The Work of Leadership

by Ronald A. Heifetz and Donald L. Laurie

TO STAY ALIVE, JACK PRITCHARD had to change his life. Triple bypass surgery and medication could help, the heart surgeon told him, but no technical fix could release Pritchard from his own responsibility for changing the habits of a lifetime. He had to stop smoking, improve his diet, get some exercise, and take time to relax, remembering to breathe more deeply each day. Pritchard’s doctor could provide sustaining technical expertise and take supportive action, but only Pritchard could adapt his ingrained habits to improve his long-term health. The doctor faced the leadership task of mobilizing the patient to make critical behavioral changes; Jack Pritchard faced the adaptive work ...

Get HBR's 10 Must Reads on Leadership for Healthcare (with bonus article by Thomas H. Lee, MD, and Toby Cosgrove, MD) now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.