Healthcare Leadership: Leading to Run with the Pack

There are many advantages and disadvantages of ‘running with the pack.’ Just a few of the many perceived advantages include encouragement, protection, pacing, conserving energy by drafting, knowing the position and potential strategies of competitors, and avoiding risk.


The most highly successful participants, in sports and in all areas of life, run with the pack until a critical moment when they ‘break out’ and go it alone in order to win or perform at their highest potential.


Many leaders recruit, retain, and reward people who will conform and consistently run with the pack. But consistently running with the pack and never ‘breaking out’ and testing individual potential diminishes opportunities, hampers performance, prevents excellence, and results in ‘the same old, same old.’ These leaders, by virtue of their actions and rewards systems, appear to desire and value conformity more than they desire and value the potential spectacular results as a result of breaking from the pack.


As a healthcare leader, you should frequently examine not only your words, but far more important, your actions and reward systems. Are you leading, encouraging, and rewarding people to conform and always run with the pack? Or are you leading, inspiring, and rewarding people to break with the pack at critical moments and times of great opportunity for higher performance, excellence, and results?


The best and most effective leaders create a flexible environment. They openly reward people who are willing to appropriately ‘break with the pack’ at opportune times in order to perform at their very highest potential in achieving the mission and strategic priorities of the organization.


Are you one of those leaders? Can you point to specific, frequent examples? Encourage those whom you lead to ‘break from the pack’ at opportune times!



NielsenCopyright © 2013 by Dan Nielsen –

National Institute for Healthcare Leadership –

America’s Healthcare Leaders –



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