Applying Military Principles to HM Leadership


Hospitalists are more than doctors—they are also leaders in their organizations, which is why a new book by retired Army Lieutenant General Mark Hertling is relevant to what they do every day. Hertling, whose numerous military awards include the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star, and the Purple Heart, is the author of Growing Physician Leaders: Empowering Doctors to Improve Our Healthcare, which applies his four decades of military leadership to the world of healthcare.

Image Credit: Shuttershock.com

Image Credit: Shuttershock.com

He wrote the book not long after designing the first physician leader course at Florida Hospital in Orlando.

“Many of the administrators and other doctors saw the changes in the doctors, nurses, and administrators who graduated from the course, and they asked me to write down what we had done,” he says. “The book is partially a description of the course, but it’s also a primer on the basics of leadership.”

The book tells readers how to understand what kind of leader they can be as well as how to better understand the motivations of others; it also outlines a variety of influence techniques they can employ to get things done.

“One of the things we drive home is that all physicians are leaders, whether they are in a leadership role or not,” Hertling says.

One of the concepts he outlines is “leading up”—how to influence your bosses to do the things you want them to do. “What we do during this lesson is show readers how they are other people’s bosses, too,” he says, “and that they need to listen to their own people, too, and allow their folks to contribute to the organizational goals.”

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