We had an opportunity to sit down with Andrea “Andy” Leebron-Clay, Nightingale Healthcare partner/clinical liaison, and ask her some pointed questions about life and leadership. Her responses, in typical Andy fashion, are inspiring and humbling. This woman epitomizes grace, strength, and courage – and is certainly someone you want to get to know better if you ever get the chance! We are so grateful that she is our fearless leader and advocate for not only Nightingale employees but also the wonderful residents (and families) that we serve.
Q: What’s the best part of your job?
As a partner in Nightingale Health, the absolute best part of my job is making work the best part of everyone’s day. When a facility team lights up and multiplies “make their day” to everyone they encounter, the staff, residents, families, neighbors, discharge planners, physicians — yes, everyone— will benefit!
Q: What is your leadership philosophy?
The easiest way to explain my leadership philosophy is to read the RESPECT statement. I wrote it as a value statement about 30 years ago, but it is still what I aspire to master and the way I hope to lead by example. There is no greater team sport than health care. I have always depended on the strength of the team to create our vision and live our values. The best I can do is facilitate the strengths in each of us to create the outcome we all envision.
Q: What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
My favorite thing to do in my free time is to sit outside at sundown talking and laughing with people who are smarter than me.
Q: What was the best day of your life and why?
The best time in my life is now. If you asked me 10 years ago, I would have said the same;10 years before that as well. The best time is and has always been “now” because I am one of those very lucky (and/or crazy) people in whom there is resilience in uncertainty and deep satisfaction in getting past myself to focus on someone or something else. My “now” at this moment is incredible. Who gets to fight fires; bandage the wounded; comfort the suffering; innovate in a broken system; work with awesome, talented people; be considered of use and of value after 70; dance on Sundays at the Edison Inn with the guy who still loves me; AND be welcomed home by two smiling, wagging dogs no matter what thing I might have done better, faster, smarter?
Q: What is most important to you in life?
What is important? What isn’t important to me? It’s my greatest fault. Ask anyone who knows me well. I believe it wouldn’t be hard to award me “World’s Greatest Dilettante.” That being said, it isn’t so much “what” as “who.” People are important to me. My path has been paved with teachers, intentional and unintentional, and as Frost wrote in “The Road Not Taken”, that has made all the difference. Think about it. We might say, “Authenticity is most important to me.” Or maybe, “Health is most important to me,” or love, or kindness. All of these concepts have come to us through our association with people—our parents, our friends, our brothers and sisters, our kids, our heroes, our teachers both pleasant and unpleasant. The answer I am trying to crawl to here is not only the importance of “people” but the importance of paying attention to people.
Q: If you had a bucket list, what would be ranked #1 on that list?
I’ve given a lot of thought to my bucket list. The kids think I’m morbid, but statistically, life is 100% fatal. I’m a realist. Right now, #1 is probably write a book. It’s been a life goal, but something always seems to come up. I’d like to not disappoint myself every year by not getting it done, but so far, I’ve failed. I might have better luck with my second item which is to go to Nepal with Days for Girls. My friend Amy and the founder of DFG both have invited me for a fall trip and I’d be very excited if I can pull it off. Have we talked about Days for Girls? Please remind me to tell you about it or Google it. We’ve had our residents at Summit assembling kits.