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One Health leaders shared their expertise with students during a panel at the One Health Leadership Experience.

One Health experts share leadership wisdom

What is one suggestion or leadership lesson you've learned in your career? Guest speakers at the 2015 One Health Leadership Experience took turns answering that question during a panel session on Sunday morning, Aug. 23.

Here are some of their words of wisdom about leadership (speakers' comments have been edited and condensed).

Dr. Frank Cerra, University of Minnesota: "You need to know who you are and where you want to go. Then you need to learn how to create opportunities to engage. This is about changing culture. Culture, in my opinion, is changed one dialogue at a time. Learning how to either recognize or create opportunities for engagement with another person or group of people is a critical skill. Learn how to listen …. You are more likely to create opportunities by who you are and what you do, then have them roll down the hill to you."

Dr. Susan Shaw, Saskatchewan Health Quality Council and University of Saskatchewan College of Medicine: "Life is a constant job interview. People are watching you, your behaviour, listening to your words, observing your actions … If you know who you are, opportunities will show up and you have to take them."

Dr. Peter Rabinowitz, University of Washington School of Public Health: "Email is going to destroy more relationships than it's going to build for you … I've seen emails destroy leadership, management situations and relationships. Don't write an email. Pick up the phone. Go to someone and actually talk to them."

Dr. Colin Basler, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: "There are a variety of different leadership styles you will be exposed to. You will have great opportunities to see what works for other people and see what aspects you would like to model It's very easy to see how some people can have a more motivated team and have an easier time getting things accomplished just by valuing and having a more collaborative effort."

Jesssica Smidt of the Mayo Clinic shares her experience. Photo by Myrna MacDonald.

Dr. Judith Bossé, Natural Resources Canada: "All leaders see far ahead. Resilience is built by celebrating small steps. You have to celebrate your small victories, even if you celebrate by yourself. You aim far and appreciate every step you do. Sometimes it's going to be two forward and three backward. Celebrate the two forward first. . . It's not just where you want to go, it's how you're going to do it, what you want to accomplish and how you want to accomplish it through others. It's not about you, it's about others."

Jessica Smidt, Mayo Clinic: "One thing I'd like to touch on that's been very beneficial for me is treating everyone as a valuable member of the team. Focusing on everybody's strengths and making sure that whenever you're engaging with the person that you're bringing in – find something they enjoy so they're able to find focus and value and meaning in it. Focusing on everyone's positives, rather than focusing on things you don't want them to do. Uplifting them and including the whole entire group. A team approach and not having a single person above, commanding orders."

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