Former Mercy exec hopes to deliver results

Print Print
Sunday, October 28, 2007
— You say you were a born leader?

If that’s true, then consider yourself lucky. For those who weren’t so ordained in the delivery room, studies show that only 2 percent of people in leadership positions have been trained as leaders.

“Most people, if they’re good at what they do, get promoted and find themselves in a leadership role with absolutely no training on how to be a leader,” said Quint Studer, a former Mercy Health System official and current consultant to the health care industry.

“If things get too bad for these people, we might offer them some help. The rest are left wondering, ‘What am I doing here?’”

Studer has written a book that tries to help those in either category.

“Results That Last: Hardwiring Behaviors That Will Take Your Company To The Top” hit bookstores last week. His publisher, John Wiley & Sons, expects the book to be one of its top-selling business books in 2008.

Studer earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in special education from UW-Whitewater. In the 1970s, he was a special education teacher at Parker High School in Janesville and Harvard High School in Harvard, Ill. After working for the Cooperative Educational Service Agency and Parkside Lodge, he jumped into the health care industry in 1987 when he was hired as Mercy Hospital’s director of marketing.

Studer eventually left Mercy for leadership roles at hospitals in Chicago and Pensacola, Fla. He then formed the Studer Group, which today delivers leadership training to businesses around the country from its base in Pensacola.

Studer and his colleagues speak to thousands of health-care employees annually about the importance of purpose, worthwhile work and making a difference.

His most recent book isn’t his first. But it is his first that goes beyond health care leaders to a general business audience.

The book tries to explain in simple terms how to create and sustain quality leadership.

“I like to say it’s about putting the right DNA in place,” he said. “I want to help create something that lasts for more than one cycle of leadership.

“It’s all about building a culture that not only works for today but lasts for tomorrow.”

Too often, Studer has heard employees say they want to work in a particular department within a company but not another. They want to work in the south-side store, but they don’t want anything to do with the east-side operation.

The problem, he said, boils down to a lack of consistent leadership across the company. His strategies are drawn from evidence-based leadership, practices that have been proven to result in the best possible outcomes.

One of the main themes in Studer’s book focuses on dealing with sub-par performers.

“Most initiatives get off to a good start and ultimately fail because in America we’re not good with dealing with sub-par performance,” he said. “Sup-par performers suck the energy out of everyone else.

“You’ve got to manage those people up or move them out.”

Studies show that managers spend six hours dealing with poor performers for every hour they spend with high performers. The poor performers typically make up 8 percent of the work force, while the high performers represent the remaining 92 percent.

“We need to get those managers to spend 92 percent of their time with that 92 percent of the population,” he said.

Last updated: 10:23 am Thursday, December 13, 2012

Print Print