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If you are a rural or community hospital CEO, all eyes are on you. Most days it won’t matter. But some day, something will happen and it will matter.

good willWhat you say on that day won’t be nearly as important as how you led your personal and professional life the other 364 – the example you set for your employees and the community.

Consider this more of a reality check than a sermon on doing the right thing.

If you are a competent, fair, and empathetic leader known for treating people the right way, and for doing the right thing, someone who gives time to the community and its institutions, your supporters will outweigh and minimize your detractors.

Hospitals, the good ones, enjoy a place of trust in the community. The CEO is the outward representative and an important component of that trust equation. Self awareness of this role and the attendant realities of being a visible and important business leader, is part of the success formula.

Building a reservoir of good will is as important as developing and successfully implementing a credible strategic vision for the organization and the role it should play in the life of the community.

When things go wrong, as they certainly will, that good reputation will be the difference between an “average” tenure — 3.5 years — and building a legacy in which the community’s needs are met and the hospital thrives as a trusted and valued resource.