Deep cultural connection: Respect for people + patient safety

Virginia Mason Medical Center Blog

Having served as CEO of one of the world’s largest corporations (Alcoa), and as Secretary of the Treasury of the United States, Paul O’Neill knows something about leadership. A while back, O’Neill was asked to write something about leadership, and he took the assignment quite seriously.

Paul O'Neill Paul O’Neill

“I spent a lot of time thinking about what I had done for the previous 60 years and how to capture the essential ingredients of real leadership,” he says. O’Neill came up with three clear points focused not on the C-suite, but on what workers within an organization say about their work.

He says organizations with the best leadership – “with the potential for greatness” – are those where every employee can say yes without reservation to three questions:

  • Can I say every day I am treated with dignity and respect by everyone I encounter without respect to my pay grade, or my…

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