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The Fall Champion of Leadership That Works

by | Dec 2, 2016

ConantLeadership’s Award for Leadership Champions:Champion of Leadership That Works

As part of our mission to champion leadership that works in the 21st century, we launched a recognition program this spring to celebrate leaders who embody the principles of leadership that works. The Champion of Leadership That Works Award, presented seasonally, is one way to say “thank you” to people who are visibly committed to empowering others to serve with greater impact. All potential recipients of the award are submitted to us exclusively through nominations from our community. Nominators can recommend leaders who excel in any one, several, or all of the 7 practice areas of the ConantLeadership Flywheel; if you know somebody amazing, you can nominate them for the award here.

Our Fall Winner:

Mark Baiada, Fall Champion of Leadership That Works

Mark Baiada

Congratulations to the winner of our Fall Champion of Leadership That Works Award:  Mark Baiada, Founder and President of BAYADA Home Health Care.

When our anonymous nominator, an employee of BAYADA, wrote the following endorsement of Mark, we knew he was a leadership champion worth investigating further:

“Mark leads by example; he makes you feel you are a part of something.  He not only has compassion for the clients we serve, he has compassion for each one of his employees, and you feel this compassion when you talk to him.  Mark is a wonderful person who has created an environment where you want to be a good person and do great work not for your own personal beliefs, but to be part of this lasting legacy he is creating.  Mark’s goal is for BAYADA to be the best Home Health Care Company in the world and serve millions of people worldwide. I believe him, and I want to do my best to make his dream a reality.”

These words suggest a leader who has successfully earned trust, engaged his employees, and built an organization with unmistakable vitality. So we dug a little more. After studying Mark’s leadership profile and researching his leadership philosophy, it became clear he was an exemplary leadership practitioner, and an ideal candidate for our Champion recognition. While there are many inspiring aspects to Mark’s leadership, we identified 4 distinct ways he embodies leadership that works. Each of these leadership habits can be studied and incorporated into your own leadership.

The Top 4 Leadership Habits That Make Mark a Champion:

1.Puts Mission Over Money. Mark is an ardent proponent of “doing well by doing good.” In June of this year, he announced his plan to donate his billion dollar business to a charitable foundation. He was quoted as saying, “Nonprofits last longer, and I don’t really need the money, so we’re going to turn it over to a newly created nonprofit that’s all mission-driven.” Why? Because, “We’re putting mission over money.” In an age of cynicism, mistrust, and avarice, it is admirable for a leader to take meaningful action for the greater good. If interested, you can read some coverage of this decision here and you can learn more about his devotion to humanitarian efforts in his full bio here. | Area of the Flywheel embodied: Clarify Higher Purpose

Never let anybody down.

2. Is an Intentional — Not an Incidental — Leader.  In an interview with Rosen, Mark said this: “I took charge of my life. Most people go down the river of life on an inner tube. Wherever it takes them, they kind of deal with it. I said no, I’m going to pick a goal and head there, and I’ll have a better chance than if I just float down the river.” This is notably aligned with ConantLeadership’s belief that the best leadership is performed with care, intention, and discipline. What’s more, part of being an intentional leader is integrity, a commitment to walking your talk. Mark is devoted to this. In fact, one of his core values is “reliability.” In the same Rosen interview, he is quoted as saying, “Reliability is the key thing. No matter what it takes, just be there and do what you say you’re going to do. Never let anybody down.” | Areas of the Flywheel embodied: Inspire Trust and Create Direction

3.Leads Abundantly. In our research, we discovered that Mark’s personal motto is, “Think big. Work hard. Show love.” This echoes our belief that the best leaders have an abundant approach — an approach that is tough-minded on standards and tender-hearted with people. Mark’s 3 core values that comprise The BAYADA Way of “Compassion; Excellence; Reliability” also embody this abundant spirit. It’s laudable that he visibly demonstrates his intention to lead abundantly — both in his motto and his values. Many leaders focus only on the tough (winning), or only on the tender (people) — but in order to achieve enduring success you’ve got to embody both in everything you do — excellence and compassion, hard work and caring, big ideas and the discipline necessary to bring those big ideas to life. You can learn more about the abundant approach to leadership here, here, and here and learn more about The BAYADA Way here. | Areas of the Flywheel embodied: Build Vitality and Execute with Excellence

Think big. Work hard. Show love.

4. Does His Homework. Mark is a diligent and lifelong student of the craft of leadership, citing Benjamin Franklin, Andrew Carnegie, and St. Francis of Assisi as some of his biggest influencers. Also, as part of his fierce commitment to exploring, defining, and declaring the purpose and mission of his organization, he did a lot of research into how other successful organizations approached similar initiatives. (You can read more about this in a letter he wrote to his organization here). We’ve observed that leaders who want to succeed in the dynamic and competitive marketplace of the 21st century must make a lifelong commitment to learning and growth, as Mark has. It’s the only way to ensure you can adapt and get better at the pace that is required by the ever-dynamic modern environment. Learn more about the importance of “doing your homework” here.  | Areas of the Flywheel Embodied: All seven

About Mark Baiada:

Mark Baiada founded BAYADA Home Health Care in 1975 with the mission to “help people have a safe home life with comfort, independence, and dignity.” He has since grown the business into a thriving organization that enjoys enormous success while remaining mission-driven. BAYADA, with $1.1 billion in annual revenue, is the nation’s 10th-largest home health agency, and employs 23,000 people (including 7,767 in the Philadelphia region) through 310 offices in 22 states. Baiada’s work as a humanitarian has been recognized with various honors, including the “Golden Lion Award” from the Sons of Italy Foundation in 2008, the “75 Greatest Living Philadelphians” from the Philadelphia Eagles in 2007, the “Work of Mercy Award” from Mercy Vocational High School in 2006, the “Cradle of Liberty Award” from Boy Scouts of America in 2006, the “Light of Hope Award” from Catholic Charities in 2005, and the “Helms Award” from Goodwill Industries in 2005. Baiada received his MBA degree from Rutgers Graduate School of Business in 1970 and his BA from Rutgers College in 1969. Prior to founding BAYADA, Mr. Baiada was a market researcher for Avon Products, NY, NY and the American Thread Company, Stamford, CT. You can view his full bio here, an illuminating profile of his leadership story here, and a letter he wrote to his organization here.

Know somebody amazing who deserves recognition? Nominate them as a Champion of Leadership That Works! 

Learn about previous winners of our Champion Award here.  

Doug Conant is remarkable—and so is this work.
– Stephen M. R. Covey
Author of The Speed of Trust

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