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Life and Liberty: The Power of Positive Purpose

Author: BRIAN A. GRAGNOLATI and RONALD J. STUPAK
Published in JHHSA, Vol. 25 No. 1

The authors believe that health care and the courts, through their
commitments to positive purpose, are the fundamental keepers of life
and liberty in American society. In fact, they postulate that the power
of positive purpose works in every sector—public, private, and not-for-
profit. More specifically, by the use of data, operational examples, and
cases, this article shows how high performing hospitals, courts, and
other organizations make optimism tangible by developing concepts,
theories, and policies based on positive values. Effective court and
hospital leaders take the abstractions and hopes of wishes and dreams
and make them concrete and operational in a caring, sensitive, and
humane way.
Increasingly with the new generation of employees, loyalty and
motivation are based more on affirmative values anchored in empower-
ment, participation, involvement, and spirituality than on cash. Leaders
in health care and the courts must possess and be able to communicate
a clear set of positive values to these individuals. Consequently, the
authors show that we in health care and the court arena can influence
the events in our personal lives and in our organizations’ lives by
making the values, visions, and cultural anchors in our organizational
settings the foundations of performance.
Strong leadership that ties the organizational goals to uplifting values
based on a committed sense of optimism is the key to confronting
creatively the philosophical, strategic, organizational, and operational
changes necessary to improving the institutional effectiveness of health
care and the law as we move into the new millenium. As reflective-
practitioner leaders, it is our responsibility to be the catalysts and role
models for our professional colleagues by retaining, communicating,
and demonstrating a profound sense of optimism and a high level of
performance in judicial and health care organizations.

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