Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Two Leadership Questions

At the conclusion of last week's blog, I indicated I would articulate the two important questions you must ask yourself if you want to be a successful leader in healthcare today. This applies whether you are leading a work group, a task force, or you areon the C-Suite Team. Everyone who tries to lead, both formally and informally, should pause periodically and not only pose to themselves the following two questions, but make sure that they answer the questions as objectively as possible. The questions are.....
     1. Why would anyone want to follow me?
     2. What do they see when they see me coming?
It is abundantely clear that in order to lead, some one or some group must be willing to follow you. They follow because they trust you, they accept your rationale for creating the direction that you are leading them in, and they believe that what you are doing is in sync with the Mission, Vision, and Values of the organization. It is vitally important if they are going to continue to follow you, especially during very challenging and complex times, that these qualities are what they see when they see you coming...coming down the hall, greeting them in the morning, or entering the meeting room. Great leaders are credible leaders, and this credibilty is gained by always "walking the talk", rather then just "talking the talk". And what is most important to remember is that this trust and credibility can be lost quickly, and once lost, is very hard to regain. Great leadership is required to creat a great company. But as I have studied how to achieve  excellence, I have determined, as have many others, that reaching excellence is a lot easier than sustaining excellence. A clear example is Southwest Airlines, unquestionalbly one of the best airlines for many years, as evidence by many comparable industry metrics. However, in the last year, Southwest  has fallen to third place overall in national airline rankings, and their recent and past maintenance problems are raising concerns for many that perhaps the quality that has been taken for granted is now in qustion. To remain at the top requires a continuous monitoring of the brand and changing whatever needs to be changed that is weakening the brand. Change in healthcare is critical, it is constant, and it is exciting. Accepting and adapting to change is critical. Why? Because our happiness and personal satisfaction in our personal and professional lifes depend on it! Being a leader is challenging, never easy, always possible, and very rewarding. Asking and answering the two questions presented in this blog will go along way to quarantee that your style of leadership will be successful.

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