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Leadership Tough Love by Timothy Townley Lupfer

Leadership Tough Love by Timothy Townley Lupfer

Author:Timothy Townley Lupfer [Townley Lupfer Timothy]
Language: eng
Format: epub
Tags: -
Publisher: BookBaby
Published: 2019-10-06T16:00:00+00:00


CHAPTER 8

Beware Of The Executive Bubble: The Realm Of The Rent-Seeking Leader

THE PREVAILING POPULAR VIEW: “Executives can see the big picture at their level, and then jump in.”

TOUGH LOVE REALITY: Some executives can use their position to conveniently distance themselves from the core work of the organization. They orbit a different sun.

After Leadership Lite and the well-intentioned failure, the Executive Bubble is the next threat to effective leadership at the highest levels of an organization. While Leadership Lite uses success to mask deficiencies in character, the Executive Bubble uses the status of the position to avoid leadership duties. The Executive Bubble creates the reverse of the problem Moses faced: While Moses was overwhelmed by the demands of his followers, occupants of the Executive Bubble intentionally remove themselves from the demands of their followers.

To explore this, first let me explain my basic taxonomy of positions in the hierarchy of large organizations:

• The supervisor leads his or her group directly and operates in a specific skill area.

• The manager leads supervisors directly, operating in a common skill area.

• The general manager (sometimes called a director) leads managers and operates across a wide spectrum of skill areas.

• The executive operates at the highest levels of the organization, leading units across the organization and influencing outside entities (investors, the press, government bodies, etc.) as well.

Specialists also occupy many positions throughout the organization, including executive roles such as general counsel. The value of these executives is mostly their specialist skills, not their leadership skills, and they expend most of their effort within their specialty, not leading. My focus in this discussion, however, is on the executives who have leadership roles in organizational operations, who must direct general managers, staff, and others in core functions of the enterprise.

As in so many of our interactions with one another, any leader must achieve a delicate balance regarding how deeply to intervene in the workings of the organization. As Moses discovered with the help of Jethro, we’re limited in how much we can take on as an individual, which is why hierarchy is necessary. But there is also a risk of becoming too removed from the work of the organization (and thereby too removed from the people you’re leading). Distance can erode a leader’s effectiveness. The healthcare industry in the United States provides an illustration of this problem. Significant consolidation is happening across the United States; small, stand-alone hospitals are being acquired by much larger hospital systems.

To explore the risk, I am taking my own experiences in so-called mergers, and applying them in the example of healthcare throughout the country, as small hospitals are acquired by larger corporations, to show, in a composite example, how the Executive Bubble could impact the nursing staff.

Small Regional Hospital

Throughout the United States, larger hospital systems are taking over smaller, formerly independent hospitals. In this particular example, Small Community Hospital (SCH) was acquired by Big City Hospital System (BCHS). Small Community Hospital had the usual challenges of small hospitals, such as limited financial resources,



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