What others are reading – 2020

What has worked

As my blog has grown, the potential of it to be overwhelming increases.  Where to start?  Which articles are most likely to resonate with you?  Articles have tags or keywords assigned by me to categorize them.  These categories are presented on the home page of the blog as buttons whose location varies depending on whether you access the blog with a desktop or handheld device.  The blog theme I am using has a very handy and powerful search feature enabled. You can search the entire blog for anything of interest to you.  Here in order of the number of page reads over the twelve months ending in mid-January 2020 are the most read articles.  This list is somewhat biased by time.  What is meant by that is that articles that first appeared later in the year do not have enough time to rise in the ranking commensurate with their current popularity.

Note that throughout this blog that text that is highlighted in a color other than black is hyperlinked meaning that you can jump from where you are to the linked text by clicking the colored word(s).  Unless I have made an error or committed an oversight, this should result in the linked item opening in a new window.

What is a blind reference?

The surprising initial and continuing popularity of this article caught me totally by surprise.  Obviously, a lot of people are very interested in blind reference checking. Obviously, a lot of people are searching the internet looking for ways to enhance their job-seeking chances.  The popularity of this article grew during 2019.  It led the #2 article in reads by more than 2:1.

I got one right

I have no idea what caused this article to come from nowhere to #2 on the list.  This article expands upon a common theme in my blog; the importance of the development of cognitive skills as a means of achieving more personal and professional success.

Will you get your money’s worth?

This article, released in June of 2019, is another surprise.  In this article, I take a look at the value proposition of interim executive consulting from the perspective of the consultant.

About

The ‘about’ page tells folks what the blog is about and a little about how I came to be an authority on Interim Executive Services.  I think a lot of first-time visitors to the blog are stopping on the about page to learn more about me and my work.

Why do CEOs get fired or leave organizations anyway?

This article was published in January of 2015 and remains very popular.  I am not even sure how people are continuing to find this article but the popularity of it on my blog is an indication of how much research about the topic is occurring.  CEO turnover in healthcare is rampant, averaging 18% – 20% per year according to the ACHE.  This translates to life expectancy of a hospital CEO to around three years

 

How do you Hire and Manage an Interim Executive?

This article takes a look at the relationship between an Interim Executive and their client.  In addition to describing the difference between an independent Interim Executive and one provided by a firm, the article discusses the difference between an independent contractor and an employee and provides some tips to help organizations gain maximum value from an interim engagement.

What others are reading

This is a page or menu item and not a blog article per-se.  It is what you are reading now.  The increasing popularity of this page indicates that people are increasingly interested in finding articles of interest on the blog more efficiently.

We Can’t Afford to Hire You

This article delves further into the value proposition of an interim executive.  This article discusses some of the irrational, convoluted reasoning applied by some cost obsessed decision-makers to try to minimize the cost of an Interim Executive Engagement.

I am not a Salesman

This article explores the relationship between the development of improved selling skills and career success.  In this article, I argue that everyone is in selling whether they realize it or not and lack of selling skill may. become career limiting.

What has not worked

No listing of what has worked or is popular would be complete without an acknowledgment of things that have not worked or are not as popular as I would have hoped or expected.  I have put a fair amount of effort into several articles that I thought would be hits only to see them languish.  I don’t know if I failed to give them a sufficiently catchy title or if their title did not give sufficient insight into articles that might provide valuable insights.  I should have known better than to write on ‘sadistics’ and the responses of two articles on the subject validate my opening comments on the first article that is that anyone that has ever been subjected to statistics swears off the subject and spends the rest of their life avoiding the topic.  The two articles on the topic share the dubious distinction of being among the least read on my blog.  Nevertheless, I have and continue to argue that your ability to develop cognitive skills and apply evidence-based analysis to decision making will either launch or constrain your ability to advance your career.  Here, in descending order of popularity are a few articles that are looking for some love:

Why would you consider engaging an interim executive?

This short article was my first blog effort. In this article, I explore how and why getting Interim Executive talent involved during a leadership transition is a good idea.  Why few people dealing with transitions are interested in the potential of adding value by using the right Interim Executive remains a mystery to me.

What should you look for in an interim executive agreement?

An increasing number of decision-makers are looking into Interim Executive Services as a means of enhancing their capabilities, managing a transition event or dealing with problems.  This article delves into the contracting process related to securing an interim and it continues to receive a lot of traffic.

What happens following CEO Turnover?

When the CFO leaves an organization whether it is a planned or ‘normal’ transition or a precipitous change of leadership, it is not the end of the process, it is the beginning.  Over the ensuing year, there will be collateral turnover in the c-suite.  This phenomenon has been studied and published.  My question for you is that if you are a C-Suite inhabitant and your CEO goes, wouldn’t you like to know what the probability that you are will survive another year is likely to be?

More ‘sadistics

I should have known better.  Most people do not dislike statistics, they have a patent loathing for the topic.  I should not be surprised that there was not much interest in this article. I am disappointed none the less because, in this article, I talk about what can and cannot be proven with statistics.  I give a number of examples of how failure to understand what you are looking at can lead to incorrect inferences (spurious correlations).  I remain committed to the concept that a better understanding of quantitative methods can help all of us become better decision-makers and as a result, better leaders.

How do I get ahead?

The performance of this article is a huge disappointment.  I teach leadership and healthcare finance in Texas Tech’s On-Line Graduate Healthcare Administration program.  EVERY student that is in TTU’s rapidly growing program is very interested in how to get ahead and is undertaking steps in that direction.  I guess the larger majority of folks are happy in their present situation.  In this article, I explain the transition from technical/operational focus of a staff role to the strategic perspective of a leadership position.

Examples of what not to do – simple mistakes you have seen that others could avoid.  AKA – How many ways can you get yourself into trouble?

This was the first article in a series about what not to do.  Interestingly, it has not been as popular as the second article.  I have material for other articles on this topic but based on the results of the two articles so far, my effort will be better spent elsewhere.  My request for feedback regarding examples of what not to do also went unheeded.

How fast can you teach finance?

I have witnessed healthcare leaders bragging about how little they knew about finance as if it is some kind of badge of honor.  In this article, I endeavor to encapsulate in a few words what is vitally important about finance and dead-on relevant to every leader at every level in every organization.  Selfishly, I am glad so many so-called leaders choose to wallow in their ignorance because, in the process, they create a plethora of opportunity for Interim Executive Consultants.

Should I pursue professional credentialing?

The lackluster performance of his article has been another surprise.  Once in the top ten, it now languishes.  In this article, I advance a strong and hopefully compelling argument in favor of credentialing as a means of career advancement.  I guess the performance of the article is evidence of comfort with mediocrity on the part of a lot of leaders.  What I am seeing as a growing lack of interest in credentialing is being exacerbated by employers that require Board Certification of their physicians but not of their leaders and headhunters that are advising employers that they should not require credentialing of the executives running their organizations.

Types of Interim Executives and Types of Clients

During my dissertation research, one of my most profound findings was an article by Goss and Bidson that promulgated a concept of varying degrees of client and consultant sophistication.  The article goes on to explain the problems that can occur when the sophistication of client/consultant is mismatched.  In my experience, most consultants and clients have no concept of their level of sophistication leading to sub-optimal engagement results.

How do you find an interim executive?

This is an oldie.  It was released in 2014.  This article discusses how to source an interim to fill a need.  I guess decision makers filling needs do not need any help or ideas when it comes to filling interim needs.  Almost a third of the respondents to my dissertation research question on this question indicated that their primary strategy is to ‘phone a friend.’  This is a good strategy but my research indicates that there are a lot of equally viable alternatives.

More examples of what not to do.

I am very disappointed with the poor performance of my articles on this topic.  They started as a homework assignment from Dr. Christy Lemak, Professor & Chair of the Department of Health Services Administration at my alma mater, The University of Alabama at Birmingham.  The articles look into avoidable mistakes.  I guess there are not that many people interested in avoidable mistakes.  That is not entirely bad news because leaders like this create opportunities for Interim Executive Services consultants.

Summary

I hope that this guide helps you to make the most efficient use of your time if you are interested in finding content in my blog that might be of value to you.   There is no order to the articles.  They appear as they are published.  However, the search feature in the blog is very powerful.  In addition, articles are categorized in an effort to make it possible to bring groups of articles on similar topics forward as a group.   Every time I get an idea, question or suggestion, I start a draft.  At any given time, I have more than a dozen draft articles in various stages of completion.  If you are interested in seeing me write on a topic of interest to you, let me know.  Some of my best-performing articles were written to address someone’s question.

I wish to conclude this article by thanking each and every one of my readers.  The traffic on my blog encourages me to continue.  As a practicing Interim Executive, I have seen first-hand the results of less than optimal leadership.  I am passionate about helping people get better because the result of that improvement will accrue directly to the patients and communities we serve.  Your comments and questions inspire me to write on different topics.  Your positive feedback justifies the time and effort I put into this work.  I am blessed and honored more than I can express by your interest in and support of my effort to provide tools to improve the practice of leadership in healthcare organizations.  I appreciate you and my hope is that you find jewels of insight or wisdom that make you a better person and better at what you do.  If you do find a jewel, I would like to know it.

Thank You

Ray Snead