Center for Business Excellence Helps Doctors Facing Leadership Challenges

Thursday, March 17, 2011

With all the public heat surrounding the health care industry, what does it look like these days on the ground – in the clinic or the hospital – and from the perspective of the physician?

“Leadership is in our DNA,” says Dr. Carl Heltne, Essentia’s chief medical officer, who also serves on the faculty for the Physician Leadership College at the University of Saint Thomas. That program, created in 1999, was among the forerunners of physician leadership education programs; at the end of 2011, it will have matriculated 179 doctors from its intense 18-month curriculum.

When Lee and Heltne talk about “leadership,” it’s not about pious platitudes, high-sounding inspirational speeches by Roosevelt, Churchill or Lincoln, or falling in line behind charismatic figures like Mother Teresa, John F. Kennedy, Gandhi, or Einstein. It’s leadership as an emergent discipline of education and practice that’s been taking shape since the 1970s.

The Saint Thomas program, according to faculty lead Dr. Steven Akre applies approaches to leadership that “puts the patient in the middle of the equation.” One such approach is called “adaptive leadership.”

The art and practice of “adaptive leadership” was developed by Dr. Ronald Heifetz and his colleague Marty Linsky at the Harvard Kennedy School and popularized in their best-selling book “Leadership on the Line: Staying Alive through the Dangers of Leading.”

Read more:

Originally published: 03/17/2011, BusinessNorth