Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center
CEO Minute: Core Principles for Health Care Leaders During Changing Times

CEO Minute: Core Principles for Health Care Leaders During Changing Times

ceo-minute-core-principles-for-health-care-leaders-during-changing-times-2- image0My wife Jennifer and I enjoyed a pleasant dinner with another couple about a week ago. Longtime friends, he and I had worked in health care administration since the 1980s, going back to Methodist Hospital in Lubbock (now Covenant), as well as with Texas Health Resources in the Metroplex area. Our friends were in town for business and wanted to take us out to eat and get caught up on what is happening in our respective worlds. Amidst much remembering and swapping of stories, we discussed changes in health care and the many people who work in it.

Few would deny that the workforce is changing. That is to be expected and even welcomed. The last of the traditionalists (born before 1945) are moving out. Baby boomers (1946-1964), “Generation X” (1965-1979) and “Generation Y” (1980-2000) professionals are moving to center stage. While I realize all generalities are false, each generation does have certain dominant characteristics. Savvy leaders are aware of the challenges associated with blending the work styles and personalities associated with each different generation. If my friend and I had been asked to define social media back in the 1980s, it would have been the Wall Street Journal that was routed around the administrative suite each day. We had one subscription to save money, and it seemed like when the newspaper reached my desk it was coffee stained and at least a week old.

I have been working with one of our medical students on an elective class on business for the students. This has been a real treat — so many bright and energetic young people. I think the new generation will do just fine, thank you, when they get their turn on stage. But what are the competencies needed for health care professionals of all ages? Forget the generational classifications — some things are just pure bedrock principles.

A company called B. E. Smith produces an annual survey of more than 300 health care executives at the start of each new year. The survey reports on what people are doing and thinking. One of the things that came out of their report this year is the competencies needed for health care leaders in these changing times.

Here they are:
  • Strategist
  • Influential
  • Intensity
  • Integrator
  • Integrity
  • Inspirational
  • Patient experience
  • Communication

It is a treat to work at TTUHSC where we see so many people at all levels that demonstrate these traits in every department and every job classification.