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Barack Obama, Basketball and Medical Group Management

March 19, 2014

Russia is annexing the Crimea. Syria says there’s no further point in peace talks. Iran continues to threaten to nuke Israel. Barack Obama speechifies and placates. And, of course, this morning on television, he picked his NCAA basketball bracket.

As Mr. Obama might say, this is a teachable moment for medical group leaders.

Issuing threats and drawing red lines in the sand is not the same as action. Because your group, the hospital, and other groups share some interests does not mean that interests are aligned, that the hospital can be trusted to look out for your interests, or that consensus has any real value.

Medical group leaders must not be afraid to lead. They should not be chosen because they talk a good game but because they can actually develop a clear vision of the group’s future and then move the group toward it.

Too many groups are trapped in the quicksand of collegiality. Too many groups are concerned about the day to day but take no action to advance toward a desired future.

Picking basketball brackets and otherwise fiddling while Rome burns is not a strategy for success.

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