Healthcare Leadership: Values In Action

Today’s article is the sixth in a series learning from the book by Paul Smith, Lead With A Story: A Guide to Crafting Business Narratives that Captivate, Convince, and Inspire.


In chapter 9, Smith does an excellent job of making the case that company values, explained and frequently reinforced by memorable stories, are far more effective and impactful than values that are simply written and filed somewhere such as an executive office cabinet.


Action speaks far louder than words.  Values seen in action speak far louder and are remembered and understood far longer than value statements in words or in a bullet point presentation.


As he does throughout the entire book, Smith provides stories that prove and reinforce his point. Through these stories, Smith demonstrates the reality that values in action and values communicated and repeated via stories are the most powerful way to impact the establishment, longevity, and effectiveness of desired company values.


The author writes:


“The overall lesson in this chapter is that company values are determined by the behavior of its people, and the stories that capture that behavior — not by corporate value statements buried in a file cabinet. If you don’t have strong company value stories, then in the minds of your employees (where it matters most) you probably don’t have strong company values.”


Smith also makes the important point, “leaders should live the company values —visibly.” Colleagues throughout the entire organization should continuously see and hear leaders demonstrating values in action.


What about you and the leaders throughout your healthcare organization? Do all colleagues throughout the entire organization see and hear you and your leadership team living the values and frequently using the power of stories to reinforce and maintain focus on your values?


Smith is correct when he writes, “Bullet points cannot define company values in any actionable way to an employee. Only a story can.”


Chapter 9, and the entire book, provides excellent food for thought… and positive, productive action.


Nothing is more important for leaders than living, consistently demonstrating, and continually reinforcing VALUES IN ACTION.


NielsenCopyright © 2013 by Dan Nielsen –

National Institute for Healthcare Leadership –

America’s Healthcare Leaders –


Be the first to comment on "Healthcare Leadership: Values In Action"

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.