Health care executives must consider renewal and change within their own lives if they are to breathe life into their own institutions. Yet numerous barriers to executive renewal exist, including time pressures, fatigue, cultural factors, and trustee attitudes. This essay discusses such barriers and suggests approaches that health care executives may consider for programming renewal into their careers. These include self-assessment for professional and personal goals, career or job change, process vs. outcome considerations, solitude, networking, lifelong education, surrounding oneself with change agents, business travel and sabbaticals, reading outside the field, physical exercise, mentoring, learning from failures, a sense of humor, spiritual reflection, and family and friends. Renewal is a continuous, lifelong process requiring constant learning. Individual executives would do well to develop a framework for renewal in their careers and organizations.
Address correspondence and requests for reprints to George C. Burke III, Associate Professor, Department of Health Administration, Southwest Texas State University, Academy Street, San Marcos, TX 78666-4616.
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