Goodness and virtue are traits that are much admired in life. Unfortunately, these two words are not commonly included in modern business speak. Some might argue that in the world of business the words goodness and virtue are mutually exclusive when you contrast them with terms like execution, accountability and results. 

Actually, I believe these words – goodness, virtue, execution, accountability, and results come together to form five pillars of leadership that will serve healthcare chief executives well in the challenging and often tense times that will characterize the next decade. 

These five pillars support leadership authenticity. 

 The holiday season is a time of reflection. As we gather with families, friends and colleagues to celebrate, what better time to think about our relationships with our employees and their families and our customers — our physicians and their patients, and the communities we serve.
To find success in the next decade, healthcare leaders will have to raise the performance bar, our own and of those who work with us. 

We face many challenges, including probable draconian reductions in reimbursement and new massive cost shifting. These will be exceptionally demanding times, but in the end, success or failure for our organizations will turn on the quality of our people and an organization’s ability to attract and retain the best talent in the market. Execution will be critical but that, too, will rest with the employees (which pool will increasingly include hospital employed physicians) and whether they believe they are treated fairly and are appreciated. 

Goodness and virtue are qualities that may sound out of place in running a complex health system, but they are critical. 

 Happy Holidays and best wishes for a prosperous and rewarding New Year.

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