PBR: Today we have the pleasure of being with Dr. Charles S. Ricks, author of the new non-fiction book titled, “Confessions: The Soul of Leadership.” Dr. Ricks, thank you for taking the time to be here with us.
CSR: Thank you Brandon. It’s nice to meet with you.
PBR: Was your transition to management a logical outgrowth of your career path, or did you come to it inadvertently?
CSR: I finished most of the requirements for dentistry late in my sophomore and early junior year and was asked if I would like to pursue a Masters in Public Health (MPH) in Healthcare Administration. Since most of my work experience had been in the hospital field (I was a Respiratory Therapist) this seemed like a good idea. At graduation I received both degrees: a DDS and MPH.
After ten years of practice the opportunity presented itself to do some things in hospital management and so I have had extensive experience in both the hospital and dental fields. During the time in the hospital sector I kept my dentistry and anesthesiology up to speed as well.
PBR: How have your views on management and best practices evolved since the publication of Confessions, if at all?
CSR: Since I am only 68 years old my views on management and best practices continue to evolve. I have written a book titled: “From Dental School to Main Street: Repositioning Your Healthcare Profession” and will soon publish my newest book “Turnaround: A six-month plan for change” which will gear most of what I have learned toward an individual’s goals and process for change.
PBR: Do you have any other management-related projects in the pipeline? If so, can you discuss them briefly?
CSR: Only my newest book as above
PBR: What do you see as the most common failing or missed opportunity in the management field?
CSR: To me the most common failing is the ability to truly work with people and understand how to motivate them to be successful. A true manager’s success is a by-product of those he/she leads. As Ronald Reagan is supposed to have said: “One can accomplish anything they wish so long as they don’t care who gets the credit.”
PBR: What do you see as the biggest challenge in the health care management field, and how might you/do you approach this challenge?
CSR: The biggest challenge is finding true leaders who can inspire an organization. The lack of good leaders leads to a revolving door of leadership with short tenures at many management levels.
My approach to do this is by following the principles I outlined in the book “Confessions.” The individuals who currently work with me are asked to review my principles of leadership as outlined in my books and let me know if there is any principle I espouse that I am not personally following.
PBR: This has all been very interesting and we wish you the best of success with your book. Thank you again for taking some time to be with us today.
CSR: Thank you for asking.