Saturday, October 21, 2006

The Answer to Every Problem...

In my role as a Healthcare Administrator, I have come to accept that one of the greatest demands on my time is going to be problem solving: problems with patient safety; problems with patient satisfaction, problems with meeting access demands, problems with meeting financial targets, problems with staff turnover, problems with staff development. The list is endless.

Okay, “accept” is the wrong word. I love the challenges my job presents. I love working with people to make things happen; to make things better.

I became a Healthcare Administrator because when I was a Computer Programmer I didn’t have enough interaction with people. I wasn’t part of the team that was addressing the hard issues. I was outside the problem-solving loop and wanted to be on the inside. What better place than healthcare?

Unfortunately, things have changed.

A few years ago, the solution to every conceivable problem was identified. Whenever a problem crops up, the cause is a“failure of leadership”. Therefore, the answer to every problem is to fix the leadership; to get more leadership into the organization; to make everyone a leader.

Who could argue with the leadership conventional wisdom? To suggest that leadership may not be the answer has become tantamount to heresy. In many organizations, you would be better received if you volunteered information regarding the development of your recent crack cocaine addiction.

But what are we really saying when we say the problem as a “failure of leadership”?

To answer this question, I believe you must first take a hard look at the history of leadership.

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Take care…


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