Healthcare Leadership: Criteria For Senior Executives

Without question, A.G. Lafley is one of the most successful leaders of our time.  Lafley, the former chairman and CEO of Procter & Gamble, is one of the most respected and admired business leaders of the past two decades.  He was hugely successful.

In the October 2011 issue of Harvard Business Review, Lafley shares his passion and experience in leadership development as the self-appointed “chief leadership coach” at Procter & Gamble.  During his tenure as chairman and CEO, leadership development was intentionally and consistently elevated to the same level of importance as business strategy.

Lafley writes, “My job and the job of my executive team was to make sure we enabled every leader to develop to her or his fullest potential.” 

Under Lafley’s leadership, P&G developed and rigorously followed and enforced specific criteria for P&G senior executives.  The criteria is as follows:

  • “Character, values and integrity
  • Proven track record: business, financial, and organizational performance
  • Capability and capacity builder
  • High energy and high endurance
  • Visionary and strategic leader
  • Inspiring, courageous, and compassionate
  • Productive relationships with colleagues, partners, and other external stakeholders
  • Embraces change.  Leads transformational change
  • Calm, cool, and resilient in the face of conflict and criticism
  • Institution builder.  Prioritizes greater good and longer-term health of the company”


Lafley believes that a clear list of “must-haves”  for senior executives is critical.  Note that this 10-point list contains less than 100 words.

What about your leadership, and the leadership priorities in your organization?  Is one of your very top priorities, and that of your leadership team to make sure you enable every leader to develop to her or his fullest potential?  Fullest potential… not just “some” or “much” of his or her potential.  Fullest potential demands clarity, consistency, and relentless focus, learning and refinement.

Consider using this clear, precise, very thoughtful listing of criteria for senior executives within your organization.  Once it is clear that you are serious in consistently modeling and using these criteria for leadership advancement, the best of the best, for your organization, will began to surface.

After all, it is your job, and that of your leadership team to make sure you enable every leader to develop to her or his fullest potential.  What a wonderful, inspiring and accurate definition of leadership excellence… “to make sure you enable every leader to develop to her or his fullest potential.”


Copyright © 2011 by Dan Nielsen

Founder, National Institute for Healthcare Leadership

Founder, America’s Healthcare Leaders

Cell 214-695-1292

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