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« Healthcare Leadership, John Griffith and Much More... | Main | Twitter Is Not A Social Disease... »

March 23, 2009


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Ray Benedetto

Dear John,
Thank you for your timely, on-point article about the leadership capabilities of MSC officers. Having retired in 1996, I found the corporate world woefully lacking in effective leadership. If not for the relationships I had forged with military and civilian leaders during my last 10 years of service, I would not have found employment right away. In 2004, I worked for a tyrant, who was more like the fictionalized, mythical military leader you described, than any of the exceptional leaders I worked with while on active duty. Civilian leaders in all sectors, not simply healthcare, need to wake up and smell the coffee. Part of their inability to execute and succeed rests upon their own blind spots and reluctance to admit they may not know it all. In their Summer 2004 article on Organizational DNA in Strategy+business, Neilson, Pasternack and Mendes described why most American companies are suffering, and the failure to execute is a primary cause. Military leaders who fail to execute are removed and replaced because a failure to execute can cause precious loss of life. Few civilian leaders are faced with this challenge. If given the choice between a candidate with military experience versus one without, where all other factors are relatively equal, I will always favor the former military candidate because I know that person can execute and deliver, and do it without whining, complaining, or playing the hero or martyr. MSCs especially are very good at simply "getting the job done." Thanks for sounding the trumpet on a critical issue on which civilian healthcare leaders need to ponder and act.

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