Dr. Gregory House is a brilliant leader. What makes him so special?

Dr.Gregory House

He lets  people challenge him

“…there’s no I in ‘team’. There is a me, though, if you jumble it up.”

Dr.House to Dr.Cuddy, Episode 9 “DNR”, Season 1

One thing is for sure: House doesn’t like people, except, smart people who have their own opinions and are ready to express them. He needs an opposing team to challenge him. This way he is not only the one who is continuously pushing his team forward, but is also being pushed himself. So just surround yourself with people who will challenge you.

The whiteboard is the center of the universe

“Sorry, there’s a reason they call it the Whiteboard. It’s not my rule. What ties both of these conditions together?”

Dr.House to Dr.Foreman, Episode 16 “Heavy”, Season 2

Even if you saw just only one episode, you must have noticed one important thing which dominates everything else. The whiteboard. Use a whiteboard to stay creative, focused, collaborative and in motion. A computer isn’t the right thing to do this.

He breaks the rules

“I take risks, sometimes patients die. But not taking risks causes more patients to die, so I guess my biggest problem is I’ve been cursed with the ability to do the math.”

Dr.House to Dr.Cuddy, Episode 11 “Detox”, Season 1

House doesn’t accept any limits to get what he want. If he does not agree with the rules, he breaks them. And he breaks them a lot. Rules limit us and leave us in the conformity zone. How meaningful are the rules in your organisation?

He stays behind on what he believes

“…your unwillingness to stick by your diagnosis almost killing this one. Take a lesson from Foreman and stand for what you believe.”

Dr.House to Dr.Cameron, Episode 5 “Damned if you do”, Season 1

Is it important how popular your decision is? No. Leadership isn’t a beauty contest. You will often encounter resistance and you will need convincing arguments. The good thing is that an arguments will help you sharp your ideas, the bad thing is that you don’t have the answer to everything. Use your intuition and stand for what you believe in.

He is (nearly) authentic

“Everybody lies”


Is House a responsible adult? Honest? Drugs free? On time? Friendly? None of these are true. But he’s authentic. He doesn’t act one way in private and another way in public. Authenticity brings you closer to your colleagues it supports and enables good relationships. Just don’t forget one thing: everybody lies.

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