Kathi Graham-Leviss

Recent Posts

Making Leadership Development a Priority in an Ever-evolving Healthcare Environment

Posted by Kathi Graham-Leviss on Oct 30, 2018 10:17:27 AM right
Leading Courageously and Bringing Others Along

Optimizing leadership skills and building a deep pipeline of executive-ready talent is more critical than ever, given a fast-and-ever-evolving healthcare environment. With the introduction of new laws, regulations, care coordination, and payment models, new leadership styles need to be implemented to effectively lead and manage in the new paradigm. However, alongside the need for modern leadership competencies is the need to address an impending talent shortage of leader ready talent. In fact, executive turnover is expected to increase due to a high number of leaders eligible for retirement, combined with a shortage of senior leader ready talent.

To survive, and thrive, healthcare organizations must take advantage of all its institutional talent. Yet, this can only be achieved if leaders widely embrace the need to address the issue of leadership development. Healthcare organizations, like many, are slow to invest resources to identify and develop next generation talent. This is problematic in light of our research that shows a significant gap between what directors do well and what is needed to be a successful executive. This is a classic case of "what got you here, won't get you there".

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The Solution to Talent Shortages Facing Life Sciences Companies

Posted by Kathi Graham-Leviss on Apr 6, 2018 3:22:00 PM right

A recent study highlights a pervasive challenge facing the pharmaceutical and life sciences industry, and that is a lack of talent. The study found that 51 percent of CEOs of life sciences and pharma companies admit to greater difficulties attracting and retaining the right people, more than any other industry in the study.


In fact, one of the greatest challenges on the horizon for pharmaceutical and life science companies is filling vacant positions and decreasing the time-to-fill for those positions. On average, pharma hiring decision-makers report they are currently 14 percent understaffed and have roughly 212 open positions at this time. Additionally, they report that it takes an average of 105 days, essentially 3 ½ months, to recruit and hire non-executive positions.


These lengthy vacancies are quickly eating away at corporate profits. In fact, companies lose $500 a day for every job that stays vacant. Given the average time-to-fill among pharma decision-makers is 105 days, and that amounts to $52,000 per vacancy.


Lack of Right Skills and Culture Fit Key Contributors

For many pharma decision-makers, sourcing good candidates is hard and finding qualified applicants can be even harder. Yet, finding the best-fit talent both in culture and skill-set can be downright excruciating. Consider that 76 percent of Pharma HR-decision makers agree, “when positions become available at my organization, we struggle to find people whose skills match the job requirements,” and 70 percent say, “we struggle to find people who are a good cultural fit.”


Pharmaceutical and life sciences leaders will need to increasingly leverage data and analytics to bring greater accuracy, efficiency and predictability to the hiring process. As pharma companies continue to struggle with turnover, open positions and costly vacancies, they simply can’t take a chance on anyone who doesn’t measure up.


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Topics: Succession Planning, Performance Management, Recruitment

Is Your Team Joined at the Hip, or Disjointed?

Posted by Kathi Graham-Leviss on May 24, 2017 9:47:02 AM right

In the age of lean organizations, most work groups in existence today are being pushed to evolve toward a team philosophy as the span of control of management widens. From executive teams and project teams to marketing and sales teams, team structures are vital to the way most organizations organize and deliver their work. However, all teams are not created equal. A key distinguisher among successful companies is their ability to create and maintain high-performing, effective work teams to deploy complex business strategies.

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3 Tips for Communicating with Your Company's Top Performers

Posted by Kathi Graham-Leviss on Mar 23, 2017 2:11:39 PM right


High-maintenance high-performers: Working with a high-performer can be either exhilarating or exasperating. It all depends on how you react to the challenges that come with it. Most likely, this high-performer can be also high-maintenance – which has its benefits along with its drawbacks.

Usually high performers are inspiring, charismatic, focused, direct and driving. Yet with their high-maintenance flaws like being confrontational, demanding, and impatient, it’s often hard to align goals and strategies with such roadblocks between the lines of communication.

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Topics: Coaching and Training, Performance Management

Subtle Cues That Can Help You Close More Sales

Posted by Kathi Graham-Leviss on Jan 18, 2017 3:33:09 PM right

People-reading Skills For Salespeople – Subtle Cues That Can Help You Close More Sales


Salespeople constantly hear that they must know our prospects and sell to them in the way in which they want to be sold. However, within the short time span of an initial meeting or lunch, many salespeople don’t have much time to observe, much less make qualified decisions about the communication methods of those we meet. The DISC Behavioral Profile can offer some much needed assistance in making quick assessments. Using the cues below, you can easily gather some basic information to help you tailor your sales approach “on the fly” and potentially close more sales.


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Topics: Coaching and Training, Performance Management

6 Areas for Managers to Develop in 2017

Posted by Kathi Graham-Leviss on Jan 11, 2017 10:19:37 AM right

It's that time of year again, the time when everything seems new and we all begin to dream of ways to plan (and accomplish) what we’ve let “slide” during the old year. For managers, New Year’s resolutions can be extremely valuable. However, many simply make broad plans to close more sales, get more done during the day or have better working relationships without considering how to accomplish those goals. Here are some basic skills you and your team can improve upon in 2017 that will have a profound, positive effect on everything else you do.

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Topics: Coaching and Training, Performance Management

The Building Blocks of a Balanced Team

Posted by Kathi Graham-Leviss on Dec 29, 2016 2:18:51 PM right

Have you ever wondered why some teams achieve their goals practically every time while others seem doomed to repeated failure? One explanation could be the makeup of the team. All teams are created from a variety of people and thus a variety of personality and work styles. When these styles work in harmony, a synergy is present that inevitably leads to success. When the styles are in conflict so is the team. That leaves the question, “What can I do to ensure the creation of balanced teams?” Generally speaking, there are four team-player styles. While each style has its own set of strengths and weaknesses, some work in accord with each other and some do not. In order to ensure you create balanced teams, look to these building blocks for help with laying a sound foundation.

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Topics: Performance Management, Recruitment

5 Tips for Working under a High-Maintenance High-Performer Boss

Posted by Kathi Graham-Leviss on Dec 7, 2016 10:54:50 AM right

Working for a high-performer boss can be the most exhilarating experience of your life or it can be the most exasperating. It all depends on how ready you are to meet the challenge. You may have heard them described them this way: “This is the best boss I’ve ever had, but also the most demanding, the most difficult.” If you’ve experienced this scenario, chances are your boss is a high-maintenance high-performer. Here are five tips that will help you in working with your high-maintenance high-performer boss. Get down to business when communicating with your high-maintenance high-performer boss.

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Topics: Coaching and Training, Performance Management

Time for 2017 Strategy Planning: 10 Elements of a Successful Strategy

Posted by Kathi Graham-Leviss on Nov 30, 2016 10:35:32 AM right

In today’s business landscape, effective execution strategy can afford no fallbacks. An art that few have mastered, execution can hurdle a business into reaping extensive benefits from higher profits, to increased moral, and even to higher shareholder confidence.

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Topics: Succession Planning, Coaching and Training

Missed your sales quota this year? How to turn it around in 2017!

Posted by Kathi Graham-Leviss on Nov 16, 2016 10:00:00 AM right

As 2016 winds down and a new year quickly approaches, many sales leaders are coming to grips with the realization they won’t make their annual quotas. In fact, a recent article in Fortune Magazine reported little more than half (54.6%) of the nation’s sales reps hit their marks each year. Now, with 2017 nearing, sales leaders are busy examining their talent bench and trying to improve their selection of high performing salespeople to deliver results in 2017.

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Topics: Coaching and Training, Performance Management

8 Change Management Strategies When Moving the Cheese

Posted by Kathi Graham-Leviss on Sep 15, 2016 9:00:00 AM right

Mergers, buy-outs, restructurings, oh my! These and many other disruptive changes are more and more commonplace in today’s business landscape, and can literally transform a company overnight. Ironically, they are typically entered into as a means to remain competitive or to boost financial viability, but often can be derailed by a poor or nonexistent change management strategy.

The good news is, a clear and well-planned change management strategy can go a long way in removing potential roadblocks.

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Topics: Succession Planning, Coaching and Training, Performance Management

Taming the Healthcare Merger & Acquisition Wild Wild West

Posted by Kathi Graham-Leviss on Aug 31, 2016 11:35:05 AM right

Ever since the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was passed, the health care environment is similar to the wild, wild west. Some organizations have crumbled under the strain of the new landscape, while many others are looking for partnerships in order to stay alive. In fact, the merger and acquisition activity within the healthcare sector is at all-time high levels.

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Topics: Succession Planning, Performance Management

Is Your Leadership Team Full of Change Agents?

Posted by Kathi Graham-Leviss on Aug 24, 2016 9:49:49 AM right

 The rules and requirements to remain competitive in today’s marketplace are evolving so rapidly that leadership is struggling to stay ahead of the course. While change used to be slow and incremental, organizations today face a whole new breed of change – one that is fast, disruptive, and unpredictable.  As such, businesses are acutely aware of the need to be agile. However, to be agile you need agile people because in the end, organizations don’t change – people do.

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Topics: Succession Planning, Coaching and Training, Performance Management

Why Mergers & Acquisitions Fail

Posted by Kathi Graham-Leviss on Aug 10, 2016 9:56:57 AM right

According to a recent Harvard Business Review report, the failure rate for mergers and acquisitions (M&A) falls between 70 percent and 90 percent. That’s a staggering enough number to make any CEO hesitate to enter into such a transaction. However, the primary culprit to failures of these deals is generally related to post-merger people issues and integration – challenges that are solvable with the right strategy and approach.

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Topics: Succession Planning, Coaching and Training

Randstad Case Study: Provided effective leadership appointment and transition process to ensure high performance post-merger

Posted by Kathi Graham-Leviss on Sep 2, 2014 7:22:23 AM right

getty_499371702_200013332000928072_129503-1.jpgCompany Description

Randstad US is a wholly owned subsidiary of Randstad Holding nv, a $22.0 billion global provider of HR services. As the third largest staffing organization in the U.S., Randstad holds top positions in permanent placement, office and administrative, IT and accounting and finance. From professional services, commercial staffing, recruitment process outsourcing, to managed services and more, Randstad delivers a comprehensive range of temporary, temporary-to-hire, permanent placement and outsourced placement services. With its 5,660 employment experts, Randstad puts an average of nearly 100,000 people to work in the U.S. each week, through its network of more than 900 branches and client-dedicated locations.

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Topics: Succession Planning, Coaching and Training, Performance Management