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The Front-Line Leader: Building a High-Performance Organization from the Ground Up by Chris Van Gorder

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Chapter OneKnow Your People

I have this old, embarrassing photograph of myself wearing a Native American headdress. It's shoved into my desk drawer. Even though the corners are bent and I've got this big, silly grin on, the picture means as much to me as any of the framed images featuring famous people that line my office walls. The photograph dates from 1987, when I was vice president for support services at Anaheim Memorial Hospital in Anaheim, California. It was my first vice president job, and it put me in charge of an array of departments including environmental services (or housekeeping, as it was called back then), food services, engineering, and construction.

I made a practice at the time of meeting regularly with all of my staff, ...

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