Intangibles: The Unexpected Traits of High-Performing Healthcare Leaders

Intangibles: The Unexpected Traits of High-Performing Healthcare Leaders



As a leader, is it possible to be both successful and humble? Studies show that today’s emerging leaders not only prioritize achievement over humility but also see the two as mutually exclusive. Does this signal an existential crisis for healthcare—an industry that, at its essence, is supposed to embody humility and compassion?

Thankfully, no, according to Intangibles: The Unexpected Traits of High-Performing Healthcare Leaders, which demonstrates that you can embrace humility and still be excellent at your job.

The author, a healthcare professor, executive coach and consultant, gleans evidence and insights from researchers, executives, philosophers, and thought leaders. Intangibles is neither a self-help book offering prescriptive answers nor a leadership-guru memoir looking back at a lifetime of lessons learned. Rather, it offers an engaging exploration of evidence-based practices from an array of leaders in different settings.

The book’s stories, interviews, and research findings will appeal to readers of every stripe and career stage, from undergraduate students in healthcare administration to early careerists and even seasoned CEOs.

Part 1 introduces the four intangible leadership traits: humility, compassion, kindness, and generosity. Part 2 explores each trait in detail, and part 3 tackles the traits through the lenses of gender, age, and self-improvement.

Along the way, the book explores many intriguing questions: Is humility viewed as weakness? Can leaders balance kindness with a strong personality? How do men and women differ in their perceptions of these traits? Are there generational differences in how leadership is perceived? Can these characteristics be learned?

In the end, Intangibles concludes that high-performance in leadership can be achieved when humility is combined with ambition, and compassion with strength.

Publication Date



Health Administration Press




health services administration, leadership, ACHE management series


Medicine and Health Sciences

Original Publication Information

Health Administration Press

Intangibles: The Unexpected Traits of High-Performing Healthcare Leaders