Springfield, MO

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Lisa Alexander

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Lead with Gratitude  

I can honestly say I came to CoxHealth with zero leadership skills. I had been a news reporter and was concerned with honesty, integrity and great sound bites. In retrospect, the first two are qualities of a good leader. When I arrived at the hospital I had staff, a budget, community commitments and a board to whom I answered. I needed to figure out leadership and fast.  

My boss at the time was my first great influence. He gave me confidence, telling me every day that I was doing a great job, that he was proud of each accomplishment and when I questioned my decisions, he talked me through the thought process. He remained a big influence on me until he retired. Even now I call him when I need the honesty he always offered.  

Now 29 years into my career, I’ll admit that leadership is a daily acquisition and I know I can always be a better leader if I keep trying. Leadership is not defined by the amount of experience you have. I’ve met some terrific leaders who are very early in their careers. One young man, now a VP at CoxHealth makes people feel like they are truly being heard. This is what I also strive for thanks to him-to be a better listener. To hear. To understand what people need. 

If being a great leader means you have lots of followers then I choose not to lead in this manner. I want to have people who walk beside me, to earn respect, to always be fair and open to new ideas. I want to help others succeed because success comes when my team reaches their goals. I want to be seen for my heart as much as my mind. And, if someone asks me what makes a great leader, I’ll answer by saying gratitude. Always be grateful for those who help you along the way.

Lisa Alexander  


CoxHealth Foundation 



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