Failed Leadership: Case 95-Murder for Hire

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Brief Summary of the Case

The case titled Murder for Hire describes the problem of Roy Lambert, who was working in the Healthy Hospital. He had been working as a plastic surgeon with remarkable performance and reputation due to his exemplary work (Buchbinder, Shanks, & Buchbinder, 2014). However, he had a gambling problem that drained his finances and compelled him to incur numerous debts. He focused on utilizing different strategies to minimize costs in his practice and manage to pay his bills. Unfortunately, the gambling debt was huge, and it placed pressure on him. The gambling habit had also led to the failure of his marriage. Lambert’s wife was unable to deal with her husband’s unending debts and gambling patterns. For this reason, she decided to leave the marriage. Lambert’s colleagues recognized that he had financial problems, but none of them approached him with the purpose of helping. On the contrary, the colleagues gossiped about him in the workplace.

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Due to his debts, Lambert was attacked in the hospital premises, and a thug broke his foot. As he sought treatment from the emergency department, he remembered that he had filled in a life insurance policy with his wife. According to the policy, he could receive a million dollars if his wife was dead. At that point, Lambert decided to plot the death of his wife so that he could access the money (Buchbinder, Shanks, & Buchbinder, 2014). He succeeded in his plot of having his wife killed, and he received the compensation from the insurance company. However, six months later, detectives interrogated him after gathering new evidence that he had plotted the death of his wife. The case of Lambert ended badly because he committed suicide after receiving life imprisonment.

Case Analysis

It is evident that Dr. Lambert had serious problems during his tenure at Healthy Hospital. Unfortunately, the chief medical officer at the hospital did not exhibit concern towards the problems that individual employees were facing. The doctor suffered a gambling addiction, but the chief medical officer did not recognize his problem. Despite the existence of employee assistance programs, Dr. Lambert continued to suffer without any professional help. It is evident that the leaders of the hospital did not take a keen interest in the affairs of the employees. Dr. Lambert’s case affected every aspect of his life, leading to negative consequences (Buchbinder, Shanks, & Buchbinder, 2014). However, some of the emerging ethical issues include whether the hospital leaders needed to investigate his problems. None work-related problems can influence a physician’s performance adversely. Due to his gambling problem and increased debts, Dr. Lambert was unable to perform in conformity with the existing standards. Particularly, he utilized strategies that helped him to cut costs. It is evident that the leaders of the hospital failed in recognizing the problems that the physician was facing. Effective leadership requires leaders to exhibit a significant level of interest in employees with the core objective of understanding their outstanding needs (Jasper & Jumaa, 2005). Unfortunately, the leaders were unable to detect the problems of Dr. Lambert because they did not interact with him directly.

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Leadership presents critical ethical dilemmas that leaders must address effectively. Particularly, leaders must determine whether it is ethical to investigate the personal affairs of the employees. In the case described above, there is a need for the hospital leaders to demonstrate discretion regarding the gambling problem that Dr. Lambert had. However, the leaders had an obligation of helping him to overcome his addiction. Particularly, when he needed a loan from the chief financial officer, it would have been a remarkable opportunity for the chief financial officer to advise him how to make good financial decisions. There were evident red flags in Dr. Lambert’s case, but the leaders did not take notice. The fact that he was always afraid of those who owed him should have helped the hospital management to intervene and help him put his life together (Buchbinder, Shanks, & Buchbinder, 2014). Unfortunately, none of the hospital leaders recognized that he had a problem that would eventually destroy his life. Effective leaders seek to enrich the lives of their followers and ensure that the followers have the right attitude towards their job (Jasper & Jumaa, 2005). Dr. Lambert’s debts affected his performance, but none of the hospital managers considered that as a red flag. It was too late when they eventually realized that he had been battling a gambling problem.

The leaders of the hospital have not established a positive culture at the hospital. There is a negative culture that focuses on gossip and criticism instead of a positive culture that would encourage the employees to resolve their issues. Dr. Lambert’s colleagues opted to gossip him instead of identifying approaches that could help him overcome his gambling habits and deal with his debts. Effective leaders should look out for the well-being of their employees and ensure that there is a positive culture of empathy and concern among colleagues in the workplace (Jasper & Jumaa, 2005). If the hospital had a positive culture of building each other, the workmates would have helped Dr. Lambert to address this problem and seek professional help. Leaders must take measures of helping employees to develop associations of helping each other (Hartley & Benington, 2010). Positive culture with remarkable shared values can help the employees to exhibit concern for each other. Leaders should be able to empower their followers so that they can make informed decisions that enhance their professional and personal growth (Barr & Dowding, 2015). In the healthy hospital, it is apparent that the leaders did not pay any attention to the welfare of the employees. The leaders of the hospital need to embrace better leadership approaches that allow them to interact with employees at various levels. Such an approach will help the leaders provide support to employees with problems and prevent a recurrence of Dr. Lambert’s case.

The Murder for Hire case demonstrates a case of failed leadership in which leaders do not contribute positively to the lives of their employees. The chief medical officer did not create the time to understand the needs of the employees at a professional and personal level. The negative culture in the organization explains why the colleagues of Dr. Lambert opted to gossip him instead of reporting the case so that he could receive professional help (Buchbinder, Shanks, & Buchbinder, 2014). Dr. Lambert could have received assistance from an existing program if the colleagues had been more supportive. Unfortunately, the hospital culture did not create an opportunity for him to receive the help he deserved. The hospital leaders did not consider any of the red flags critically, and Dr. Lambert continued to mess his life with excessive gambling and debts. In the future, the hospital leaders need to focus on building relationships with employees and creating a platform for employees to help each other.

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  1. Barr, J., & Dowding, L. (2015). Leadership in health care. Los Angeles ; London : SAGE.
  2. Buchbinder, S. B., Shanks, N. H., & Buchbinder, D. (2014). Cases in health care management. Sudbury, Mass: Jones & Bartlett Learning.
  3. Hartley, J., & Benington, J. (2010). Leadership for healthcare. Bristol: Policy Press.
  4. Jasper, M., & Jumaa, M. (2005). Effective healthcare leadership. Oxford, UK: Blackwell Pub.
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