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DALLAS, Texas (April 23, 2009) — Much has been written in the past year about leadership in healthcare. With the economic crisis continuing to batter the financial performance of many U.S. hospitals, I am willing to bet much more will be written over the next several months.

In my role as an executive search consultant working on C-suite engagements, I am beginning to believe that our little economic mess is setting the stage for a fundamental shift in the competencies and style of the leaders who will be successful as we emerge from this havoc, hopefully in early 2010. I think this experience will impact the way all of us look at our responsibilities and our level of accountability.

Enough of the serious ideas for today. In every serious conversation, there is a moment when a break is necessary – to allow us to sit back and poke a little fun at ourselves. This is one of those moments – hopefully!

In Andrew J. Harvey’s gutsy new book, Leadership: Texas Hold ‘Em Style, he provides some sample evaluations of leaders from the files of the British Royal Navy.

1. “His men would follow him anywhere but only out of curiosity;
2. This officer reminds me of a gyroscope – always spinning at a frantic pace but not really going anywhere;
3. Since my last report, he has reached rock bottom and started to dig;
4. He sets low standards and then consistently fails to achieve them;
5. This pilot should not be allowed to fly below 250 feet;
6. Works well when under constant supervision and cornered like a rat in a trap; and
7. This man is depriving a village somewhere of an idiot.”

After scanning through the first chapter, I have added this one to my “must read” list and I have added it to my recommended book list with a link to Amazon.Com on the right column of this blog.

John G. Self, Chairman and Founder of JohnMarch Partners, is the Firm’s senior client advisor. A 32-year veteran of the healthcare industry, he is a former investigative reporter and crime writer for a major daily newspaper. Candidates and clients say he is one of the most thorough executive recruiters working in the healthcare industry. You can reach John at JGSelf@johnmarch.com. His office number 214.220.1234. You can also follow him on Twitter.