Wisdom Leadership in Academic Health Science Centers: Leading Positive Change

Plews-Ogan, M. & Beyt, G. (2013). Wisdom Leadership in Academic Health Science Centers: Leading Positive Change. London, UK: Radcliffe Publishing.

In the middle of the national debate and political conflict around healthcare, we have been thinking a lot about wisdom and leadership. Wisdom seems to be important in healthcare leadership development, patient-centered teamwork, and improving the health and well-being of the population. Wisdom leadership is needed in redesigning the system of care into one with the innate capacity for resilience, learning, and a culture of compassion. To better understand this, we have collected real-life stories to share and study.

Wisdom leadership builds on capacities that we each have as human beings, and that we have honed as healers, capacities for deep connection with others, for compassion, for awareness of our own thought processes and limitations, for creating language that communicates our most profound thoughts, for appreciating complexity and for creating meaning in our lives. This book on leadership is all about how we, as leaders, can foster capacities that can help us, and our healthcare communities, to be our best selves, together. (Margaret Plews-Ogan and Gene Beyt, Wisdom Leadership in Academic Health Science Centers: Leading Positive Change. Radcliffe Publishing, London and New York, 2013, is now available here, US discount code: PBWAC913, and on Amazon)

Now is the time to place the patient, the family, and the caregiver back into the center of the discourse, and develop the wisdom leadership needed to deliver valued compassionate care. After all, patient-centered care is really about finding the thread that connects us as human beings with our patients.

Content Summary: Preface: Finding the thread • Part 1: Wisdom and leadership • Forward: We are, therefore I am • Chapter 1: Wisdom is a worthy construct • Part 2: Fostering the capacities for wisdom • A story: The ultimate concern • Chapter 2: Fostering meaning • Chapter 3: Promoting reflection • A story: When things get tough • Chapter 4: Supporting humility, forgiveness, and trust • A story: Holding one another • Chapter 5: Cultivating compassion and empathy • Chapter 6: Connecting with others • A story: Holy moments • Chapter 7: Finding positive emotion • A story: Diving into the mess • Chapter 8: Seeing wisdom in complexity • Part 3: Leading wisely • Chapter 9: Leadership and the journey toward wisdom • Coda: you were made for this

Review: Drs. Plews-Ogan and Beyt have brought together a highly valuable and coherent series of essays by multiple authors. These essays illuminate leadership for change in the rapidly evolving and stress-laden arena of health care. The target audience for the book is leadership in academic health centers, but the message applies with equal force to all of healthcare delivery.

The authors begin by offering wisdom as a unifying concept of excellence in leadership. Wisdom is defined as having components of cognition, reflection, and compassion. In subsequent chapters, these three components are expanded upon to yield seven capacities of wisdom. In the process, the authors incorporate a wide variety of writings about leadership, including Jody Gittell's groundbreaking work on relational leadership and Curt Lindberg's lucid and practical account of the often-mystifying topic of complexity science. The result is a comprehensive guide to healthcare leadership that is novel in its unity and concrete applicability to everyday settings. Along the way, the book cites an abundance of references to writings on leadership and related topics.

The value of the book as a real-life guide is enhanced by numerous stories of triumph and challenge in leadership. These stories connect the abstract concepts with the concrete realities of leading in difficult circumstances.

The book concludes with an exploration of leadership development for individual leaders and a reflection on how wisdom leadership is manifest in different facets of a leader's thoughts and action. The book as a whole is insightful, inspiring, and confidence-building.

- Gordon Mosser, MD, Senior Fellow, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota and co-author of Understanding Teamwork in Health Care

(Something interesting I found)Posted:Oct 01 2013, 12:00 AM by brendah
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