The most valuable asset you have is your team

Over the course of my career, I’ve seen many CEOs who underutilize their teams. This letter, written in response to a New York Times article, recently caught my attention. The author’s management insight is not limited to the medical profession.

To the Editor:

There are some medical issues I wish we could end once and for all. As Theresa Brown wrote, doctor superiority, especially at the expense of nurses and other staff, is one of them.

The best doctors I know consider themselves part of a team and use the team’s knowledge to the advantage of the patient. They think “patient first” and draw on the experience of nurses, laboratory technicians and other medical professionals. The patient receives the doctor’s best treatment advice based on the collective knowledge of the team.

Doctors who accept only their own counsel are putting ego before medicine, possibly at the expense of the patient. Hospital care should be based on collective wisdom to reach the best treatment plan. Nurses, doctors and all highly trained medical professionals each have a role to play, each of which is invaluable to the patient.

President and Chief Executive
NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital
New York, May 9, 2011

Remember that your company’s most valuable asset is your team — don’t let your executive ego or thoughts of “I know best” get in the way of looking at all the pieces of the puzzle before you make a crucial decision. For more on strategic planning that lets you work through issues like this, review the first two chapters I wrote in the Business Expert Guide to Small Business Success. If you’re interested in having a facilitated strategic planning meeting that sets your strategy and launches its implementation, contact us (800) 207-8192 or

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