MATT SNOW

Snow

Executive director of facilities - Baptist Health Paducah

Age: 31

Education: MBA, health care management, Western Governor's University; BS, mechanical engineering, University of Kentucky.

Some of Snow's professional accomplishments include:

n Responsible for safe and reliable operation of all Baptist Health hospital facilities.

n Marcum Engineering, 2012-2014, designed HVAC systems and managed projects including McCracken County High School.

n Sales engineer, Harshaw Trane, selling HVAC equipment to owners, engineers and contractors.

A few of the organizations he has been involved in:

n Paducah Young Professionals, founding and current co-chair.

n Leadership Paducah Foundation, served as president and vice president.

n Heartland Worship Center, Sunday School, cabinet officer, Jumpstart program.

What is the biggest challenge for a young leader in today's workplace?

I have found that most people view a leader in the organization as someone with many years of experiences from which they can draw to make decisions. Unfortunately, young leaders in the workplace do not have the years of experience people expect … which is a difficult challenge to overcome. While this is challenging, I think it can be overcome by having an appropriate attitude of respect and perseverance to learn quickly. By communicating effectively and leveraging relationships with our more experienced counterparts, young professionals can prove their leadership abilities and make well-informed decisions based on input from the appropriate people. In my opinion, sometimes inexperience can be an advantage. I think Liz Wiseman said it best in her book "Rookie Smarts": "When the world is changing quickly, experience can become a curse, trapping us in old ways of doing and knowing, while inexperience can be a blessing, freeing us to improvise and adapt quickly to changing circumstances."

What is one characteristic that you believe every leader should possess?

Picking one single characteristic that a leader should possess is very difficult because there are many that are so important. As I think through which are most important, the ones that come to mind that are essential include integrity, respect, clarity, confidence, caring, compassion, and collaboration. The one that young professionals I believe need to have in particular is confidence. Young professionals have the ability to lead and have input that can be extremely valuable, so they shouldn't lack the confidence to speak up. For every leader, however, integrity is the one characteristic that every leader must possess. One single lapse in integrity can ruin a person's career. Those that follow this leader could immediately lose their trust in a person if their intentions are not solid. Their intentions and how they act must always be in sync. In the book "Speed of Trust," by Stephen M.R. Covey, he discusses the impact of integrity on trust. I couldn't agree more with his statement, "A person has integrity when there is no gap between intent and behavior … when he or she is whole, seamless, the same -- inside and out. I call this 'congruence.' And it is congruence -- not compliance -- that will ultimately create credibility and trust."

What are you doing to ensure you continue to grow and develop as a leader?

There are several avenues that I take to ensure continued development as a leader. The first and most obvious is to attend any leadership development training that I can, including recently attending a Leadership Institute in Phoenix, Arizona, that was provided by the American Society of Healthcare Engineers. Another avenue that I take is to volunteer as much as possible on nonprofit boards. Every time I get involved on a board, whether it be a charitable mission, professional society, or chamber of commerce related, I always strive to take a leadership role by holding an officer position and/or a board chair/president position. I have done this with the Leadership Paducah Foundation, Paducah Young Professionals, Kentucky Society of Healthcare Engineers, West Kentucky Regional Chamber Alliance, and McCracken County High School Family Resource Youth Services Center. John Williams Sr., founder of CSI, has said that one of the best ways to gain leadership experience is to serve on a nonprofit board. I believe this to be great advice, and I have taken it to heart. Lastly, for all of my direct reports at work and myself, I have started a Leadership Development Book Club. We read through leadership development books similar to the ones mentioned above and discuss them every couple of weeks. I have found this to help me personally, and all of our department leaders have improved their own leadership skills through it as well.

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