Support a Worthy Mission – Advice from Ben McKibbens

Healthcare Leadership

with Dan Nielsen

Healthcare leaders, a question for you: Do you regularly make time to learn from the unique perspectives, observations, and hard-earned wisdom of successful leaders who are now “retired?” I hope so! I am continually amazed and blessed to learn from these incredibly wise CEOs and senior leaders who are now retired.


Many of these people now have the time to share their hard-earned wisdom without the pressing priorities and demands of a full-time leadership position. In addition, most of these highly successful leaders are very willing and thoroughly enjoy sharing their wisdom for the benefit of the next generation of leaders.


It is not an overstatement to say there is gold and priceless wisdom between the ears of these wonderful people!


Ben McKibbens, former President and CEO of Valley Baptist Health System and former Chair of the Texas Hospital Association, shared this wisdom with me:


“Support a worthy mission. It’s very important to realize that when you’re in a position of leadership, what you do can have a very powerful impact on so many… So make sure the mission statement of the organization is worthy of everyone laboring under it. If we’re going to put our lives and careers at stake with an institution, why don’t we make sure that institution has a mission we can be proud of? And if we’re going to sync our once-in-a-lifetime lives into it, it better be worthy. It better be in agreement with our personal values and with our perspectives.”


It is easy to simply read a logical statement like Ben McKibbens’ perspective, nod our heads in agreement, and then move on doing whatever we are doing without much serious thought or soul searching. But if you talk to highly successful leaders who are retired, they will tell you to slow down and take such perspectives and wisdom far more seriously than most of us do. They will readily admit that if they had to do it over, they would slow down and more carefully listen to and implement the wisdom and advice of those who came before them.


Seek out and heed the wisdom of seasoned leaders like Ben McKibbens. And as McKibbens advises, support a worthy mission. Not just a job or a well-paying position. Make sure the mission statement of your organization is worthy of your support and labor. Is the mission in sync with your one life on this planet? If not, change it or move on!


Copyright © 2016 by Dan Nielsen –

About the Author

Dan Nielsen
About Dan Nielsen Dan Nielsen is the author of the books Presidential Leadership (2013) and Be An Inspirational Leader (2016). He regularly writes and speaks on the topics of Leadership Excellence and Achieving Greater Success, and is available to deliver keynote presentations or facilitate discussions for your organization. For more info, please visit or email Dan at

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