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Thursday, August 14, 2014

"If you're 10 feet ahead, you're a 'Leader.' If you're 100 feet ahead, you're a Target." - Brent James, MD, M.Stat

Props to

The changing role of leadership in healthcare
3 great leadership talks for healthcare executives

Love that Brent James quote. See my prior observations about "leadership" in healthcare.

Dympna Cunnane (1st video), at 2:02:
I know that when I go into a senior manager's office, into a senior team, I know that the behaviors in that team will be replicated everywhere in the organization. So, if that's an atmosphere of distrust, if that's an atmosphere of bullying, that will be replicated throughout the organization. So, leaders on their own can't do anything, but they are very influential in creating a culture and a climate within which people work...
"Talking Stick culture," anyone?

Simon Sinek (3rd video) at 5:12:
I was flying on a trip, and I was witness to an incident where a passenger attempted to board before their number was called, and I watched the gate agent treat this man like he had broken the law, like a criminal. He was yelled at for attempting to board one group too soon. So I said something. I said, "Why do you have treat us like cattle? Why can't you treat us like human beings?" And this is exactly what she said to me. She said, "Sir, if I don't follow the rules, I could get in trouble or lose my job." All she was telling me is that she doesn't feel safe. All she was telling me is that she doesn't trust her leaders. The reason we like flying Southwest Airlines is not because they necessarily hire better people. It's because they don't fear their leaders.

You see, if the conditions are wrong, we are forced to expend our own time and energy to protect ourselves from each other, and that inherently weakens the organization. When we feel safe inside the organization, we will naturally combine our talents and our strengths and work tirelessly to face the dangers outside and seize the opportunities. 

The closest analogy I can give to what a great leader is, is like being a parent. If you think about what being a great parent is, what do you want? What makes a great parent? We want to give our child opportunities, education, discipline them when necessary, all so that they can grow up and achieve more than we could for ourselves. Great leaders want exactly the same thing. They want to provide their people opportunity, education, discipline when necessary, build their self-confidence, give them the opportunity to try and fail, all so that they could achieve more than we could ever imagine for ourselves...
Dr. Smith (2nd video), at 13:09 (on the 4th of his 7 imperatives):
...learning to work in teams, and to maximize the potential contributions of everybody who's part of the care system -- including patients.
Which can only sustainably happen through adroit (i.e., technical competence + Just Culture) leadership.


Link to the Conference site here. My press credential was approved the other day. I will be there. Bringing my own half & half this time; later for the soy milk and rice milk. Ugh.

More to come...


  1. As I am reading your blogs, the question arises: why do so many business people say (think) they want to hire leaders, yet so much of the focus of their recruitment processes and ultimately their own management behaviours are so strongly biased toward 'management'?? Is it possible that 'leadership' is still largely an abstract concept or an ideal they seek to quantify and cannot, so instead they zero in on those things they can define with a degree of certainty and measure?

    1. Yes. A good book to read is Jeffrey Pfeffer's "Leadership BS" See my post Se also the works of MacCoby.

      Thanks for your comments.

  2. Excellent article - I have bookmarked for future reference.