John Yip, a highly respected leader in ophthalmology and community health, is the CEO of Kensington Health in Toronto, Canada. He accrued his reputation as a leader in previous roles as the Vice-President of Corporate Services for Health Quality Ontario, a managing consultant for GCI, the IT and business consulting services giant, a senior consultant at Pricewaterhousecoopers Consulting, and a consultant at KPMG. John has made significant strides in health, reducing cataract surgery operating room turnover times from 30 minutes down to a mere seven which is integral when such a procedure has a waitlist of over a year amidst a rapidly aging population. His experiences, insights, and achievements are profoundly influential, not just for other current and future CEOs in healthcare but also for any front-line worker who is willing and dedicated to making an impact during this unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic. There is much to learn from John in terms of leading a revolution to transform and innovate within our healthcare system for the better.
This brief COVID-19-focused leadership interview with John can be summarized into the following key points: (1) Rather than looking to ‘innovate’ and radically change healthcare, look at the triumphs and failures of the past. Often, there is much to learn and improve with little to no additional resources in a way that can significantly ameliorate the care we provide; (2) Three qualities every leader should possess are courage, integrity, and selflessness; (3) Introspection is a crucial part of success. Take the time to reflect on the past and present so you can create sustainable goals for the future without burning out; and (4) Believe in yourself and work hard no matter how difficult it may be because it will always get better, no matter what happens.