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7 Questions on Leadership with Rob Deininger

Name: Rob Deininger

Title: Market CEO AdventHealth Orlando

Organisation: AdventHealth

Rob Deininger is the Market CEO (Chief Executive Officer) for the AdventHealth Central Florida Division’s Quaternary Hub, comprised of the 1,300 bed AdventHealth Orlando, AdventHealth Winter Park, AdventHealth for Women and AdventHealth for Children as well as the company’s, medical group, and outpatient assets in the market area. In this role, Deininger is responsible for driving the market strategic planning process and building influential relationships with key constituents, communities, and consumers in the market.

Prior to this role, Deininger served as the President/CEO for AdventHealth Fish Memorial, a 179-bed acute care hospital located in Orange City, FL, from 2015 to late 2020. Additionally, he has held various roles within AdventHealth since 2008, including Vice President for Research Operations, Administrative Director of the Translational Research Institute, and system project manager. Before joining AdventHealth, Deininger spent 13 years as a commercial airline pilot at various airlines, including United Airlines Express, Mesa Air Group and Frontier Airlines, where he logged more than 8,000 hours of flight time, mentored new pilots and trained flight crews in communication, conflict resolution techniques and process standardization.

In addition to a Six Sigma Black Belt, Deininger holds a bachelor’s degree in technology as well as a Master’s in Business Administration from Andrews University in Berrien Springs, MI.

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

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


Jonno White

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

As a leader in the healthcare space, perhaps the most challenging has been learning to continue to adapt to the changing demands and environment of our healthcare system. Personally as a leader I think I will always have a challenging making sure that my personal time and priorities are aligned in such a way that I can be my best self at work AND at home.

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

I did a major career change when I was about 35 and moved into healthcare from aviation. As I started in healthcare I was blessed to work under a number of senior leaders who saw the potential in my and one in particular, Terry Owen, who saw my potential to lead in operations. Terry approached me about a new research institute that we were building, that needed an operational leader to pair with the lead physician scientist. I knew nothing about research or running an institute, but he assured me that my skills and background were well suited for what he needed. I trusted him and said yes to the role. Best decision ever.

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

I wake up on most weekdays at 5am and take the first 30-45 minutes with my coffee, which I dearly love, to wake up and check on any email that I've received. Then, at least 3 days a week I do a quick 30 minute Peleton workout before the workday starts. My workdays are a mix of predictable and unpredictable so I work closely with my team to organize the days in such a way that I have some time for both. I do my best to be home from work by 6pm on most days and have 3-4 hours of family time before I head to bed, fairly predicably around 10pm.

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

I was recently reminded that you should always hire for Fit. Skills can be taught, but you can't teach personality and fit.

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?

Growth Mindset by Carol Dweck. That book has truly changed the way that I see my team, and how I interact with and mentor younger leaders that come to me for advice.

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

Come into every conversation with an inquisitive mind and be the person when it's time to hand out next steps, that always raises his/her hand.

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

In February of 2020, the COVID pandemic was just becoming real for all of us. I was asked by the organization to help lead our response to COVID and to help pull together and quarterback our work. That first day, sitting in a conference room full of incredibly smart people, each in there own area was impressive. We are a very large and successful organization, but what struck me the most that first day....was that collectively we were all helpless. We didn't have the answers or even know the questions. What we did have though, was each other and a collective desire to do our best. That is what ultimately got us through it.

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