3 Great Reads For Effective Leadership In Long Term & Post-Acute Care

Good afternoon, ProviderNation.

Joe DeMattos DC Capitol Dome

Joe DeMattos

As we continue to move from a production-line economy to a people-to-people economy, it is more important than ever to acknowledge the impact of relationships, conversations, negotiation, and learning from failures on our ability to launch innovation.Health care—including post-acute and long term care—is often referred to as a “people business” because of its focus on the people it serves. The number of people served by the health care industry is carefully tracked, and for good reason.

But people receiving care are only part of the equation: There are also people providing the care; family members and friends counting on their loved ones receiving quality care; people authorizing and paying for care; and people regulating care on local, state, and national levels.

Managers and leaders on for-profit and nonprofit boards are also involved as they work to create, manage, and adapt each of their organization’s capacity of care.

All of these people engage on a regular basis in relationships, communications, negotiations, failures, and successes as the health care industry strives as a whole to succeed.

Within this system, every person in health care would benefit from reading the following three books:

  • “Getting To Yes,” by Roger Fisher and William Ury, revised by Bruce Patton. One of the very top texts ever penned on negotiation, this book details Ury and Fisher’s negotiation principles of separating people from problems, focusing on interest and not position, inventing options for mutual gains, and insisting on using objective criteria to measure success. Individually, each of these concepts represents a highly effective tool. Together, these principles also provide a great playbook for leader-managers who are determined to effectively lead their teams.
  • “Crucial Conversations,” by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan, and Al Switzler, helped launch the incredibly important trend toward exploring and teaching the impact of influence in the workplace. Early in their research, the authors found that the most influential person on a team often was not the person at the top of the org chart. Instead it was the person who possessed the skills and was willing to have crucial conversations—conversations that often involved opposing opinions, strong emotions, and high stakes. Every day, across our country crucial conversations are happening at the heart of just about every area within the health care industry, including post-acute and long term care. This book is a tremendous resource for developing tools to openly and honestly share views in such conversations in ways that are beneficial to all involved.
  • So much of succeeding is about failing and learning from failures. “Start-Up Nation,” by Dan Senor and Saul Singer, chronicles the economic success of Israel and its start-up enterprise. Drawing on geopolitical, security, and historical challenges Senor and Singer detail examples that illustrate how failing, teamwork, culture, values, isolation, an expanded world view, a flattening hierarchy, resilience, and innovation can result in ultimate success. In health care, as in many industries, it is wise to allow yourself to fail at the small stuff and to do so quickly with a focus on learning from such mistakes. No text on failing as a critical strategy for wining is more effective than “Start-Up Nation.”

Joe DeMattos is chief executive officer of the Health Facilities Association of Maryland, which represents most of the state’s 233 skilled nursing and rehabilitation centers. He can be reached at: jdemattos@hfam.org.

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