A healthcare CEO's take on what it means to be a 'superboss'

Guest post by Barry Ronan, president and CEO of Western Maryland Health System in Cumberland, Maryland

First off, I do not consider myself a superboss; that is for others to decide. But I do find this concept to be most interesting.

For those of you who may not be familiar with the term, it comes from a recently published book by Sydney Finkelstein. The focus of his book and related article in the January/February 2016 issue of Harvard Business Review is how these superbosses hire talent and hone it going forward. So, just who are they? They are innovators who have the ability to groom talent and develop future leaders; they are confident, competitive, intelligent and imaginative and, most importantly, they act with integrity. Wow--superhuman or simply, superboss?

Actually, I have been blessed to have worked for a number of such superbosses; they have been mentors and leaders who have possessed the traits and characteristics identified above. I was mentored extensively in the early years of my career, first starting as an equipment orderly in central processing through moving to the position of executive vice president of the health system some 20 years later. I am certainly a better person and leader as a result of that superboss mentoring.

However, once you become a CEO, there is more self-learning and professional development that occurs, and you are the recipient of less mentoring. As the CEO, the responsibility for the mentoring of others now falls to you to a much a greater extent.

>> Read the full commentary at Hospital Impact