Healthcare Leadership: A Culture Of Confidence

Winners and losers… both lose.  You read that right… winners and losers both lose. The critical difference is the way winners handle losing!

Harvard Business School professor, Rosabeth Moss Kanter addresses this critical issue in the April 2011 Harvard Business Review.  Kanter writes:

        “Even for the best companies and most-accomplished professionals, long track records of success are punctuated by slips, slides, and mini-turnarounds.  Even the team that wins the game might make mistakes, fumble, and lag behind for part of it.  That’s why the ability to recover quickly and get back on course is so important.”

Kanter reinforces the reality that a key factor in high achievement, winning, and success is bouncing back from the inevitable low points.  Winners face the same problems as losers, but winners react and respond differently.

A culture of confidence supports and encourages people and teams to bounce back quickly after encountering temporary obstacles or even defeat.  A culture of confidence encourages collaboration and teamwork, common goals, commitment to a shared vision, and respect and support for all team members.

A culture of confidence assures that individuals and teams “are immersed in a culture of accountability, collaboration, and initiative.”  These people and teams are more likely to believe they can weather any storm.  “Self confidence, combined with confidence in one another and in the organization, motivates winners to make the extra push that can provide the margin of victory.” 

Kanter writes:

        “The lesson for leaders is clear:  Build the cornerstones of confidence – accountability, collaboration, and initiative – when times are good and achievement comes easily.  Maintain a culture of confidence as insurance against the inevitable downturns.”


Are you building, reinforcing and continually strengthening a culture of confidence in your healthcare organization?  What, specifically, have you done today, and this week to reinforce and strengthen a culture of confidence within and throughout your healthcare organization?

The lesson for leaders… and winners… are clear!


Copyright © 2011 by Dan Nielsen

Founder, National Institute for Healthcare Leadership

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