My experiences in healthcare see hospitals struggle to find ways to stay profitable. Reduced reimbursements and going to a “paid for performance” has healthcare executives wrestling with ways to cope and succeed.
What is happening is that leaders are demanding commitment from their team members but now offer nothing in the ways of providing their worker’s security. Working in healthcare has become a type of paradox; healthcare says take care of our patients but we’re not taking care of you.
Peter Block in his book Stewardship writes, “Each member needs to believe the organization is theirs to create if any shift is to take place in how customers are served, students are taught, patients are healed.” The challenge in healthcare leadership is just thatꟷthere is no opportunity for colleagues to create. It is that lack of shift; healthcare executives still maintain control, set the goals for their people, and define the measures of progress. It is all mandate, laws, protocols and policy. How can one continue to have a passion for their line of work when exposed to overwhelming controI and repetitious rote?
It is when leadership is true servant-leadership that it provides choice and much-needed optimism for those at the lowest levels of the organization. Providing empowerment, accountability, and partnership as a way of creating and promoting new programs, services, or products will go far in improving morale, and even better, it will become the way of doing business.
Stewardship asks us to serve our organizations and be accountable to them. Let us hold on to the spiritual meaning of stewardship: to honor what has been given to us, to use power and responsibility with a sense of fineness and winningness, and to pursue purposes that rise well above self-interest.