Hometown: Hodgenville, Kentucky, the birthplace of Abraham Lincoln.
Family/Pets: Married to my husband John for 28 years, 3 children and 2 dogs.
Hobbies: Reading just about anything from fiction to biographies to leadership books. Also, anything I can do outdoors.
Currently reading: I am re- reading Great By Choice, by Jim Collins. We have studied Jim’s writing and principles over the years to form many of Trilogy’s operating philosophies. During the pandemic, I have found this book has so many great concepts around thriving in times of uncertainty that I can use as a leader.
Favorite vacation spot: Laguna Beach, California
Education: Bachelors and MBA from University of Louisville
Medical News: How did you end up CEO at Trilogy?
Leigh Ann Barney: I started with Trilogy 20 years ago when we were a very young startup company. I was on the finance side of the business for seven years and never had a goal to be CEO. Trilogy’s founder, Randy Bufford, encouraged me to move into operations which was completely foreign to me, but I found very quickly that I loved it. Randy was very thoughtful about succession planning so in October 2019 when he decided to step solely into the Chairman of the Board role, it allowed me to become CEO.
MN: Were you in leadership roles early on?
LB: I had manager or supervisory roles early in my career but at the time I had no idea what it truly meant to be a leader. That process has come with much work and continual education. I still learn every day how to be a better leader.
MN: Tell me about your first job out of college.
LB: After I graduated from UL, I had secured an accounting job with an Aerospace company in Southern, California. About six months into my tenure, the Gulf War started and the company began to lay off employees due to lower production need for their product. I pivoted and found another job as an accountant with a long-term care company. From there I have worked almost exclusively in this industry.
MN: What advice do you give to graduating college students?
LB: I tell all our young leaders that they have to stretch themselves. I see too many young people who want to be perfect and do everything right. Taking chances and making mistakes are what grow you as a leader. Put yourself in uncomfortable situations because the more you do it the easier it becomes.
MN: Tell me about your management approach.
LB: At Trilogy we have long made the Servant Leadership approach, part of the training and development of our leaders. I feel this fit my style even before I knew what it was. Over the years, I have read and studied more on Servant Leadership as a way to grow myself into a better leader for our organization.
MN: How to you keep silos from forming?
LB: One line of our Trilogy mission statement is “Zero Tolerance for Ego and Politics”. I think this sets the tone that we expect collaboration among departments versus working in a silo. We develop our company Pillar Goals in a way that encourages teams to work together to drive success for the whole organization rather than a singular department’s success. Also, when hiring leaders, I look for people who will fit well with our culture of the team approach works best!
MN: How did Trilogy adapt/pivot during the pandemic? What are you most proud of?
LB: I’m not sure I have enough space to describe all the ways we have had to adapt because it has been an extensive and ongoing process. I will say I am extremely proud at how professionally and quickly our team developed plans and worked diligently to put our resident’s safety first and foremost. I am blessed to have such a dedicated leadership team that has done remarkable work through the pandemic.