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6 March, 2013 Posted by John G. Self Posted in Career Management, Healthcare
9 comments

The Quiet before the Storm: A Time for Tough Questions

Posted March 6th, 2013 | Author: John G. Self

In the relative quiet before the storm, healthcare executives at all levels should take time to rethink their career management strategies.

Calm before the stormA long-time friend, a health system CEO who has built an impressive record with service development, facility expansion and modernization, and a steady, if not impressive, financial performance that has produced a healthy balance sheet replete with enviable cash reserves, is ready to call it quits seven years ahead of the official retirement age.  “I just don’t know if I want to relearn this job, to learn the new rules for success.  I don’t want to stay too long.”

He is not alone.  The game-changing impact of the Affordable Care Act and the inevitable deficit reduction programs that some believe will require a structural reform of Medicare and Medicaid, is forcing many of my friend’s peers to question whether they want to deal with what many call “the great aggravation.” 

This upheaval, combined with the rising tide of Baby Boomer retirements, will produce record CEO turnover over the next seven years.  This will open the door for a host of next generation leaders who have for years risen through the ranks in anticipation of the corner office and CEO title.

For this next wave of senior leaders, they, too, should ask some critical questions: 

  • Am I up for this kind of challenge? 
  • Am I a great operator who will be an outstanding leader, or am I just a good manager who did well under the current rules in less stressful times?” 

There is no shame in knowing your strengths, and weaknesses, and being honest about them. 

Here are some other career management questions that executives should consider:

  • Do you have the intellectual horsepower to master a business model change?
  • Do you have the skills – from excellence in verbal and written communications to the ability to create innovative new strategies – to benefit from regulatory, reimbursement and market shifts?
  • Are you prepared to make the tough calls on human capital development, investing in enriching your team and to move out those who do not measure up, regardless of the personal history?
  • Do you have the passion and the energy to do what it takes to focus on the internal operations while spending more time dealing with market-wide developments?
  • Are you prepared to make the life balance sacrifices, when necessary?  Do you have the discipline to know exactly when to pull back and re-think life’s priorities? 

The next seven years will be unlike any we have seen in healthcare.  Before the upheaval begins, this is a good time to take a few minutes to ask:  “Is this what I really want to do with my life?” 

© 2012 John Gregory Self

© 2017 John Gregory Self

9 comments

  1. A very well done article on the realities of what is coming. Success often means change…and depending upon where you are in your career a change in occupation or niche can be an asset and not a negative.

  2. A very well done article on the realities of what is coming. Success often means change…and depending upon where you are in your career a change in occupation or niche can be an asset and not a negative.

  3. Ken Cochran says:

    John,

    When do you predict the waive of Boomers will actually retire? Many people say that when that happens, there will be a vacuum of leadership. What are your thoughts?

  4. Ken Cochran says:

    John,

    When do you predict the waive of Boomers will actually retire? Many people say that when that happens, there will be a vacuum of leadership. What are your thoughts?

    • John G. Self says:

      Ken, in case you did not receive an email response to your comment on my blog, “The Quiet Before the Storm,” I want to reply publicly because your’s is a good question, especially for those are trying to plan their careers.
      I have consistently reported that I think we will see significant changes in the current healthcare business model in the 5 to 7 year range. Coincidentally, I think you will see a rise in Hospital CEO/Baby Boomer retirements and performance terminations during this time frame as well. I am predicting that the turnover rate will shoot up from its current 17% annual rate to between 22 and 24 percent annually for at least two years.

  5. Another terrific piece from you, John. I am sharing with some friends I know who are facing the same inner turmoil.

    Thanks again and keep ’em coming!

    • John G. Self says:

      I appreciate your comment. Please feel free to let me know of topics you think we need to address. This is a tough time in healthcare — this is a great time for healthcare. For those with the passion and compassion — the energy and the focus — will do very well in this new normal economy.

      Call me any time I can be of service to you or your colleagues.

      All the best, John

  6. Another terrific piece from you, John. I am sharing with some friends I know who are facing the same inner turmoil.

    Thanks again and keep ’em coming!

    • John G. Self says:

      I appreciate your comment. Please feel free to let me know of topics you think we need to address. This is a tough time in healthcare — this is a great time for healthcare. For those with the passion and compassion — the energy and the focus — will do very well in this new normal economy.

      Call me any time I can be of service to you or your colleagues.

      All the best, John

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