On "Really pursue those other interests" (Feb. 3, p. 31), about how being fired can lead to better things, if you have the right attitude.
I too experienced being terminated, and you're 100% correct. I landed on my feet and am twice as happy as I was.
Wouldn't it be wonderful if there were a network of fired executives who could help each other through these times, provide guidance and opportunities? With all your influence, you would be the perfect person to help get this started.
Vice president and chief financial officer
Twin County Regional Hospital
On "Engaging life" (Jan. 13, p. 24), about old words of wisdom that can give a fresh perspective on life, helping you meet new challenges:
Having just finished reviewing a recent issue of Modern Healthcare-which highlighted such scintillating topics as a false claims suit against Tenet Healthcare Corp., a Michigan hospital pleading guilty, problems with verification of physicians' credentials, and, of course, HIPAA regulations-well, it just gave me pause.
In the pause, however, I drifted to your letter, and, to use your verb, was "beguiled" by Robert Frost's "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening." And then, almost as if I had been stunned by a boxer's right hook, read "Risks."
It was a nice piece and I thank you for the timely and inspiring message.
President and chief executive officer
Mineral Area Regional Medical Center
On "Make your workers the stars," (Jan. 6, p. 25), about how leadership involves cultivating talent among workers and ensuring they get the proper credit for success:
I found the letter to be profound. It has revitalized my passion about leadership because it mirrors my beliefs about management vs. leadership.
After retiring from the U.S. Navy as a senior chief and moving into the civilian sector, I have been disillusioned. The Navy provided me a strong foundation in leadership. For the past nine years I have been working in human resources in healthcare. From my perspective, those organizations that have been successful in retaining creative and committed employees have "walked the talk."
Leadership is the ingredient that separates first-rate organizations from the mediocre. It is the catalyst that brings employees together and creates synergy. Leadership is the substance that allows organizations to be successful even in the most challenging situations.
I want to use this letter in college classes I teach on human resources. Your letter would be a useful tool as a handout to have students' review and discuss. Leadership is a major theme in all of the classes.
Director of human resources
HealthSouth Bakersfield (Calif.) Rehabilitation Hospital
On "Gone to the dogs" (Dec. 16, 2002, p. 26), about how our relationship with our pets and other animals makes us better people:
I just wanted to let you know it did touch me deeply as I am a dog lover-animal lover-through and through.
Those who do not have such a love affair with dogs will never know just how deep and real the joy and the pain are in these four-legged friends.
I find your articles are always to the point and give me a sense of purpose. I, by the way, have your letter from May 27, 2002, "Effective storytelling gets to the heart" (p. 21) on my file cabinet in my office and highlighted. It is my motto in life. We relate so well to stories and to me that is the best way to educate. Just thought I'd let you know you are touching all the right buttons-to me.
President and chief executive officer
Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital
And then there are readers who just like the column and write to say so.
I want to let you know that your Publisher's Letter has been the feature that guides and supports my commitment to trying to make a difference. I always save reading this for the last because I can focus on the lessons and take heart from the experiences and messages you share.
I have had many mentors over the years, but you are my first long-distance mentor. I wanted to be sure that you knew how important your page is and how grateful I am for the advice you offer. Please don't change your focus-I am sure there are countless others like me who look to your words of encouragement.
Director of quality management
Lauer is the author of two books, Reach for the Stars and Soar with the Eagles. For more information, go to www.chucklauer.com