Executives Gone Wild: Paying the Price for Personal Conduct

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media , September 7, 2010

So, what prompted these leaders to act recklessly? Does it reflect flaws in the culture of accountability in their hospitals? Do some healthcare CEOs and other top executives surround themselves with people who tell them only what they want to hear? In the investigation of Beth Israel Deaconess CEO Paul Levy, for example, the Massachusetts attorney general suggested that board members were too deferential to his considerable talents to pursue questions about his personal relationship with a subordinate.  

Once again, we come to the teachable moment. These executives gone wild provide an excellent comparison to examine senior executive accountability at your hospital. Can your subordinates raise concerns about questionable behavior from their bosses including you—without fear of retaliation?

A top-to-bottom culture of transparency and personal and professional accountability should be fostered, encouraged, and led by example from the top. It's a great way to stay out of the headlines.

John Commins is a senior editor with HealthLeaders Media.

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