Peter Fine, CEO of Banner Health, on Tough but Crucial Leadership Choices

I recently conducted a fascinating hour and a half one-on-one interview with Peter Fine, President and CEO of Banner Health. Peter Fine has been in the healthcare business since 1977 and has made his share of tough personal and professional choices.


When asked to reflect on key decisions and turning points in his career, Fine recalled his very first CEO job, which he left after only 18 months. He explained that, despite the advice of friends and colleagues who counseled him not to, he submitted his resignation, “because I wasn’t right for the organization and it wasn’t right for me.” His career could have very well gone in the tank, as predicted by many of his colleagues, but Fine decided to follow his gut and take that chance. Twenty years later, it’s apparent that he made the right choice, and his career gamble paid off.


Fine also noted that other significant turning points in his career occurred every time he took a job that he wasn’t completely prepared for, but went for anyway. “There were a number of times where I was able to interview well enough to be offered a bigger job or additional responsibilities. On paper, I am not sure I was the most qualified, but I ended up being offered that job or those additional responsibilities.”


These career challenges were always incredible learning experiences for Fine, who explained, “I think the key is to know your strengths, know your weaknesses, focus on your strengths, and find out how to fix or minimize your weaknesses. But grow as a leader and think about how to do that.”


Great advice from Peter Fine – one of the most successful of America’s healthcare leaders:

  1. Follow your gut and take that chance.
  2. Take that job or those responsibilities you are not completely prepared for – and grow into it.
  3. Know your strengths.
  4. Know your weaknesses.
  5. Focus on your strengths.
  6. Fix or minimize your weaknesses.
  7. Continually grow as a leader and think about how to do that.


Adapted from original article by Dan Nielsen as published on For more on Peter Fine and Banner Health, please click here.

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I am a leader, speaker, and author who is passionate about Leadership Excellence and Achieiving Greater Success. I am the author of the books Be An Inspirational Leader(2016) and Presidential Leadership (2013), and deliver keynote presentations on those topics and several others.

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