Tag Archives: #hcmktg

Are You A Leader Or A Manager?

In many of my speaking engagements, I use the following phrase:

The words that we use build the world of healthcare. Your words, impact my world, my journey, as a patient inside of healthcare.

Yet I am bombarded by the words of manufacturing when I walk the halls of hospitals and clinics on a weekly basis.

Last week I spent time in Toronto, Ohio, and Puerto Rico at several different hospitals.

I overheard administrators and physicians using words and phrases that resemble the manufacturing lines of Ford rather than the service of healthcare.

Operational efficiency.

Asset utilization.

Fleet management.



Unplanned downtime.


Days cash on hand.

I understand the utility of the above words to measure the “business” of medicine.

In the management of healthcare, and all of the people, process, and technology it encompasses.

That is the fundamental problem with healthcare, we have created an institution of administrators and physicians that have become managers, or managed.

Seth Godin defines managers as people that work to get their employees to do what they did yesterday, but a little faster and a little cheaper. (sounds a lot like productivity, efficiency, and utilization)

Seth reminds us that leaders, on the other hand, know where they’d like to go, but understand that they can’t get there without their tribe, without giving those they lead the tools to make something happen.

Managers seek authority.

Managers want to be at the top of the organizational chart so that they know who to ask permission and whom they can get to do the same thing tomorrow while doing it faster and cheaper.

Leaders take responsibility.

Leaders care less about organizational charts, permission, and the applause of crowds.

Leaders do.

Leaders act first and apologize later.

Leaders take the time to listen, understand, set a vision, and empower those within their tribe to do and act as well.

Leaders understand the measurements of the past, of today and use that “history” to break free of those constraints to build a future that is very different from our past.

Leaders do not want to build a bigger, better, faster, cheaper widget.

Leaders want to build the “service” that we all desire and run out to tell our friends and family.

Leaders meet the needs to enable the wants.

Healthcare has more than enough managers.

Healthcare needs leaders.

Leaders that delight at the N of 1.

When you look in the mirror, ask yourself, are you a manager or a leader?

I lead at the N of 1.

As always feel free to email me at cancergeek@gmail.com or follow me on Twitter as cancergeek.






Authenticity in philosophy is a technical term used to describe the degree to which one is true to one’s own personality, spirit, or character, despite external pressures.

I have heard Seth Godin share his view on authenticity.

“Perhaps the only truly authentic version of you is just a few days old, lying in a crib, pooping in your pants.

Ever since then, there’s been a cultural overlay, a series of choices, strategies from you and others about what it takes to succeed in this world (in your world).

And so it’s all invented.”

~Seth Godin

My own observations in hospitals, clinics, healthcare organizations, and in the corporate world of healthcare is that people swear.

I have been in corporate business reviews, cancer case conferences, surgical suites, emergency room departments, infusion areas, peer review meetings and national conferences and I have heard everyone from CEO’s to physicians to nurses to ancilliary staff curse.

I have even heard patients curse out loud.

Some have used curse words to express their anger. Others have used it to express their frustration. Many have used a well-placed curse word to make their point with emphasis.

It appears to me that behind closed doors people have no problems cursing, cussing, or swearing.

Yet put it out in the open, for all to see, in a transparent manner and people get scared.


Are we afraid of being real?

Are we afraid of highlighting an issue and having a conversation?

Are we afraid of having to deal and address the emotions of those we interact with or our own?

Is healthcare so fucking oblivious to the harsh realities that we think if we sugar coat the words we use that we can hide our shortcomings?

The reality, at least my reality, is that healthcare needs to grow the fuck up and have a real dialogue.

We need to reach beyond our comfort zones and interact with people, with patients, with one another and address the real problems we are facing.

The reality is that if we do not address the issues, the machines will.

While the machines will own IQ, our opportunity is to own the EQ.

If we do not take the opportunity to stop, listen, observe, and have real fucking conversations about our biggest problems and challenges, then the future we face is one without “Me” in medicine.

That is not the future I want.

I do not believe that is the future you want.

I do not believe that is the future patients want.

We all want to be seen as humans.

All we want is to connect and be part of something fucking great.

Deliver care at the N of 1.

Feel free to email me at cancergeek@gmail.com or follow me on Twitter @cancergeek and make sure to check out our launch GFHC.co and follow @GoodFuckingHC