The Critical Early Days of a New Hospital Executive – Interim or Permanent

Presenter:  Mike Lieb, FACHE – Vice President
Date & Time:
December 4, 2020 at 12pm CT


The first few months of any new healthcare leader’s service will define the success of his or her tenure as the driver of the organization.  Those early days set the tone for leadership style, including board engagement, department goals, and staff communications. A careful balance is needed between responding to pressing operational issues (firefighting) and creating and refining long-term strategies. For instance, the most often cited priorities for a senior executive include responding to increased external pressures (COVID-19, loss of market share, cash flow concerns, etc.). How the new executive gains a firm toehold is critical to ensuring a smooth transition from the past to the future. 


  • Explore critical first steps that a new leader (interim or permanent) should take to establish, trust, followership, and buy-in to the priorities of the organization
  • Examine similarities and differences faced by both interim and permanent executives, and how they should approach the organization, its fears and uncertainties, and what those early days should look like.

Fun Fact:

There are many paths to the senior spot. According to a Spencer Stuart study: “33% of the S&P 500 CEOs’ undergraduate degrees are in engineering and only 11% are in business administration.”  From an IBM study: “60% of the CEOs in this study cited creativity as the most important leadership quality.”