Maryalice Morro

Maryalice Morro

Authentic Leadership for Everyday People is the podcast where we investigate the connection between effective leadership and authenticity. If you are looking for inspiration and tips on how to become a better leader by being your true self, you are in the right place.

Today we are talking with Maryalice Morro. She has had a distinguished career as a healthcare leader in the Navy, ultimately serving as Chief of Staff for Navy Medicine East (15 commands East of the Mississippi and all the way to Europe).

In our fascinating conversation, she talked about the importance of making sure that people feel comfortable doing their job in life or death situations, managing complex healthcare organizations, operating in teams, and leading as a nurse in environments where physicians are considered the leaders. We also touched on the challenges and opportunities presented to frontline caregivers by the current environment.

Contact Dino at:



[03:16] – Alright Maryalice, it’s great to see you again. It’s great to have you on the podcast. Why don’t we start and have you introduce yourself to our listeners, a little bit of your story and your career and we’ll go from there.

[06:18] – As you started thinking about what type of leader you wanted to be, what were a couple of crucial moments, where you realized that you wanted to be a certain type of leader, maybe as opposed to other types of leaders?

[09:02] – What are some of the practices that leaders can adopt to make sure that everybody working with them is comfortable in situations of high uncertainty and risk?

[11:05] – What are some of the approaches that leading from a position, that technically within the team is not considered the leader, one can take to bring leadership to the team? .

[13:20] – You went from CEO of a hospital as a nurse to chief of staff as a nurse; how was that transition in leading a much even larger staff and probably with even more bias towards physicians versus nurses? What were some of the challenges that you faced and how you tackled that?

[15:32] – If you think about the skill sets and the activities that you were required to do as a leader, where is your passion? What are the things that you really loved doing in that role and what are the things you did because it’s what the role required?

[17:50] – What are some of the lessons that you took from interacting with people so young, sent out so quickly, to high level responsibility?

[19:55] – I’m wondering if you’d be willing to share if there was a setback or something that happened in your career and what you learned from that.

[22:16] – In an institution like the Navy and even the VA organization; there’s a lot of set rules and I’m sure there’s been situations where you have not personal agreed with a rule or you felt that is was maybe archaic and didn’t help the situation, how did you navigate that?

[23:45] – Was there a moment when you started articulating these are my core principles as a leader? As I operate as a leader, these are the four or five things that are important to me.

[26:26] – One thing that is really important is the idea that the people who work for you may have different styles; what are some of the things that you did to accept people of different styles and to make sure they were put in a position to be their best selves?

[28:18] – What are the driving principles that informed this program and what do you want to achieve for somebody who has come through your program?

[30:50] – What are some of the concerns that you’re hearing from nurses that are getting out in the world? And what are the things that give you hope hearing these nurses going out into the world despite everything that is going on?

[34:42] – That’s great, I think that definitely the ability to mix remote and in person is something that, obviously every industry is trying to figure out now and can help if done correctly and can be challenging if not done correctly.

[35:22] – Do you have a passion or an interest that is outside your professional interest that is really important to you and what impact has it had on your professional life?

[36:28] – We have a lot of acronyms, jargon, business terms; is there one in particular that makes you crazy?

[37:27] – Final question: food for the body or food for the soul that really inspires you or makes you feel great.

[38:06] – Do you have a recipe that is your go-to recipe?


Maryalice Morro Links:

The Citadel: Maryalice’s Profile


Authentic Leadership For Everyday People / Dino Cattaneo

Dino on LinkedIn:

Podcast Instagram – @al4edp

Podcast Twitter – @al4edp

Podcast Facebook:



Foolproof Fish by America’s Test Kitchen



Susan Cattaneo: