Leadership lessons

Alum Randy Haffner presents on leadership and preventing corporate mission drift


Last week, Randy Haffner, WWU alumnus and AdventHealth Florida and Clinical group president and CEO, visited campus to present a luncheon lecture and business colloquium. The luncheon took place on Thursday, March 7, in Bowers Hall, where he talked about preventing “mission drift” in professional organizations. The colloquium took place later that day in Chan Shun Pavilion, where he presented his lecture “Character Traits for Successful Leaders.” 

During Thursday’s luncheon, Haffner spoke to faculty, staff, alumni, and students about lessons from his Ph.D. dissertation on Seventh-day Adventist health care core convictions and mission drift in the 21st century. When asked to define what makes a hospital Adventist, he said, “Wholeness, the healing ministry of Jesus, health principles, honoring Seventh-day Adventist beliefs, showing the image of God, and community service.” He said in order to uphold these principles, religious and especially Adventist institutions need more employees of faith and character. After listening to this presentation, sophomore business administration major Julia Cheek said it “made me realize that when you follow God's rules and guidance, all things will work out for good, and God's mission will be accomplished in the end.”

During the evening colloquium, Haffner talked to business students about corporate leadership, where he said achieving success comes from working ethically. He believes in doing the right things for the right reasons and not for self-advancement—letting the affirmations find you. Raegan Boyse, freshman aviation management major, attended Haffner’s colloquium and said, “I found it interesting when he mentioned that ‘people will forgive you for saying ‘I don’t know,’ and admitting you did something wrong.’” She realized that being vulnerable enough to ask for help will produce much better results than adamantly claiming you are in the right when clearly you are not. 

Haffner graduated from Walla Walla University with a bachelor’s degree in business administration; he went on to get his master's degree from Roy E. Crummer Graduate School of Business at Rollins College, and to Andrews University for his doctorate in leadership studies. Since graduating from WWU in 1989, he has been with AdventHealth. 

WWU students regularly benefit from luncheons and colloquiums with reputable speakers like Haffner. For more information about the WWU School of Business and any future colloquiums and events, go to wallawalla.edu/business.

Posted March 14, 2024

Randy Haffner
Randy Haffner, WWU alumnus and AdventHealth Florida and Clinical group president, visited campus to share insight on leadership and avoiding mission drift.