Leading Change is Tough from the Back of a Limo

Philip Betbeze, February 10, 2012

If you're a regular reader of this column, presumably it's not only because you hope to glean some ideas about how to prepare your organization for the massive amount of change bearing down on you, but also because you've demonstrated a lot of leadership ability yourself.

It may also be presumed that you've made your climb the right way through hard work, calmness under fire, tough decision-making, and long-term vision.

Well, you won't find much of that here this week. Instead, I have a shining example of a few things you might not want to do if you're in charge.

You probably already know this, but if you're looking for a way to demonstrate vision and execution from your team to meet the challenges associated with healthcare reform, it's best not to do your business from the back of a limo.

News this week that the former chief executive of a debt-burdened Brooklyn hospital had the hospital buy him a $33,000 limo was one of the most titillating headlines of the week. Yes, the story leads with the fact that Wyckoff Heights Medical Center is seeking "whatever we can get for it," according to new CEO Ramon Rodriguez (it is the New York Daily News, after all), but if you read past the first few paragraphs, the story turns rotten and sad—and not at all funny.

Philip Betbeze

Philip Betbeze is the senior leadership editor at HealthLeaders Media.

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