Lessons from David Rubenstein, FACHE, Major General, U.S. Army (Retired)

September 22, 2021

I had the pleasure of listening to David Rubenstein, FACHE, Major General, U.S. Army (Retired) at the AZ HIMSS Conference, April 11, 2019. General Rubenstein’s closing keynote, titled, “Leading Oneself in Order to Lead Others” resonated with the audience of healthcare professionals. Here are a few of the key points he shared.

  • Healthcare is incredibly complex. Leaders must navigate the patient experience, politics, suppliers, technology, financial constraints, community health, payment models, payor demands. They need to be savvy about the marketplace, healthcare delivery models, innovation, knowledge management, patient safety and organizational designs.
  • To lead others, we have to lead ourselves, that means creating a personal mission and vision statement.
  • Get in touch with your core personal values.
  • He assigned us all homework, you may find enriching and meaningful. Find a quiet spot and take about 5 minutes to reflect on “What is my mission and how does it support the team?” This should answer the question, what is your purpose? Why are you doing what you’ve chosen to do?
  • As an executive coach and consultant, this is the work I’ve partnered with countless leaders to do. It increases their clarity and commitment when they can articulate what they do and who they do it for, both personally and organizationally. My mission is “to help healthcare leaders be their best, to positively impact their teams and their patients.”
  • Next, ask yourself, “What is my vision and how does it support the team?” Your vision is what you aspire to be. My vision is “developing leaders for healthcare’s changing landscape.”
  • Finally, ask yourself “What are my personal values and how do they support the team? Notice the clarity and focus you are feeling as you put your values to paper. If you’re not feeling excited, let’s talk, you may need to find ways to increase living your values at work.
  • Once you’ve generated your mission, vision and values, share them with your team. Challenge them to identify how their MVV align to the work of your organization.

Rubenstein was the first Medical Service Corps officer in the history of the Army to be selected as a Major General. He ended his 35-year Army career as both Commanding General of the Army Medical Department Center and School and Chief of the Army Medical Service Corps. Prior to that, he was the Army’s Deputy Surgeon General and the Commanding General of Europe Regional Medical Command/Command Surgeon for United States Army, Europe, and 7th Army. In addition, he served as President of the American College of Healthcare Executives. He is still actively speaking and serving as Clinical Associate Professor of Health Administration at Texas State University.

Free 30 minute intro coaching session
Curious to learn more about how Executive Coaching can help you achieve your goals?