A Culture of Leadership

Lessons Learned and Shared

Non-Fiction - Occupational
86 Pages
Reviewed on 06/27/2021
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Author Biography

Don Sipes is a Life Fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives. His career in healthcare exceeds fifty years and includes executive management in settings ranging from small stand-alone organizations to a large, complex health system. He served as Chair of the Missouri Hospital Association (MHA), as a delegate to the American Hospital Association Regional Policy Board, and as Regent of the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE). He is a recipient of the MHA Distinguished Service Award and the Senior Level Regent's Award from the ACHE. He retired from healthcare management in 2018, but continues to consult on management and governance best practices. Additionally, he is certified as both an executive and professional coach. He serves in an advisory board capacity for a university MBA program. He lives in Kansas City, Missouri, with his wife, Linda. Don's passionate hope in sharing his experiences and lessons learned through this book is that it will serve as a meaningful reference for those navigating real-life leadership challenges at all junctures of their careers.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Astrid Iustulin for Readers' Favorite

When a leader decides to share his skills with other leaders, it always happens that essential information becomes enlightening. This is especially true if the leader who shares his experiences is as authoritative as Don Sipes. In his fifty years of experience in the healthcare field, Sipes has had plenty of time to ponder and learn, and his ideas are now fully expressed in A Culture of Leadership: Lessons Learned and Shared. Written to inform emerging leaders about the challenges and opportunities that await them, A Culture of Leadership is divided into 12 chapters with final exercises (chapter 11 is actually a chapter dedicated to group exercises) in which Sipes invites readers to reflect on issues such as their leadership career path, the importance of network and mentors, challenges, and opportunities to improve and more.

A Culture of Leadership is not merely another book on leadership. Here the author's experience is significant and valuable. Don Sipes wastes no time with unnecessary references but goes straight to the point and explores the essentials to know when you are in a leadership position. Thanks to this approach, both first-time leaders and accomplished professionals will find useful suggestions to improve themselves and the company where they work, starting with the right atmosphere. Moreover, A Culture of Leadership is not a long book to read, so that even the busiest leaders will have no excuse to ignore it. From any point of view, A Culture of Leadership is a great addition for those leaders who have their careers at heart.

Daniel D Staats

Sometimes a position of leadership is suddenly thrust upon you. Sometimes you claw your way to the top. Either way, the question remains, “Are you ready to be a leader?” From his years of leadership experience in the medical field, Don Sipes shares principles of how to prepare for a role of leadership. His advice is imperative for those striving to lead, no matter what experience they already have. In A Culture of Leadership, Don shares wisdom and gives excises to help you practice your newfound skills. One of the basics of developing a culture of leadership is to develop a culture of improvement. Good leadership is always striving to improve itself and those around it. Don teaches the reader how to evaluate their skills and how further to develop them. Leadership must trickle down.

A Culture of Leadership by Don Sipes is a leadership manual that shares skills of leadership he has developed through his extensive leadership mostly in the medical field. His experience can help novice leaders, upcoming leaders, experienced leaders, and leaders of the future to grow in their abilities. This guide is easy to read and put into practice. To help in the development of the skills presented and to deploy growth plans, Don includes exercises at the end of each chapter. Using personal examples, Don gives concrete ways to approach leadership and how to include all employees. When leadership is done properly, all employees, board members, executives, middle management, and any other person involved in the organization benefit. This book is invaluable in helping train leadership.

Joe Wisinski

A Culture of Leadership: Lessons Learned and Shared by Don Sipes is written both for current leaders and those who aspire to leadership. Also, it’s for those who lead major corporations, such as CEOs of large companies, and for those who lead, or want to lead, small groups and/or volunteer organizations. The book is divided into 12 short chapters, including how to start learning to be a leader, learning from mentors, effective decision-making, and much more. There’s also a chapter titled “Group Exercises,” where Sipes encourages potential leaders to work with peers and provides scenarios for the groups to work through. The book concludes with a bibliography for those who want to further their studies of leadership principles.

A Culture of Leadership: Lessons Learned and Shared by Don Sipes provides hundreds of workable tips to help leaders in any type of organization. Sipes’s book is both theoretical and practical. He not only explains what effective leadership principles are, but he also explains why they are effective. The short chapters are a positive aspect because the author packs a lot of information into each chapter and readers need time to assimilate and reflect on what they’re learning. I liked how Sipes often referred to real-life experiences as examples. I also appreciated how he addresses his readers directly, which helps them to look into their own minds rather than simply considering the information as theoretical. The exercises at the end of each chapter are also a useful part of the book. They help readers to not just read but also experience the information. Anyone who is currently a leader, or wants to be one, would profit from this book.

Edith Wairimu

With a background of over fifty years in healthcare, Don Sipes provides significant insights into leadership in his useful and relevant guide, A Culture of Leadership: Lessons Learned and Shared. The first chapter explains leadership success as a broad process that should correspond to an individual’s long-term goals. To achieve leadership and career success, the book explains that the leader needs to align their personal goals with their talents, skills, interests, and traits. In the second chapter, Sipes explains how other leaders and mentors’ input helped him learn and broaden his perspective. The third chapter explains how to grow and develop a successful leadership culture in an organization and suggestions of features that portray such a culture are given.

A Culture of Leadership: Lessons Learned and Shared is a practical guide as it discusses real issues that leaders in any field face such as how to communicate and why communication is critical in leadership, how to hire employees, how a leader can navigate, and be successful in a new environment. It also examines networking, decision-making, and the purpose of leadership. The work contains exercises that incorporate issues any leader will be familiar with and whose solutions are explored in the text. Leaders at any point in their careers will find the information contained relevant as it is written with experienced and entry-level leaders in mind. The discussions are enhanced by Sipes’s experiences and those of other people who have served in other leadership positions. They also include rhetorical questions that are helpful for personal assessment. A Culture of Leadership by Don Sipes is a valuable leadership guide that contains applicable lessons.

Vincent Dublado

A Culture of Leadership: Lessons Learned and Shared by Don Sipes is a business book in its purest form. In purpose, it’s a crash course in leadership intended to be very much practical in its methodologies based on real-world situations in which leaders often find themselves. It caters to any organizational scenario from private corporations, governmental bodies, religious institutions, and volunteer teams. This is not one of those leadership courses taught in prestigious business schools, but rather is based on actual job scenarios because you do not learn everything in the classroom. At 86 pages, this book may look slim, but it covers a lot of ground. As a tool kit, this book works with you by conducting personal assessments, objectives, exercises, and real-life examples. In the end, as you bring it all together, you get a better sense of answering whether leadership skills are developed or a birthright.

Don Sipes offers an elegant and concise summary of leadership essentials in crisp writing where no ideas are wasted. It is one thing to be a leader but another to empower others. The questions in the given exercises are pointedly objective and get to the roots of the goal that you are trying to achieve. The case scenarios encourage creativity, critical thinking, and sound judgment. I tried to answer one case scenario that I liked, which is about being recently appointed director of business operations of a small university. In considering the profiles of my more experienced colleagues and the questions given, it is a solid challenge that truly tested my mettle in office politics, and it will test yours. In these challenging times, we need to read A Culture of Leadership, because our excellence in this aspect will determine the path that we take collectively and individually.