Advice from America’s Healthcare Leaders

In preparation for a feature article on America’s Healthcare Leaders, I recently interviewed a highly successful hospital and health system CEO who is now retired.  This man served as CEO of the same organization for over 25 years.  That healthcare organization consistently grew, improved and prospered in countless ways over those 25 years.

The first question I asked this successful healthcare CEO was, “From the perspective of a long and very successful career in healthcare and hospital leadership, what 3 to 5 points of advice would you offer to current and future healthcare leaders?”

Part of the CEO’s answer was to emphasize the critical importance of a point and quotation found in a book written by James A. Baker l ll, who served as Chief of Staff for both President Ronald Reagan and President George H. W. Bush.  Baker wrote these memorable and critically important words… “Prior Preparation Prevents Poor Performance.”  

The healthcare CEO I was interviewing reminded me that James A. Baker frequently and gratefully attributed these five words as “a gift from his father.”  Baker frequently stated that these five words helped him, in one way or another, almost every day of his life.

The CEO I was interviewing was saying that one of the points of advice he would offer to current and future healthcare leaders is to never forget, always remember, and consistently put into practice this life and career changing principle… “Prior Preparation Prevents Poor Performance.”

To emphasize his point, the CEO then said, “I also will tell you something that will trump and destroy any and all advice I might offer… and that is procrastination!”

“Prior Preparation Prevents Poor Performance!”

“Procrastination will trump and destroy any and all advice I might offer.”

Excellent perspective and advice from a highly respected and successful healthcare leader.  A leader who made a huge and very positive difference in the organization he led and the community he served… for over 25 years.

Take a look at your leadership and life.  Is there room for improvement?  “Prior Preparation Prevents Poor Performance.”  Procrastination will trump and destroy any and all positive advice and counsel.

And now it’s up to you.

Copyright © 2011 by Dan Nielsen

Founder, National Institute for Healthcare Leadership 

Founder, America’s Healthcare Leaders 

Cell 214-695-1292

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