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Intermountain Health CEO Rob Allen shares advice from his predecessor | Lessons for Leaders


In this new feature, we’re going to spotlight the insights from key figures in the world of healthcare. Rob Allen shares former CEO Marc Harrison’s tip as he began his new role.

Rob Allen, Intermountain Health president and CEO, says the advice from his predecessor was simple.

Allen recently spoke with Chief Healthcare Executive® about his goals with the health system. Allen began serving as chief executive officer in December.

Allen says he will be focusing on clinicians to help them care for patients, and he says he will also be striving to improve health equity across the western states in Intermountain’s service area. Intermountain operates 33 hospitals and nearly 400 clinics in seven states throughout the west.

He also shares some advice from former Intermountain CEO Marc Harrison, who stepped down last fall to accept a new position to run a healthcare platform business for General Catalyst. Harrison led Intermountain for six years, and Allen served as his chief operating officer.

Harrison’s advice? “Be you,” Allen says. And that’s worthwhile advice for any leader.

Here’s Allen’s full answer when asked about Allen’s advice.

Question: Did Mark Harrison give you any advice?

Rob Allen:

“Mark has become a friend over the years as you might imagine, as you know, and others on this call probably know,” Allen said. “I served as his chief operating officer for most of the time of his CEO journey and, and so Mark and I talked a lot and Mark and I were early risers by nature, so we had a lot of early morning phone calls. By the way, those were probably the most enjoyable because we weren't pressed for meeting times and other things.”

“When I was hired. Mark said to me, he said, ‘Rob, the best advice I can give you is be you’,” Allen said. “Be you. Each leader brings what they bring to the organization and their time and their era. And he said, Rob, ‘Be you.' So that was his advice.”

(If you’d like to submit your idea of lessons in leadership in healthcare, great advice you’ve received, or insights you wish you had earlier, submit an idea for our “Lessons in Leadership” series. Email Ron Southwick, senior editor of Chief Healthcare Executive: [email protected])

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