Authenticity in the New Year

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David FoxBy David R. Fox, CRA, FAHRA

Happy New Year, everyone! It’s 2015 and this is my mid-year report for my AHRA presidency. I’ve learned that truly effective leaders are most often authentic, genuine, and transparent. With that mindset, I write this presidential holiday briefing with some… realistic authentic transparency. I still have memos on my desk from April 2014 in my unique ‘stacking’ filing system (I’m certain some of you probably use as well): stack it in a pile, maybe on a monthly basis, and then start a new pile at the beginning of the next month. When I need to retrieve a document, I know that I have it somewhere nearby, but it will take a few minutes and maybe a few stacks to find exactly where it is! This is embarrassingly ridiculous but if I’m honest, I think it’s normal. There just aren’t enough hours in the day for me accomplish every well intended undertaking I have.

Self-awareness is very important in recognizing leadership strengths and occasional flaws. I’m flawed in certain areas of my style of leadership. I recognize this and rely on the strengths of those around me to support me in areas where I’m lacking. It causes me to reflect and ask, is this normal? Have you felt this way too? I’m reminded of a book by John Ortberg called Everybody’s Normal Till You Get to Know Them. Ortberg delivers a compelling message on living (and as I interpreted, leading) in a community. He reveals the benefits of authenticity and being your true self. He also encourages the reader to trade the stones it’s so easy to cast at others for acceptance, regardless of the uniqueness that leads us to ask what is normal. It’s an interesting read and perhaps could help you understand your place in your community, both at work and at home.

The AHRA Board continues to craft new initiatives with your best professional interests at heart. Along with the dedicated work of some wonderful volunteers on several committees, our association is positioning itself for some additional growth opportunities in professional relevance, membership, and educational offerings. These bold initiatives take time to mold and shape into products for use by our members. The work I am helping to lead today may not fully mature until well after my presidency. However, this isn’t about me or my presidency, it’s much more about doing what is right and what is needed.

So after my term as president has been served, who will see to it that these bold growth opportunities are completed and brought forth to the membership? If you’re reading this, it could very well be you. Arguably, one of our most important committees is our Nominations Committee, led by our immediate past president, Ed Yoder. The Nominations Committee is currently seeking nominations for candidates to represent the membership and the profession on the AHRA Board of Directors and as President-Elect. Nominations will be accepted until January 23. The Nominations Committee will review the nominees, and the selected slate of AHRA candidates will be presented to the membership for voting online, May 1-29. New Board members and the President-elect will be installed at the 2015 AHRA Annual Meeting, July 19-22 in Las Vegas, NV.  Nominees must be AHRA members in good standing.

In this new year, we will need new people willing to look beyond their own flaws and give their time. While my flawed system for filing memos may not be normal, it works for me, is effective for meeting my needs, and is a part of my leadership style. Please do take the time to start the new year off by nominating yourself or a colleague whom you deem qualified and prepared to help mold, craft, and lead our association.

David R. Fox, CRA, FAHRA is president of the 2014-2015 AHRA Board of Directors. He is the president of Saint Vincent Health-North Hospital in Sherwood, AR and can be reached at

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