There is a Problem with Leadership in Healthcare

There is a Problem with Leadership in Healthcare

Lucien Engelen 30/03/2019 4

With those words Simon Sinek (from i.e. Let's start with WHY) replied to me in our interview with him for the coverstory for the first edition of the international edition of ICT & Health : “There isn’t a problem with medicine. There is a problem with leadership!” 

Boom! Here we are, skyping with my openingspeaker of my very first TEDx I've set stage for, in 2011 TEDxMaastricht we as Radboudumc REshape Center had put together. Debunking the myth leadership should aim and focus on the patient:

“I fear hospitals are some of the worst examples of leadership. It may sound strange, but too many leaders think only of their patients. That’s wrong. They have to think of their employees, the doctors and nurses. They have to think of it as a job. They have to manage. And then in turn, the doctors and nurses have to think of their patients.”  

Well thát's an interesting perspective Simon launched. I continued the discussion : "The interesting thing is that in hospitals in the Netherlands, patients are increasingly treated like partners. We provide patients choices and significance. How do you feel about that?"

Simon : “You have to take the patients out of the equation. That is not the issue. The point is: do the staff members feel like their leaders care about them? It seems scary, but that is the right question to ask. This discussion is missing. This topic is never discussed in hospitals. I don’t care about the quality of this industry. It is standard in this industry. We have to take care of the people that work in this field first, and then they can take care of the patients.” 

We covered several topics touching health(care) in this interview, I wanted to know how he thinks about millenials coming onboard as workers in healthcare. : "People in healthcare are also aging, and now a younger generation is coming on board. What about millennials? "

“A few things are happening to this generation that we tend to neglect. First, they are subject to a different type of parenting than we experienced. They were all little princes and princesses. When they failed at school, their parents merely complained. But as soon as they found a job, this changed. All of a sudden, they have to take care of themselves. And they are not used to that, so they get stressed out. Second of all, there is a huge amount of technology in their lives, like cell phones and social media. Every time they receive a notification or a ‘like’, a little hit of dopamine gets released in their brain. And as you know, dopamine is addictive. Remember, we are talking about kids here. There is no age restriction on using a phone.” 

To recap the interview as Chairman of the Editorial board of ICT & Health I wanted to pick his mind on his vision on technology and health(care) of course :

“Technology is making us better. That is really remarkable. But we need to remember that we are in interpersonal relationships.  

Above are just some pearls from this coverstory interview I had with Simon. Head over to the first edition that has been put online for free, just like the Dutch version the International version is aimed at the intersection of technology and patient empowerment. There is tons of great content in it. If you like it, you can subscribe to it of course.

I would love to hear your opinion on these topics, should the leadership indeed focus more on the staff than the patients ?

Share this article

Leave your comments

Post comment as a guest

terms and condition.
  • John Craib

    Healthcare leaders do not care about their staff, they just want to earn more money that's why they are focused more on customer satisfaction.

  • Lynsey Mckay

    So true !!

  • Andrew Cooper

    Doctors deserve more respect !

  • Joe Smith

    They should focus on both, they are both essential.

Share this article

Lucien Engelen

Chief Health(care) Optimist

It is at the intersection of technology and patient empowerment, which is where Lucien Engelen (1962), director of the Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre REshape Center and advisor to the Board of Directors (since 2007) feels most at home. The two worlds combined into the Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre and Singularity University in Silicon Valley & the Netherlands and in the Nordics, his modus operandi is always challenging, sometimes provocative but always techno-realistic. Writing on a new book that will be titled "Augmented Health(care)™ : The end of the beginning" (May 2018, Barcelone Spain) as he thinks we're at the end of an era of creating awareness, pilots, proof of concepts etc in the digital transformation of health(care). More on that on, his Linkedin Page has over 750.000 followers. He is Faculty Global Health(care) & Medecine since 2011 at Singularity University's Exponential Medicine in the US and in the Netherlands.

Cookies user prefences
We use cookies to ensure you to get the best experience on our website. If you decline the use of cookies, this website may not function as expected.
Accept all
Decline all
Read more
Tools used to analyze the data to measure the effectiveness of a website and to understand how it works.
Google Analytics