Knowledge Expansion

What healthcare professionals can learn from leadership books

Insight Article

Professional Development

Leadership Development

Kenneth T. Hertz FACMPE
“Everything I read was public. Anyone could buy the same books and magazines. The same information was available to anyone who wanted it. Turns out that most people didn’t want it. Most people won’t put in the time to get a knowledge advantage.”

That's a great quote from Mark Cuban. And while I’m no Mark Cuban, I have always felt that we as healthcare leaders, have a great opportunity to expand our knowledge advantage by expanding our reading habits.

Warren Buffet tells us to read 500 pages a day. And John Wooden tells us to “Drink deeply from good books.”

Reading is a thing. It’s a really important thing for each of us. It is how we expand our breath and depth of knowledge in our field, about people, culture, and leadership.

Today’s world abounds with options for us to gain a knowledge advantage, and there are so many ways to advantage of the information available to us.

Who do you follow on Twitter? What do you read on LinkedIn? And what RSS (Real Simple Syndication) feeds do you follow?

The following are three sources I read regularly. None are healthcare specific, yet each of these sources has expanded my knowledge, pointed me to additional resources, and offered solutions to issues that I find in practices every day.

Seth Godin. (, on Twitter @ThisisSethsBlog, and Seth’s Blog at Seth is an author of 18 books, a speaker, marketing guru, prolific blogger, former dot com executive, and on and on. Seth’s writing is clear, crisp, focused and highly thought provoking.

Even if you’re not an allergy practice, you’ll be interested in Seth’s concept of sneezers. If your practice doesn’t have them, you need them. And now wouldn’t be too soon. So what are sneezers? Simple, they are those folks that spread the word about your practice. And it doesn’t really matter to how many people. Sneezers spread the word, and they are the people who are believed. Imagine if each of your patients was a sneezer for your practice.
Want to grow your practice? Your challenge is to figure out what it will take to get your patients to become sneezers.

Lolly Daskall. ( Writer, speaker, blogger, executive leadership coach. Winner of countless awards. Recognized throughout the world as one of the top leadership thinkers.

I receive her email blast and follow her on Twitter @LollyDaskal.

Do you want to be that inspirational leader that people want to follow? Read Lolly’s blog posts and her books. Follow her Twitter feed and share her posts with your staff. For example, how often do you want to say this in your practice, “If people are unreasonable: 1. Love them anyway 2. Respect them anyway 3. Honor them anyway 4. Forgive them anyway.” That’s a recent tweet from her.

This is leadership. Leadership in any setting, not just healthcare. Leadership is leadership, no matter the setting. That’s a big deal for me. We can learn from other industries, from other fields, from history, from futurists. Learning opportunities are all around us…but we must take advantage of them.

RYAN HOLIDAY. (, on Twitter @RyanHoliday). Ryan is an author, speaker, and blogger. He calls himself a media strategist, and he’s one of the best. His company’s client base includes many of the largest companies and most well known authors.

One of his books has been particularly interesting to me. The Obstacle Is the Way takes the foundational tenets of stoicism and shows us how to employ them in our everyday lives.

In the book, Holiday, he quotes Marcus Aurelius “Our actions may be impeded…but there can be no impeding our intentions or dispositions. Because we can accommodate and adapt. The mind adapts and converts to its own purposes the obstacle to our acting. The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.”

Healthcare today is full of obstacles, impediments. We see them everyday. In everything we do. More rules, regulations, boxes to check, pages to click, measures to meet, metrics to exceed.

The good news, as Marcus Aurelius states, is that our ability to accommodate and adapt, enables us to move forward, and having done so, what was our obstacle, has now guided us forward.

How can you become a better leader? Read. A lot. Constantly. And a broad variety. But most of all, read.

So, what are you reading today?

About the Author

Kenneth T. Hertz
Kenneth T. Hertz FACMPE
Principal Consultant MGMA Consulting

With nearly 40 years of management experience, Kenneth T. Hertz, FACMPE, has held numerous leadership positions in small and large healthcare organizations in primary care, multispecialty care and large integrated systems. His consulting work has encompassed a broad range of services, including operational improvement, practice analysis, strategic planning, organizational development and strategic marketing.