Leadership and diversity were topics of discussion at this month’s Women in Technology – Tennessee (WiTT) Executive Briefing, with Brookdale Chief Executive Officer Lucinda (Cindy) Baier as the featured speaker. Baier shared her belief that a great leader has to work harder than everyone else, and make sure that the credit for success goes to the people who made it happen. She is a firm believer in “servant leadership.” She believes that as one rises through the ranks of a company, expectations of you increase. As CEO of Brookdale, she takes this very seriously and thinks about the constituencies who are important to Brookdale in all her decision-making. Baier always remembers that she is ultimately responsible for the 75,000 residents and 20,000 patients Brookdale serves, the 60,000 associates who chose to work at Brookdale, and the shareholders who have trusted the company enough to invest so that Brookdale can continue its mission. She is passionate that the company’s mission is so important that Brookdale must succeed for all of them.
Regarding diversity, Baier said leaders must make sure they are looking at a variety of candidates when making hiring decisions. They must be intentional about broadening the search field. She said it is best to ensure diversity in more than just gender or race, that a company also needs diversity of thought and in skill sets to make the right team.