Saturday, August 30, 2008


As I have been having my LinkedIn war with Mike (he even asked his ex-wife to link to him to try to beat me), I have seen lots of names that I haven't seen in a long time. By the way, if you are reading this and aren't linked to me, please send me a request so I can be sure to beat Mike. He is resorting to all kinds of unethical invites. :) So, as I have seen so many of these names, it has made me think a lot about leadership. Travis and I have talked about it a lot over the years, and he has added many good points to my thoughts on the subject.

I have always felt that leadership and knowledge are what make a company/department/product great. One of the problems I always felt at Misys after Misys bought it was that the leaders weren't experts in what they did. I believe that you should not have to train your boss. Your boss should always be able to teach you something. You may teach your boss and your boss teaches you, but it should not be a one way street. This is why coaches get paid the big bucks, right? The idea that one person can motivate, lead, direct, etc a group of people better than another. As I have received LinkedIn invitations, I have thought about it a lot and wondered about leadership. It is interesting to watch people go from one company to the next in search of something. I think a lot of what they are searching is leadership.

Thankfully, Gustav wasn't as bad as feared for New Orleans and Mississippi. However, good leadership got people out in time in a way that worked smoothly. I was amazed to watch the evacuation and how much better it went this time. Of course, some of this was due to fear, but I think the leadership was also there with issuing the evacuation and not having a shelter of last resort.

I think what is really needed in healthcare, including healthcare IT, is strong leadership. I have been involved in some work on labs lately, and it reminds me of how crazy healthcare really is. We have just been discussing one little tiny part of healthcare, but the complexities require tremendous leadership by mainly volunteers to the cause.

One more topic on leadership, my Vols lost against UCLA, and I am sure some of my fellow Vol fans will be calling for Fulmer to be fired. As much as I was in a state of depression today after waiting for eight months to watch my Vols play football again and then watching them lose, I was also proud of the team and the coaches. I remember many teams that would have given up along the way or wouldn't have quite had it in them to rally so many times. This team kept going and going and going. You know, there is a reason that most major college teams play "pansy" teams at home for the first game. It is a strategy. Tennessee has picked a different one for many years now where they play a typically strong team (or at least not a pansy) sometimes away and sometimes at home. Regardless, the first game is usually pretty difficult. I have always admired this and been proud that my team was brave enough to do that. I am not sure it is the smartest strategy (especially after losing in CA two years in a row - Cal last year and UCLA this year), but it is brave and non-wimpy. I have a shirt for UT that says "Bring it On" and then has University of Tennessee Football under it. I have always loved it because I think that has been the attitude. It takes great leadership to take a team that is not used to its players, with new coaches, new players, new stadiums, hostile crowds and not only deal with mistakes that will happen but motivate them to keep giving it their all. I saw that in my Vols. No, they didn't win. But, they made me proud to be a Vol. Fulmer, Clawson, Chavis, in my book, you earned points yesterday instead of losing them. You were leaders in my book. Now, next time, can you get some of those things called points a few more times? :)

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