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J. Stephen Jones Encourages the Next Generation of Health Care Executives to Lead with Purpose
Master of Health Administration (MHA) students recently had the opportunity to speak with J. Stephen Jones, president and CEO of Inova Health System, one of Virginia’s largest hospital systems. Jones shared his leadership philosophy and advice with MHA students as part of the HAP 704 Executive Speaker Series, where students meet highly-respected leaders in the industry.
"All of you have chosen to pursue leadership," Jones says before sharing his perspective on the role leaders play in health care organizations.
"Leadership is usually not what people think it is," says Jones. "It's not about having power or being the boss. Leadership is about getting others to achieve something they wouldn't naturally do—or do as well—on their own; It's having an impact and making something happen that wouldn't have happened at all."
Chadwick Smith, medical director of a leading health system and online MHA student, values the Executive Speaker Series as an opportunity to learn from health executives like Jones. "Dr. Jones' discussion brought home the real-world importance of all the topics we have discussed during the past six weeks," says Smith. "I cannot think of any better presentation than the one tonight to emphasize the importance of communication, leadership, and teams in health care administration."
Nafis Labib, MHA student, found Jones' presentation highly relevant to his career goals. "One of the points that resonated the most was [the importance of] having credibility," says Labib. "My priority is to build up credibility as a health care leader so that I can impact the health care policies in my home country of Bangladesh for the better."
Students left the presentation feeling motivated to implement the advice they received from Jones after meeting with him.
"Dr. Jones emphasized having a leadership philosophy that inspires others to action," says Maria Uriyo, instructional assistant professor and MHA online coordinator in the Health Administration and Policy (HAP) department. "This is possible by recognizing teamwork is not about 'me' but 'we' and that successful leaders serve."
Jones' presentation was followed by a question and answer session, which generated a range of discussion topics. Students were interested in learning more about overcoming leadership challenges surrounding COVID, building credibility through education and work experience, and managing the increasing use of telehealth and ambulatory care by health care systems.
Jones' presentation concluded the HAP 704 Executive Speaker Series for the fall 2021 semester. The series gave MHA students opportunities to network with prominent health care executives throughout the semester and discover new perspectives from the speaker’s vast experience in the health administration field.
Thank you to Jones and all of this semester's guest speakers for investing time to speak with our MHA students and continuing Mason's ongoing relationship with local health care organizations. Visit the HAP 704 Executive Series web page for a complete list of this semester's speakers.