Executive Health Administration

Legendary Leadership Playbook: 6 Tactics

[fa icon="calendar'] Apr 29, 2016 8:15:55 AM / by Anna Montgomery, MPA


As Dr. Sample pointed out in the previous post, it’s easy for healthcare administrators to get bogged down in the day to day minutia of running a hospital, medical device company, consulting firm, or long term care facility. His 70/30 rule, that leaders will spend 70% of their time on routine and sometimes inconsequential matters and 30% on important initiatives, means great administrators know how to make the most of that 30%. Truly incredible leaders will realize immense gains by focusing some of that 30% of their time on personnel issues.

Sydney Finklestein’s research on superbosses, icons of success in their respective industries, revealed several character traits and most importantly, their unique abilities to hire and develop talent. He recently outlined key takeaways from his research in a Harvard Business Review article. Employ a tactic from this legendary leader playbook and step beyond being a superstar as you learn to become a superboss.



First, hire the best people, which Finklestein identified as intelligent, creative, and flexible. With these three traits the sky’s the limit on their achievements. Which brings us to the second point, consider more than credentials. It’s quite possible that the best people will not come in your preconceived packages of experience or education. Superbosses look deeper than typical hiring managers to find employees with real potential. Third, give these incredible people a steep learning curve. Ambitious, motivated employees can do a lot more than they’re typically expected to do in regular positions. A continuous challenge will push people to dig deep and reach high.


Fourth, set extraordinarily high expectations, giving feedback and rewards along the way. Imagine together what can be achieved and don’t limit yourself or your employees in what you expect them to accomplish. To move to the fifth tactic, mold their skills through these expectations but don’t limit their innate drive and talents. Nurture the unusual or exemplary skills that each employee brings to their work. Finally, be confident in your ability to hire and develop excellent people who will soar beyond even your high expectations. This type of mentoring, development, and commitment to your employees will require you to be authentic and imaginative. Authentic superbosses connect deeply with employees and maintain relationships with mentees long after working together. Imagination is the spark that helps you see the potential in each employee and bring out their best.

Ready to embrace or enhance your own leadership journey through USC's EMHA program? 

PreQualify Now!

Topics: Innovative Leadership, Transformation

Anna Montgomery, MPA

Written by Anna Montgomery, MPA

Anna Montgomery earned her MPA at USC Price and is pursuing her EdD at USC Rossier.

Subscribe to Email Updates

See if an Executive Masters of Health Administration is for you

Recent Posts