1. Setting the Stage

April 15, 2024

Deborah Kumar

  1. Setting the Stage: Embracing Your Role as an Interim Healthcare Leader


As you embark on your journey as a Parisi interim healthcare leader, the initial moments are pivotal for laying the groundwork for success. While experience and expertise may precede you, the path to effective leadership begins with proactive engagement and a deep understanding of your new environment.


  1. Take Charge from Day One


Seize the reins of your new role with confidence and initiative. Rather than waiting for direction, dive into your responsibilities headfirst. The goals are set, the expectations clear—now is the time to make your mark.


  1. Understand Your Department’s Place


Familiarize yourself with the organizational landscape and the role your department plays within it. Connect with fellow leaders to grasp the broader perspective and identify opportunities for collaboration and alignment across departments.


  1. Embrace Appreciative Inquiry (AI)


AI offers a powerful framework for understanding and mobilizing your team towards shared goals. Start with the Discovery phase, engaging each team member individually to uncover insights, strengths, and aspirations. (See Parisi Leadership blog: “Using I2E2:  Step 1 – Involving the Team and Creating a Vision”)


  1. Conduct Appreciative Interviews


Prioritize one-on-one conversations with every team member, asking tailored questions to explore their experiences, perspectives, and aspirations. Listen attentively, take notes, and affirm your commitment to honoring their input.


  1. Foster a Visionary Culture


Encourage team members to dream and articulate their vision for the future during the interview process. By fostering a culture of collective envisioning, you set the stage for realizing shared aspirations and organizational goals.


  1. Maintain Visibility


Balancing interviews and meetings with on-the-ground presence is essential. Ensure visibility across all shifts, fostering trust and rapport with team members at every level.


  1. Prepare for the Next Phase


As you complete the first month, anticipate transitioning to the Dream Phase of AI. Reflect on insights gathered and consider how to elevate and celebrate successes while charting the course for future achievements.




Your role as an interim healthcare leader is not to maintain the status quo but to inspire and guide your team towards excellence. By taking proactive steps to understand, engage, and empower your team, you pave the way for transformative change and sustained success. Stay tuned as we delve deeper into the next phase of our journey exploring strategies to cultivate a culture of appreciation and achievement.


 Cooperrider D, Whitney D: Appreciative Inquiry: a Positive Revolution in Change, Berkett-Koehler Publishing, Inc. 2005. page vii

[2] Tulgan, B. It’s OK to Be the Boss.  Collins. 2007 page 56

[3] Cooperrider D, Whitney D: Appreciative Inquiry: a Positive Revolution in Change, Berkett-Koehler Publishing, Inc. 2005. page 25