarding strategies to optimize corporate performance within a positive work environment. Her depth and breadth of skills make her a sought-after business advisor, mentor, and inspirational keynote speaker across multiple industries. Janet has extensive board experience and currently serves as an Independent Director for Capitol Series Trust with more than $1 Billion in assets under management. She also serves on the Board of Directors for National Church Residences, the nation’s largest, non-profit provider of affordable housing for seniors in 27 states.

Janet’s Prescription for Success

Number 1: Take more risk relative to your career advancement and ask for opportunity. Timing is critical and if you’re asking for promotion or a stretch assignment or a new opportunity, your likelihood of getting a “yes” is better if you’re already a trusted proven performer.

Number 2: Make seeking feedback a ritual. When you are asking someone for feedback, it makes them feel valued, respected and appreciated.

Number 3: We travel at the speed of sound and we want everything done immediately, but sometimes you get greater results more quickly if you have enough discipline to slow down before you speed up. Take the time to understand the dynamics of an issue and lay the groundwork before you charge ahead.

Connect with Janet:

Notable Quotes from Janet’s Interview:

As a leader you must have the courage to do what is right, to be truthful, especially when it is not popular.
You should never underestimate the power and the impact of the seemingly small acts of kindness
One of the most important lessons I learned early on was not to be too proud to ask for help.
It’s the responsibility of the leader to connect the dots for an employee so that they can see that direct line of sight between what they are doing every single day and the overall big picture objective of the organization.
You don’t have time to identify people doing great work, but yet we make the time to deal with the poor performance. What’s wrong with that picture?
My deep conviction about gracious leadership is that it is not soft whatsoever. It’s about the reality that you can be tough and kind concurrently; that you can require accountability and be compassionate.

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