"The Ronan Report" provides insight about the activities at the Western Maryland Health System in Cumberland, Maryland, and about the changes taking place in healthcare today from a CEO's perspective.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

What Keeps Leaders Up at Night? It May Not Be What You Think

Yesterday, I read a book summary for the relatively new business book, "What Keeps Leaders Up at Night," by Nicole Lipkin.  I thought that the book would be consistent with the phrase that I often hear primarily from consultants, "As CEO, what are the things that keep you up at night?"  The book was very different from the phrase.  The book focuses on basically how to be a better boss.  Not that being a better boss isn't something that we all need to focus on as leaders; however, I was expecting something very different of this particular read.

The beginning of the book focuses on why do we sometimes act like bad bosses.  It says that we could be too busy, too proud or too afraid.  It then asks why our advice as leaders isn't heeded all of the time; why aren't people buying into our messages?  The book also deals with why do we lose our cool in difficult situations; how can we better deal with stress; why can ambition sabotage success; why do people resist change and lastly, what causes a star to fade?  In recommending this book, I would suggest a cafeteria approach.  Pick and chose what may be of importance or significance to you in your attempt to recognize and resolve any troubling management issues.  

Quite honestly, there are a lot of things that keep me up at night, actually from about 4 AM on, but at this point none is related to management issues.  My demons are ensuring a safe environment for our patients, providing the best care possible to every patient who walks through our doors, remaining financially healthy in today's health care environment, being positioned to keep viable health care in this community going forward, keeping physicians engaged in the changes facing us, complying with the 122,000 federal regulations not to mention the Joint Commission and the State of Maryland, and the list goes on.  

The bottom line is that there is enough to keep all of us up at night and whatever tool may be available to assist us in dealing with these issues we should use it.  That's why I was excited to review this book, but it missed the mark for me.  Maybe it's time to write a book on how to better deal with the myriad of issues that plague all of us.

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