The military understands a very important concept in management. You take care of your people. When you put them ahead of yourself, amazing things can happen.

trustManagement theorist Simon Sinek, in a powerful TED talk, tells the story of a military officer who repeatedly put himself in harms way so that his wounded men could be evacuated to a nearby hospital. Time after time, this officer went back to help those he “commanded” so that they could be cared for.

Said Sinek: “In the military, they give medals to people who are willing to sacrifice themselves so that others may gain. In business, we give bonuses to people who are willing to sacrifice others – their employees – so they may gain.”

Asked why he would give his life to take care of his men, the commander responded, “Because they would have done the same for me.”

Have you ever had a boss like that?

This is an important concept because when you have leaders like that, their employees will have a high level of trust and feeling of safety. When those two are combined – trust and safety – the employees will go the extra mile for their leader, for the company, and especially for the customers.

I recently wrote a post about the important role that rural and community CEOs must play if they hope to survive in an era of sweeping change – that of chief trust officer. The CEO must work every day to earn and sustain the trust of the community which the hospital serves so that its members will feel safe and support the facility.

An essential part of that trust recipe is that the CEO must also secure the confidence of his or her employees.

A small rural hospital, more than other types of healthcare facilities, cannot survive without that circle of trust.