Fast Company, April 22, 2011

A doctor is beaten and strangled to death by a patient, the body left on the floor for half an hour before a janitor happens across it. A mental patient hangs herself with her own clothes tied to the top of a toilet stall. HIV-infected blood is tossed out with the regular trash. Wright L. Lassiter III was thinking, Why should I take this job? There was more: Nurses who followed doctors' orders only when they felt like it. Millions of dollars in losses year after year. A culture that favored blame over accountability. A sad parade of feckless executives -- 10 CEOs in 11 years.It was 2005 and Lassiter was next in line. Lanky, charismatic, and a rising star in the health-care industry, Lassiter could have become just one more executive casualty when he took the job as CEO of the Alameda County Medical Center in Oakland, California, and its flagship, Highland Hospital.

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