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Hospital Leadership 'Success,' Redefined

Philip Betbeze, for HealthLeaders Media, August 30, 2013

Too Young to Retire
That can be a tough pill to swallow, especially for someone who's been the leader of his or her own hospital or health system for a number of years. For many, it's the signal to retire or change jobs. But some CEOs aren't fortunate enough to be able to retire young, and almost certainly there won't be the number of available jobs at the CEO level as they might expect.

They might have to tough it out with what many see as a reduction of responsibilities and status.

For some, the title might remain, but day-to-day life will change dramatically, says Chastain. Where once you were master of your organization's destiny, now you might just be a cog in a bigger system's executive framework.

"There will be fewer and fewer of those positions," Chastain says, adding that as an executive recruiter, he's struggled along with his clients to define a way forward for those who have always defined success as attaining the CEO job at a hospital or regional health system.

"What's the ray of hope? The best I've come up with is we'll have to redefine what success looks like," says Chastain.

Not exactly the most satisfying of answers.

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