John is an executive recruiter & speaker sharing his thoughts on healthcare, recruiting, digital technology, career management & leadership. 

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Michael Lewis: Boomerang: Travels in the New Third WorldMichael Lewis: Boomerang: Travels in the New Third World Next up on my reading list. Lewis, author of Liar's Poker, The Big Short and Money B
7 November, 2011 Posted by John G. Self
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27 February, 2015 Posted by John G. Self Posted in Career Management
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ASK THE RECRUITER: Should I Include My Address On My Resume?

Posted February 27th, 2015 | Author: John G. Self

The resume writer assigned to me advised me not to include my mailing address on my resume. How do executive recruiters feel about that recommendation?

Ask the RecruiterI think it is bad advice. When recruiters create a database record, they prefer to have all the information. When candidates do not provide all their contact information, it raises a flag. Not red, but yellow. Why would you want to raise a flag with a search consultant?

Your mailing address is important for the vetting process. Recruiters want to know where you reside.

That said, if you are a manager-level candidate living in a metropolitan area, there is an argument to be made that listing your address may raise inappropriate questions about your commute time, and your long-term commitment to the job. But senior level executives should not follow advice better suited for lower level managers.

Here is the information you should include:

  • Name
  • Home Address
  • City, State and Zip Code
  • Telephone Numbers (Delineate Between Home, Cell or Office)
  • Personal Email Address (Never use your company email)
  • LinkedIn URL
  • Make your email and LinkedIn URL links active

If you agree, or have an alternative view, please share your thoughts.

If you have a question, write to John at

© 2015 John Gregory Self

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25 February, 2015 Posted by John G. Self Posted in Healthcare
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5 Pillars for Community Trust, Survival

Posted February 25th, 2015 | Author: John G. Self

One of the most challenging businesses to run in America is a hospital. It is one of the most complex business models ever devised by man, said Peter Drucker, and it takes a special type of leader to run one, and run it well.

trustWhen it comes to the complexity and which size hospital – regional medical center versus small, rural hospital – is more difficult to lead, I take a contrarian view; I side with the small hospital.

I begin my defense of this conviction with the old adage that cash flow covers a multitude of sins. In large hospitals, mistakes, even big ones, typically can be covered by cash flow. In small hospitals, mistakes frequently show up on the profit-loss statement. But there is a far bigger, more serious challenge that small hospital CEOs must deal with, a challenge that will affect their very survival. Unfortunately, it is not as high on their priority list as are the various federal waiver programs and the future of Medicaid and Medicare reimbursement.

What is that overlooked challenge? Community trust — gaining it and sustaining it. It is the equivalent to the manufacturing quality of an automobile. Once lost, it is very hard to regain.

Without community trust, small and rural hospitals are destined to fail. That is why it must be one of the most important strategic initiatives that a CEO focuses on every day. As I wrote on Monday, I am not a big believer in adding too many “Chief” titles to the senior leadership team. But this function is critical. The CEO must function as the chief trust officer.

How you build the trust will vary from community to community but here are five important pillars of a critical partnership that must be a part of every plan:

  1. Physicians must buy in. Without physician partners, without their understanding that they play a critical role in a hospital’s trust plan, you cannot succeed.  Aligning professional and financial interests in support of the local healthcare delivery system is critical.
  2. Board members must agree with the concept and embrace it with a passion. If you have board members who are ambivalent, that is a serious drawback.
  3. Community stakeholders, including civic and political leaders, must also be active partners in the plan. They are key to creating peer pressure to encourage trust and support – to promote a community culture that emphasizes using healthcare resources whenever possible, versus driving to the larger regional medical center in a larger city.
  4. Vendors must also come to the table. The small and rural hospitals can no longer sit back and allow their vendor relationships to be a one-way street.   There are companies which recognize that their role must change and are moving to enhance their relationships. These companies must be willing to support your hospital in other ways that will foster public trust.
  5. Regional healthcare partners, like medical supply vendors, cannot look at their relationship with the rural community hospitals in their area as a one-way street. The small community hospital, with the support of its local partners, must set the terms for the relationship. They must insist that their regional tertiary hospital(s) care comes to the table with structured agreements that will respect the local medical staff’s gatekeeper role, and to help protect the small community hospital’s patient base. Outmigration of primary care patients is a cancer that threatens all smaller community hospitals. It is frequently driven by a lack of trust in the local healthcare resources.

© 2015 John Gregory Self

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  1. Britt Berrett says:

    Great article but I would add one more pillar….the team!!!

    For every physician there are 30-40 healthcare professionals that work side by side, live in the community and can make or break any strategy.

    If the team trusts you then magic can happen!!!

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23 February, 2015 Posted by John G. Self Posted in Healthcare, Leadership
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Too Many Chiefs

Posted February 23rd, 2015 | Author: John G. Self

There are too many chiefs and not enough Indians. I have heard that phrase for as long as I can remember. My dad, the owner of a successful retail bakery, was fond of the phrase, especially when his business partner, my mother, began to micromanage his day.

chiefIn healthcare, doctors, skeptical employees, and union members use it to describe what they feel are bloated executive staffs. Now, to make things more interesting, we have seen an explosion of new “chief” titles. Here are a few that are becoming more popular. They include:

  • Chief Talent Officer
  • Chief Engagement Officer
  • Chief Service Officer
  • Chief Managed Care Officer
  • Chief Care Management Officer
  • Chief Analytics Officer
  • Chief Risk Officer
  • Chief Growth Officer
  • Chief Innovation Officer

You get the picture. It is clear that some of these titles were created to salvage good executives who were interested in more responsibility, money, and prestige, so they got a “chief” title. To be fair, there are many more organizations that have created “chief” titles to demonstrate to the rank and file the importance of specific initiatives such as growth and innovation or to highlight a chronic challenge as in Chief Quality and/or Chief Safety Officer.

As a general rule I am not wild about expanding the C-suite because it represents more, not less, overhead and higher, not lower, costs. However, I realize that as far as some bureaucratic health systems go, I am swimming against the tide. That is precisely why I believe that so many expanding health systems are going to run into a cost, quality and satisfaction problem. Bigger is not necessarily better. There are exceptions to the rule, but they are very rare. The only thing bigger gives you is more clout against the payers, to hold the line against reductions in reimbursement so that we can sustain a business model that we understand and, more or less, works for us now.

Let’s not make the mistake of equating the complexity of our organizations with the need to load up on Chiefs with the mistaken belief that somehow they will enable us to deliver better, safer and lower cost care.

Yes, hospitals are amazingly complex businesses but I remain a devout believer that the hospitals which will excel in a post reform environment will be those which create and sustain a culture that emphasizes what I call personal healthcare, that is to say, focusing on all patients with the same level of care and compassion that we normally reserve for family members and close friends.

We already have a title for the person who is responsible for that: Chief Executive Officer.

© 2015 John Gregory Self

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