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Preparing to Step Into CEO Roles

Strong female executive
Aashi Arora 30 May 2023

The Great Resignation saw huge turnover in all sectors as workers reassessed their career goals, explored new job options, or simply retired, a shift that seems to be slowing or ending in many industries. However, this does not seem to be the case for hospital chief executive officers (CEOs) in 2023. The pace at which CEOs are stepping down from hospital leadership was higher in the first part of 2023 than in the similar period of 2022.

In the first two months of the year, hospitals announced 41 CEO exits so far, as compared to 26 CEO exits in January and February of the previous year, a jump of 58 percent. By contrast, 279 CEOs across all US companies have exited in the same time, almost identical to the 276 who exited in early 2022. The report from Challenger, Gray, and Christmas Inc. documented that overall 2023 exits were up from 112 in January to 167 in February, noting that “US companies across industries are preparing for significant change, prompting more leadership switch-ups than normal…. Hospitals, in particular, are facing a new normal.”

Challenges and Opportunities

According to the report, increased CEO exits in hospitals should be expected as “as they recover from the pandemic, consolidate, and respond to both worker shortages and increased costs.” Data from the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) suggests that hospital CEOs tend to have a shorter average tenure than CEOs in other industries—five years instead of seven. The organization also reported that hospital CEO turnover has remained at a steady 16 percent over the last few years.

President and CEO of ACHE, Deborah J. Bowen, said, “Hospital leaders have played, and continue to play, a critical role in our recovery from the COVID crisis, and the value of strong, capable leaders has never been more evident. While continuing to address immediate patient needs, healthcare leaders have long been looking beyond the pandemic to position their organizations for the future. This includes succession planning and a focus on developing a pipeline of leaders equipped to address the challenges of tomorrow.”

The departure of a CEO creates an opportunity for a rising healthcare executive to step into the role. If this is a position that you’ve been seeking, having the possibility open up before you may come with an unexpected sense of apprehension and self-doubt if you’ve been struggling with the symptoms of Imposter Syndrome. Do you hear a voice in your head telling you that you’re not ready, even when your colleagues and mentors are encouraging you to take the next step in your career? Before you allow Imposter Syndrome to sabotage your potential for advancement, you need to take a step back, enlist some help, and get a clearer perspective.

The Role of Executive Coaching in Combatting Imposter Syndrome

While it’s natural for healthcare executives, who are in a high-stress, highly skilled profession, to have moments where they feel unsure or anxious, Imposter Syndrome is different. In this phenomenon, the persistent sense that you’re a fraud, not nearly as accomplished, competent, or qualified as others think you are, takes hold. This is accompanied by a fear that you’ll be found out or revealed as a fake. Those struggling with Imposter Syndrome may end up avoiding opportunities that would allow them to excel out of feelings of inadequacy.

Executive coaching can help you recognize when Imposter Syndrome is holding you back and develop strengths-based techniques for dealing with its negative effects. With decades of experience in the healthcare sector, iRISE Executive Coaching is focused on the unique needs of healthcare executives and professionals. We help our clients increase their resilience, set career goals, and create actionable plans to achieve those goals. We can coach you in successful strategies to keep Imposter Syndrome from impacting your work performance and your enjoyment of your career.

When opportunity presents itself, don’t let the negative voice in your head hold you back. To recapture your sense of clarity and confidence, contact iRISE Executive Coaching here today.

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