Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Preparing Leaders in the Face of the Unknown

A recent editorial* in a healthcare trade magazine by National Center for Healthcare Leadership staffers posed the question whether our leaders today are being prepared for the future.
At first, I thought the piece called "Timeless Truths" would lead to a cheer-leading piece about helping those following in your footsteps and so on.  Garman and Harris Lemak who wrote the piece took a more challenging line.  They argued that lack of resources and the unknowns facing us are not excuses to fail to prepare tomorrow's leaders.
They challenge that if you as a manager don't have resources for development, identify where in your organization it's already taking place and support it becoming more effective.  "Our task is less to 'turn on the spigot' and more to guide the water that's already flowing in the directions that will be most effective."
As to preparing in the face of the unknown, Garman and Harris Lemak argue to work on the timeless basics, collaboration skills, performance improvement and relationship building as keys that will be essential ingredients of leadership success regardless of the face of the future later revealed.
I set down the piece determined to look again for where the leadership water is already flowing.
* "Timeless Truths" may be found in the May 2, 2011 edition of Modern Healthcare, page 25.

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