top of page

7 Questions on Leadership with Bram Kort


Name: Bram Kort


Title: Senior Engagement Owner


Organisation: Oracle Health


Bram started his career doing consultancy at various Health record implementations at hospitals in the Netherlands, until he became a project manager in the same field.

In 2015, Bram joined the Dutch Cancer Institute (IKNL) where he participated as a Project Manager in various Dutch hospitals in developing and implementing software for decision models for different types of cancers. These models were derived from national guidelines.

In 2018 he was asked to join Cerner as a project manager, which later became part of Oracle health.

As a project manager he lead projects related to different kind of specialist topics and did first of a kind implementations of Cerners Millennium (now known as Oracle Health Millennium platform) in Belgium for the hospitals at Antwerp and Gent.

Some of the areas he lead as a senior engagement owner during implementations were and are: specialist health records implementations, medication, trials, infection control and patient portal.


Thank you to the 2,000 leaders who’ve generously done the 7 Questions on Leadership!


I hope Bram's answers will encourage you in your leadership journey. Enjoy!


Cheers,

Jonno White



1. What have you found most challenging as a leader?


When people revert to looking for conflict instead of communication, in order to keep things as it is. Trying to look to their own position, instead of the greater goals.


2. How did you become a leader? Can you please briefly tell the story?


Noone becomes a leader over day. A leader isn’t bound to a certain role or a certain position. A leader is connected to behaviour.

Some people, become a leader from very early on. Being confident doing the right thing.


I did at some point became a project manager. But a manager and a leader is not the same. A manager works and acts according to the rules and procedures that are prescribed. A leader dares to take initiatives when the situation asks for that, even when it is not always that clearly prescribed in theories.


Also for me, I was not a natural leader from the start.

I am the kind of person that first wants to observe and understand very well. Only after gaining more and more experience of the subject and the surroundings of the area where I operate in, I dared to speak up more and more.

When people saw that arguments made sense, you also build up trust and support.

Having said that, there is not one way for being a leader. I also respect people a lot, who can be new in a certain business and become natural leaders from the start.


3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?


I have structure in my agenda’s and meetings and also not structure.

Meaning that I believe that structure is good as a basis. Making sure that the bare minimum is being done. Making sure that you don’t lose sight of stakeholders and important tasks.

But being a leader also means that you can be flexible as well. Meaning that you know when to spent time to which topic and when to let other people figure things first out.

So, yes. I have during the day lots of meetings. But I always try to make sure that in my agenda there is enough time to also react on the things that need attention at that moment, instead of doing things because they were scheduled.


I believe that this thing doesn’t go easy for everyone. Because many people want to feel useful, so indulge themselves in all kind of tasks. It is however just as important to make the right things, as it is to make things right. The first thing requires some room in our head and our agenda’s and require discussions next to the already planned tasks.


4. What's a recent leadership lesson you've learned for the first time or been reminded of?


People will often behave accordingly to the role they have at that moment. Making some reactions to certain dilemma’s and topics quite predictable.

A leader is a person who dares to not always go for the obvious reaction and first thinks twice before phrasing what is the best way forward now. A leader, in comparison to a manager, dares to look further than short term gains and obvious protective mechanisms. And a leader dares to look at pros and cons from many perspectives, having talked to many stakeholders. Because a leaders thinks further than just his own perspectives, he gains trust with their surroundings and when he formulates strategies forward, people understand that he looked for win-win solutions that are beneficial for all the stakeholders. People will see that he is able to step out of his ‘obvious roles and reactions’, therefor are challenged to do the same and likewise he builds support around him.


5. What's one book that has had a profound impact on your leadership so far? Can you please briefly tell the story of how that book impacted your leadership?


People will often behave accordingly to the role they have at that moment. Making some reactions to certain dilemma’s and topics quite predictable.

A leader is a person who dares to not always go for the obvious reaction and first thinks twice before phrasing what is the best way forward now. A leader, in comparison to a manager, dares to look further than short term gains and obvious protective mechanisms. And a leader dares to look at pros and cons from many perspectives, having talked to many stakeholders. Because a leaders thinks further than just his own perspectives, he gains trust with their surroundings and when he formulates strategies forward, people understand that he looked for win-win solutions that are beneficial for all the stakeholders. People will see that he is able to step out of his ‘obvious roles and reactions’, therefor are challenged to do the same and likewise he builds support around him.


6. If you could only give one piece of advice to a young leader, what would you say to them?


Believe in transparency and truthfulness.

Sometimes we feel that we are pressured from the outside to show certain behaviours. And especially when we have good news, we love to share. And when there is negative news, we tend to hide.

Don’t underestimate the people who work for you. And also don’t underestimate that people have capacity to look through the management lingo.

When people dare to be transparent, both to their own team as to customers, it shows vulnerability. And the reaction for daring to be vulnerable might surprise you.


7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a leader, so far?


I am a person who believes that projects is human work. And human work requires human communication. Nowadays, it is so easy to work remote with all the tools we have.

But we underestimate the value of informal talks and the typical conversations at the coffee machine. Because of these situations, people bond and sometimes dare to share information and ideas that are that much out of the box, that we wouldn’t have shared them in a formal meeting.

During a migration from one system to another at a big hospital in the south, there were a lot of discussions and misunderstandings going on between supplier and client.

A measure I took was making it mandatory to be onsite regularly. This was not received well by many people who were used to the comforts of working from their home.

But after this, things started to turn around. Issues were earlier understood and resolved when people were having conversations in the same room. And there came more a joint spirit of approaching the project. Eventually, against all odds at the start, we kept to the deadline and did a successful migration.

I am positive that the result wouldn’t be as good, if we didn’t work together (on site) as a team. Complex big project work requires human (face 2 face) interaction. And sometimes even requires the actual programmers to go on site.

bottom of page