Thursday, July 1, 2010

Perhaps the most important role of leaders

Although CEOs of organizations, including health care, have a myriad of important roles and responsibilities, none might be more important for the stability and growth of the company than succession.

With that in mind, I have been working with my senior leadership team and our board of directors to plan a smooth and effective transition process. This has been officially announced and will culminate for me after 12 years of service on June 30, 2011, one year from now.

The drivers for this decision and the timing of such are multiple. These include, first and foremost, the strength of the senior leadership team, none of whom are planning to transition with me. In addition, the CHRISTUS system is extremely stable, good progress has been made in all four directions to excellence, and the five key strategies for the next decade have been formulated. And finally, our office has had strong focus for the last eleven years on leadership training and succession planning, all of which has been successful.

With regard to the latter, and after a nine-month search process, the CHRISTUS Health Board of Directors recently named Ernie Sadau, the current senior vice president and chief operating officer for CHRISTUS, as my successor.

As I journey through my “final” and exciting year, I will be, with the support of my wife and family, exploring other career opportunities since I am extremely healthy and energetic. Regardless of what doors might open, when I leave I will be filled with much peace knowing CHRISTUS Health is in the best of hands. This is what every great leader should be able to say when the door closes.

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