WCED Blog


C-Suite Perspectives with Donald Gintzig: Strong Leadership at the Top of WakeMed

“A leader is a person who understands their own and others’ unique gifts and brings them together to accomplish a greater good.”

Donald Gintzig, president and CEO of WakeMed Health & Hospitals, shared those words with us at the Raleigh Chamber’s first virtual C-Suite Perspectives.

Gintzig certainly has been busy in recent weeks, leading WakeMed’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

But, he was quick to talk about his employees and thank them for all that they are doing on a daily basis.

“Our employees are doing amazing work,” he said. “Times like this bring out the best of people.”

Gintzig shared WakeMed’s nearly 60-year history of serving the community, and how many of their employees are second and third-generation employees of WakeMed.

Much of Gintzig’s leadership journey was shaped by his time in the U.S. Navy. He served as a commanding officer and reservist in the Navy. A retired Rear Admiral, Gintzig served as acting deputy surgeon general of the Navy for the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery. He also has served as CEO/COO for hospitals across the country.

His time in the military also helped prepare him for the challenge he is facing right now, leading WakeMed during the pandemic.

“Through the military, I learned that you plan for multiple scenarios and you plan for what to do after the conflict,” said Gintzig.

Gintzig shared 10 military leadership characteristics:

  • Ability to get things done
  • Teamwork
  • The ability to make tough decisions
  • Communication
  • Discipline
  • Strong, personal example
  • Flexibility
  • Perseverance
  • Virtue
  • The ability to empower

The ability to empower, Gintzig said, is critical for a strong leader.

“Great leaders empower others to innovate,” he said. “You have to focus on short-term and long-term priorities. Strategy is key to innovation.”

 An example, he pointed out, would be keeping a company in good financial shape right now while driving the right innovation strategy.

Gintzig also discussed how it is important for a leader to define clearly and own his or her organization’s vision for innovation.

We want to thank Gintzig for sharing these lessons and perspectives with us, in particular during such a challenging time.

The Raleigh Chamber wants to thank their C-Suite Perspectives sponsors for their continued support. It is critical for us to maintain that level of support in order to be able to offer such informative, compelling content.

The Chamber’s next C-Suite Perspectives will take place on June 5. Please check the event page later for updates about the speaker.

 

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