From Phone Sales & Recruiting to Oxford Grad: Joshua Johnston’s Inspiring Journey in Healthcare Leadership

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In a remarkable achievement, Joshua Johnston, President of Malone Healthcare, has proudly graduated with a master’s degree in organizational leadership from the prestigious Oxford University. Hailing from the small town of South Sioux City, NE, Joshua’s journey is one of determination, growth, and the pursuit of continuous self-improvement. 

A Unique Path to Leadership: 

Joshua’s educational journey took a unique route. After earning his undergraduate degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, he initially embarked on a career in phone sales. This path eventually led him to the world of healthcare, where he excelled as a nurse recruiter. His dedication and skill quickly propelled him to become Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at a previous company in 2010. 

Transformative Education: 

Up until a pivotal point in his career, Joshua’s healthcare knowledge was largely informal, derived from interactions with the nurses he recruited and the clients he served. Seeking to deepen his expertise, he pursued a master’s degree in healthcare leadership from Brown University in 2019. The curriculum not only enriched his professional capabilities but also ignited a broader transformation. Joshua recalls, “After just a few months in that program, I realized that it had reinvigorated me in every aspect of life, not just in my personal relationships, but as a father, an employee, a leader, and a mentor.” 

The Oxford Pursuit: 

Driven by a passion for personal growth and leadership, Joshua’s journey led him to Oxford University. Amidst the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, he met with a recruiter in New York City to discuss his aspirations. The pandemic’s onset didn’t deter his commitment; instead, it underscored his resolve to lead by example and continuously evolve. 

Diverse Learning at Oxford: 

At Oxford, Joshua delved into Organizational Leadership, honing skills in strategic thinking and group dynamics. The pandemic altered plans for on-campus experiences, prompting Oxford to orchestrate a special two-week graduation celebration with esteemed guest speakers. This demonstrated the university’s dedication to its students’ growth, even in the face of adversity. 

Embracing Diversity and Overcoming Prejudice: 

A defining aspect of Joshua’s Oxford experience was the diverse cohort he was part of. Amidst the diversity, he encountered instances of prejudice that opened his eyes to the challenges faced by others. This experience instilled in him a profound empathy and a heightened awareness of the biases many individuals encounter daily. 

In his words, “At the time, I was 39, and from a leadership perspective, it was the first time someone judged me based on something I couldn’t change about myself. That was one of the most valuable lessons I took away is to think of how many people of color, how many women, pretty much everyone other than my appearance has had to go through in a business or school setting.”  

Championing Debate and Victory: 

During the graduation festivities, Joshua’s participation extended beyond the classroom. He engaged in a student debate at the revered Oxford Student Union Debate Hall. Impromptu and intense, Joshua’s team secured victory by articulating their stance under pressure. The Oxford Student Union Debate Hall has seen debates from Winston Churchill, Margaret Thatcher, Madeline Albright, Ronald Reagan, Dave Chappelle, Morgan Freeman, and so many more. Now, Malone’s very own, Joshua Johnston. 

A Beacon of Leadership: 

From his humble beginnings in a small town to his triumphant journey through different roles in healthcare, Joshua Johnston stands as a beacon of effective leadership and unwavering determination. His pursuit of knowledge, growth, and inclusivity exemplifies a commitment to making a difference in healthcare and beyond.