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Healthcare leaders are ‘strangled by time’ says Suneel Gupta

Suneel Speaking
Thought Leader: Suneel Gupta
March 11, 2024

Learning how to manage energy is the skill set of our time, says Suneel Gupta, speaking at HIMSS24.

Forty percent of C-suite leaders are thinking of leaving their jobs over the next 12 months. In healthcare, it is closer to 75%, said Suneel Gupta, founding CEO of Rise.

This is because CEOs are exhausted, said Gupta, who kicked off the Executive Summit at HIMSS24. Pressures include clinical burnout, budget constraints, negative margins, cybersecurity risks, relentless to-do lists and getting buy-in from other leaders.

Running out of energy by the end of the workday is common.

To combat this, the most high-performing leaders take short breaks during the day, with scientific data showing it makes a big difference. Gupta calls this the 55/5 rule of rhythmic breaks. For every 55 minutes of work, take a five-minute break to connect with people or pets, listen to music without multitasking, take a walk, or just relax by taking deep breaths, he said.

This restoration can be seen through brain activity imaging showing people who take breaks to have less stress than those who don’t.

Leaders also have to switch the spotlight to focus on the stress, and ultimately the resulting burnout, of their workforce.

Teams must feel a sense of ownership, Gupta said. Leaders who do well fall in love with a problem, but not necessarily the solution, because employees are cut out of the process.

This turns staff from buyers of a solution who must be sold on its benefits, into builders who have more buy-in.

Leaders – as all people – make better decisions based on whether or not they’re stressed.

“We’re all strangled by time,” Gupta said. “We haven’t learned how to manage our energy. It’s the skill set of our time.”

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