Thursday, April 27, 2017

The Harsh Reality of Politics & HR

There is a sinister being floating around the HR profession. It permeates all aspects of leadership, and often has deadly consequences for the brave HR pro who doesn't understand it.


Not Savvy? You Have No Chance
But first, let's discuss the critical skill of having organizational savvy. The workplace, and specifically HR's role to play in it, is a path fraught with peril. Competing executive team interests, fear of change, and the intimidating effect modern business and social tools have on old-school leaders are significant political landmines. 

Add to that the demands of an ever changing and contemporary candidate pool puts tremendous pressure on those leaders who want to move away from traditional approaches (read here outdated and horribly ineffective), and move to something that aligns with how our digital world actually works (read here, it's 2017.)

For the highly motivated leader who lacks the organizational savvy to understand that simply putting forward good ideas is not even remotely close enough to a real strategy, the missteps can derail one's credibility in a matter of meetings.

"Because organizational savvy entails "high-integrity" political skills, retaining a moral compass is the cornerstone component. Savvy individuals use ethical means to achieve what's good for their organizations. They advance their careers and maintain high moral standards."

Good Ideas and Getting Results
One of the questions I'm asked constantly is how I was able to move forward with an aggressive employer brand strategy (social media, blogging, podcast, etc...) while working in an industry that is conservative, and candidly, one that rarely understands how contemporary talent acquisition work gets done.

It was not as complicated as one might think. The biggest issues that had to be overcome did include internal politics; but fear and lack of insight from the other executives were the real barriers. It was all about me and my approach. I had to be savvy.

First, I stopped using HR jargon. No one cares about it except HR people. It doesn't drive business results or help the bottom line. 

Second, I used the business language of the industry, because that is what matters. Period.

Third, I linked my contemporary approaches that were clearly necessary, to the strategic plan of my organization. Your HR plan doesn't mean a thing if it is not linked to the organization. (see HR jargon reference)

End result? Success across the board: employee engagement, recruiting, employer brand, and job satisfaction for the team.

How About You
Are you still using HR lingo and wondering why everyone is not excited about your every word? No one cares. Do you understand the political landscape of your company? Really? How? Step out of your HR shell, embrace the industry you are in, and watch your influence and success grow.

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

10 Things I Like

I'm a big fan of all sorts of things...and I thought I'd share a few with you today. Maybe some of these are on your list....

1. Leaders who are not afraid to call bull**** when they see it, regardless of the political fallout. If you stop reading right here, keep this thought in mind the next time you remain silent in the Board room.

2. Employees who bring ideas forward all the time. They're thinking and trying to make your organizaiton better. Hang on to them.

3. Working out like a beast.

4. Technology that makes my life easier. Think Wunderlist and Evernote. You seriously aren't still writing things down...and then rewriting them on a list somewhere, right? 

5. Fast, loud, heavy music.

6. Leaders who understand that everyone is watching their every move, word, and deed. We're in a bubble. Act accordingly.

7. Fast, loud race cars.

8. Kind colleagues. We've all seen too many self-absorbed "experts" out there...for God's sake, be nice to each other.

9. People who understand that partnership means actually working together.

10. Fast, loud, heavy music. (I really like it, so it gets two mentions)

How About You
What gets you fired up, makes you feel good, or simply helps you get through the day hassle-free?

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Invisible Leader in a Digital World

I have the privilege of meeting and working with many talented leaders across the country. They are bright, experienced, successful, and motivated to take their organizations to the next level.

They share a common bond in that each one is struggling to find the talent their organizations are desperate for; yet when it comes to positioning themselves and their employer brands in the mainstream, suddenly the reality of their inaction becomes painfully clear.

They are invisible...and so are their organizations.

But We Provide Great Care
What is so often confusing for leaders in hospitals, and other organizations along the healthcare continuum, is that their status as a provider (think MD, Hospital, Long Term Care facility, etc.) has nothing to do with their reputation as an employer.

For some reason, these concepts get interwoven so frequently that today's leaders are missing an enormous opportunity to differentiate themselves from their competition.

Everyone knows what you one knows what it's like to work for you.

Digital World
Whether or not "experienced" leaders want to accept it or not, we live in a digital world. There is no point in making lame excuses that you don't have time to learn (read here, it is not a priority to learn.)

Or, that you don't understand how digital business tools work (read here, I can save patients lives with my clinical skills but I am too embarrassed to let anyone know I can't figure out twitter.)

Trust me, we already know. You're invisible, remember?

How About You
So, what are you going to do about your status as an accomplished leader who has not remained current? Who are you going to reach out to for help without publicly shaming yourself?

Me, that's who. I'd love to help you get started. If I could do absolutely can.

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.


Monday, April 17, 2017

Close Your Eyes and Think Of...

...the most positive leader you've ever worked with...

What made them so special?

What did they do that made them different from the others?

It's Not About Spreadsheets
I've never heard anyone say the most influential leader they ever worked with was an expert with spreadsheets. Nor, have I ever heard that the best-leader-ever had mastered the budgeting process, new ATS, or wrote the finest policies and procedures.

Those things need to get done, but candidly, have absolutely nothing to do with world class leadership.

They Have "It"
So, what do those leaders have that separate them from so many others who aspire to be effective? When I've given keynote addresses I ask the audience this question and I get the same answers every time:

Those "it" leaders...
- listen
- support their people
- are not arrogant or condescending
- trust
- mentor
- are patient
- understand errors and use them to coach not chastise
- take the blame for their team
- check their ego at the door
- understand that their team is made up of people, not robots
- practice humility consistently

How About You
As you consider your leadership trajectory, and all of those influencers that have shaped you along the way, are you living up to the best-leader-ever label?

Perhaps this will forward five years into the future and imagine that one of your current team members is asked who the best-leader-ever was in their life.

Will they think of you?

I'd love to hear from you. 

No Excuses.  

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Leave Me Alone, I Know What I'm Doing

"Arrogance destroys the valuable, and absolutely essential relationships a leader has with other team members. Even more devastating is the feeling arrogant behavior creates in others. People have no desire or motivation to follow an arrogant leader." 
Peter Barron Stark

Landing The Big Job
There is something very exciting, and candidly hard to describe, about starting a new job, particularly one that is much bigger than the previous one. The exhiliration, the opportunity, and the pressure to perform all coalesce into one big burst of energy.

In most cases, new leaders struggle a bit in the beginning, not because they lack the skill set necessary to do the job; but, because they simply try too hard to prove they are worthy.

This is a dangerous misstep if they take things too far.

Consider these important points:
- the organization survived and thrived long before you arrived
- make sure you understand the effort, risks, and courageous moves that have been made prior to your arrival
- moving too quickly, in word or deed, can jeopardize your credibility very quickly 

Remember, you are new...not all powerful. You are being evaluated at every turn.

Go Slow To Go Fast
I learned a valuable lesson when I worked for Johns Hopkins when the new CEO joined the organization in Baltimore. He is passionate about leadership, and leadership behavior. During his first six months on the job, he did one very important thing...

...he listened and learned.

He told me that he was not there to change the culture, or fix something. He was there to take that incredible organization forward in new and exciting ways. 

But he had to learn about the organization first, and take action second.

That my friends, is a very different philosophy than acting like an arrogant know-it-all savior that has just arrived to solve all of the problems in an organization.

How About You
Who do you know that is talented, motivated, and excited to make a real difference? Are they moving a bit too fast? Perhaps it's time to pull them aside and provide the coaching those of us who've been at this a while can provide?

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.


Monday, April 10, 2017

Babe, I'm Gonna Leave You

"You're almost afraid to say it out loud...but you don't enjoy your work anymore."

"You feel trapped. You want to do so many things, but each day you just keep grinding it out here, even though your heart is no longer in it."

"You're supposed to stay. Your employees are counting on you, right? You can't make a change now."

Careers Are Not Life Sentences
How many of us "fell into" our careers? Does your undergraduate major align perfectly with how your professional life has played out? Of course it doesn't. 'Perfect alignment' is not how life works. Thank God!

One of the odd twists of fate however, is that when we "fall into something" we can mistakenly convince ourselves that things were supposed to work out that way forever. Seriously? I would be hard pressed to believe our entire professional lives are based on happenstance, good timing, or luck. 

Simply because you're good at something and earn a decent salary, does not mean you are supposed to stay in that place forever. Worse yet, is when we internalize our "lucky break" so deeply with a specific company, that we feel completely demoralized if suddenly that company no longer feels so special about us.

You know that, right?

You Gotta Leave
Leaving a comfortable role that pays the bills is easier said than done. But, if you're one of those people that are horrified by the prospect of getting to the end of your life journey only to look back and start listing off all of the regrets, you may want to reconsider.

What do you really love? What have you always wanted to do professionally that you just haven't had the courage to try? 

Who do you need to connect with to learn more, get advice, and develop your plan for what's next?

It's not impossible. I'm living proof.

How About You
No more talking about your future. It's time to take action and make it happen!

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Recruiters Talk to Candidates, Right?

No, I'm not joking. There are some organizations out there that believe a recruiter's job is to wander around in the ATS, find applicants that match minimum job requirements, and forward those resumes to various hiring managers.

Well, friends, that is not recruiting. That is simply embarrassing.

(extra long pause here for those of you frantically wondering if this is how your recruitment team operates)

Seeing It Differently
For many traditional human resources departments, and in particular #HealthcareHR teams, the notion of sourcing, screening, and actively something that they don't have to do. 

Their organizations believe they are so special that they can just blindly meander through the flood of applicants and eventually find viable candidates. 

This simply can not continue if quality patient care is actually a priority for the organization. 

An outdated and poorly trained "recruitment" team is unacceptable in the competitive healthcare industry.

Stop With the Ancient Excuses
Many of my colleagues in the #HealthcareHR space cling to old behaviors, wasteful strategies, and tired excuses as to why they can no longer find talent.

Consider the consequences of their ineffectiveness:
- rampant use of expensive contract labor
- excessive overtime
- low morale due to persistent staffing shortages
- patient diversions due to the inability to fill critical positions
- lost revenue

It is (far beyond) time for massive changes in how human resources positions itself. There is no more important part of the organization when one takes into account the devastating impact of staffing shortfalls.

No one should stand in the way of a high impact talent acquisition strategy.

No one should deny that unless healthcare organizations compete in the most contemporary of ways they will struggle, and ultimately fail.

No one should assume they have greater authority over the work that HR must deliver on in the name of "protecting the brand" or "worrying about social media."

Good God, it's 2017. If you have anyone pushing back using these excuses you have every right to run them over with the reality of the business case that ensures organizational survival.

But first...

How About You
...but must step up your professional game and embrace the strategies that work in today's digital world. The old approaches you've used for so long, that are failing miserably, must be let go.

Reach out to a trusted friend, colleague, get the support you need. There isn't any time left to wait.

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Mind Sewn Shut

I hate to admit it, but sometimes I get stuck in my own view of things. Maybe it's how I think a project should be executed; or, it might be a set of behaviors that I think all leaders should replicate; or it might be that I'm so focused on 'my stuff' that I miss what is happening around me.

I hate it when I do that.

Preaching and Practicing
I spend a lot of time talking. My job requires that I provide leadership internally at my company, and externally to the clients I support. We are a nimble, fast moving firm that lives for the daily adrenalin rush that is our world.

...and for as much as I like to go fast, that doesn't mean I shouldn't pay attention at the same time...

Speed usually wins. Speed and focusing on the details at the same time guarantees a win. So when I find myself getting really worked up about something, (or as one of my colleagues tells me..."you have a lot of energy on this topic Jay"...) - I need to make sure I'm paying attention to the little things happening all around me.

Daily Focus
What I've learned, albeit at a painfully slow pace, is that I need to make a conscious decision each day to 'see the details.' That's hard for me. I've lived through so many mistakes (either my own, or in the organizations I've worked) that often times I see a clear path to success. 

However, simply because I know what the end point needs to be; that does not take into account the new people, the new corporate cultures, or the new learning that is required by those around me as we work toward that bright shiny goal.

Sometimes I simply get moving too fast for my own good, I assume others understand what my vision is, or worst of all, I don't take into consideration their needs as I push them harder and harder to get moving.

I hate it when I do that.

How About You
Are you locked in to your world view? How's that working out for you? Do those around you feel comfortable enough to tell you to slow down and let everyone catch up? Or, maybe taking a breath and looking around could yield a fresh perspective, new converts to your ideas, and...just maybe, an even better outcome than what you (and I) thought about in the first place?

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.


Monday, March 27, 2017

Hiring Leaders: Your Network Should Be Better

I'm not surprised anymore. I used to be...a lot...but those days are long gone. It is clear that the challenge of building and leveraging networks to find talent is the sole responsibility of HR.

Hiring leaders are simply incapable of building a network on their own. They are too scared, too full of excuses, and candidly, enjoy having someone to target when their hiring struggles persist.

Meet Director #1
This person has been a loyal and hard-working part of the organization's leadership team for years. She works hard, tries to support her employees as much as possible, and attends a conference or two each year. She's bright, and keeps her team informed of the latest equipment, clinical practices, and news about the hospital.

Problem: she has been so focused internally that she is useless when it comes time to recruit talent, spread good news about organizational breakthroughs, or to simply tell the story about what it means to be a part of the organization.

Meet Director #2
This person has also been a loyal and hard-working member of the leadership team for a long time. However, in addition to putting a tremendous amount of energy into her staff, she also has worked hard to develop her leader brand

When it comes time to fill vacancies, she has already differentiated herself pushing out thought leadership, stories about the hospital, and adding some personal touches as well. She has a network she can tap into, and she does.

How About You
Who are the leaders you work with that have such tight organizational blinders on that they're hurting themselves? 

Help them see the big picture. Help them understand that the investment they make in their internal and external brand, will make a huge difference.

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.


Thursday, March 23, 2017

Winning at Project, or not almost completely 'true-ish' team meeting story...sort of...

"Wow. This is quite a project! We need to pull a task force together to get into the weeds on this one."

"Yes, a good multi-disciplinary team will be great. I'll have my assistant set up recurring monthly meetings so we can stay on top of things."

"I'm in. Of course I'll have to reprioritize the research I'm doing into that other leadership initiative that takes a hard look at where we'll need to be by 2025, but I can probably make it work."

"Me, too. But I think we'll need to push back a bit before we get too far along. I mean, c'mon, do they expect us to turn this around in 12 months?"

"I agree. 12 months is going to go by in a snap. I don't mind taking the lead on the initial project plan, but it'll be 60 days before I can realistically get something in front of the group."

"Whoa! Are you sure you can turn it around that quickly? Aren't you also on one other project?"

"I'll have my group take a serious look at the plan once you've wrapped up the first draft. Maybe we should have our next meeting at the 90 day mark, just to make sure we're not getting ahead of ourselves?"


How About You
Have you been in a meeting like this one? Was your head nodding too?

Leadership is about action. Cut the BS and get moving.

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.


Monday, March 20, 2017

The CEO Question HR Fears Most

The long list of pressures HR leaders are under is well documented. It's as if every organizational ailment somehow finds it's way to the human resources department to either get fixed or take the blame. 

There is a new issue lurking however, that most HR leaders, particularly those in the healthcare industry, are ill-prepared to address. That issue comes in the form of a question directly from the CEO.

The Context
Let me set the stage...

Traditional CEO, accomplished, bright, and driven is paying attention to the radically changing labor market. The stress they feel from the Board of Directors, Physician and Nursing leadership to solve the staffing shortages are now becoming an all too regular topic in meeting after meeting.

It feels a bit odd to the CEO. She's always been able to figure out some sort of new pay program or engagement play that keeps the positions filled while not completely blowing up the salary line in the budget.

But the world is just...well...different now. 

The Nightmare Question for HR
During the next routine one-on-one meeting between the CEO and the CHRO they get on the topic of labor, talent, and staffing shortages across the organization. It's at this point that the CHRO's world caves in.

CEO: "So, tell me what you're doing to ensure we are viewed as a viable employer? What are we doing with millennials? Are you current on all of these social media and content strategies I keep reading about? Where exactly are we on this?"

CHRO: "Um....well...we, uh."

CEO: "We are doing something on this, right? I mean, the whole world is getting into this stuff."

CHRO: "Well, Marketing...and Legal...they, uh..."

CEO: "You've got to be kidding me. Those departments don't have anything to do with recruitment. We're not doing anything? Do you even know how to use these things yourself?"

How About You
What's your answer? I want to help you not only give the right answer, but look like the most contemporary leader in the world while doing it. It only takes one thing...

...the courage to start.

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.


Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Death by 1,000 HR Policies

I've worked in human resources for a long time. So long in fact, that when I make pop culture references with our team, most of the group don't understand my jokes. I also discuss policies and procedures as tools to guide the culture of the workplace. I get the same blank stares on this too.

What Changed?
In my early hospital HR roles I held my policy book so close that you would think it was my version of a security blanket. It drove almost all of my decisions, helped ensure I was "following the rules" and never wavered! 

Um, that's not leadership by the way. I wish someone had told me that back in the '90s.

Those old school approaches to HR leadership don't mesh with the more sophisticated employees of today. Yes, I said sophisticated. Think about it, the world is dramatically different than it was when I was part of the "new generation of leaders" coming up through the ranks.

Now we have the most informed, most empowered, and most connected world ever. For those of us that have jumped on the wild ride of contemporary business strategies it is an exciting and wonderful period of time.

For my colleagues who still wish "being a yuppie" was a thing, you have sadly been left behind.

Relationships Rule, Policies Are (mostly) a Waste
The savvy leader today, regardless of age or experience, understands that their relationship with the team will define the organization's profitability and ultimate success.

How many of us have prioritized the experience our employees have working for us as our number one agenda item every day? Not the patients, not the customers, not the business partners...our employees, first.

Let that settle in. No one is more important in the universe than your employees. Now we should take that one step further:

- What would your corporate culture feel like if every employee felt maximum support from you?

- What would the turnover rate of your top talent be if they felt you would do anything for them?

- How hard would your team work if they knew they had miraculously found a job where leadership was completely focused on their success?

- What do you think your profits would look like with a super-charged team working hard for you every day?

How About You
The old world of finding safe harbor in your policy book is gone. Don't destroy your credibility and try to go down that path. 

No one...including me...will think that you're paying attention to the modern world. 

Employees come first. Employees drive our success. Policies are just (too many) words on a page. Which one will you focus on?

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.


Monday, March 13, 2017

What You Bring

It comes naturally for some...and for others it's a struggle that requires thoughtful, intentional effort. It can build upon itself and push us even higher. Or, it can be so draining that we need to literally take a break and rest.

We've all been around people who show it consistently in their work. People are drawn to them, they want to be around them, work for them, go the extra mile for them.

You know the type. The room fills with energy the moment they arrive. Their energy level always seems to be so high, yet their loud voice and broad smile are sincere. What's up with these people?

More Than Attitude
Those positive leaders that seem to "have it all together" are not flukes. They aren't just naturally taking risks, going out of their way to support the team, or treating everyone as if they are as important as the CEO.

Every. Single. Time.

Their actions are based on a conscious decisions to be positive. It's as if they've not just talked about doing the right thing, they've internalized that mindset so it looks and feels natural to those around them.

More Than Just Energy
How does it happen? Isn't that massive focus on energy all the time absolutely draining? Oddly enough, that energy spreads. 

If you watch closely you can see the reaction among the team, and watch it grow. That, in turn, comes back to them. 

It is a cycle that is positive, impactful, and helps to create corporate culture beyond the programming and "models" that seem to dominate contemporary work.

How About You
When was the last time you made the decision to be a positive, high-energy force of nature in your workplace? You absolutely can do it. Ask those role models in your organization how they do it...and copy them. (Here's an insider tip...they're copying their role models too.)

What you bring can make a huge difference.

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.


Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Awkward Impact

"One of the greatest challenges leaders face is to communicate the thought in their head without offending everyone listening to them share it."
- Jay Kuhns

More Than Perception
The phrase "improve communication" gets thrown around so frequently, I'm not sure those who complain about it even know what they're asking for. The intent is sincere, but communication is far too broad a term to actually drive change.

I'm convinced more than ever that one of the main culprits of poor organizational communication is the abysmal delivery of "the message" from some members of leadership.

Usually the intent is on point, yet their awkward delivery (often completely unaware of their impact) not only creates problems, it undermines their credibility.

Let me say that again...they undermine their own credibility...and don't even realize they are doing it.

To themselves.

You Have to Internalize Feedback
For those leaders fortunate enough to receive constructive criticism about their ineffective style they must do one very important thing...


Feedback, particularly in these instances, truly is a gift. Do not attempt to justify "what you meant to say" or "blame the offended person by claiming they are just too sensitive."

It's not them. It's you.

How About You
We have an obligation to support these struggling junior leaders, regardless of their age or years of experience. 

Junior leaders are those that have not matured in their leadership skill set yet, and need the honest feedback about the negative impact they are having on the team.

I'm all in to help. How about you?

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.


Monday, March 6, 2017

Never A "Right Time"

I work with many leaders, and most of them are cautious. So, cautious in fact, they proclaim that they “wait until the right time” to make certain moves when it comes to recruitment and starting to build their employer brand as if it were a good thing!

Please don’t take this personally, but the right time was five years ago.

It’s an odd obsession…or excuse…to allow time to dictate whether we do our jobs or not. Sure, the answer is always the battle of negotiating some perceived internal political storm. But, why is human resources and talent acquisition always on the defensive?

Perhaps the time has come for us to take the talent shortages directly to those political opponents and call them out?

- They’ve held the organization back through their failed attempts to hang on to outdated strategies.

- They’ve failed the organization by not understanding and using current technologies to their fullest to attract the best and brightest talent.

- Based on these outdated attempts to cling to power, it is now human resources’ obligation to drive change as quickly as possible before the competition completely outmaneuvers the company.

The data, complaints and noise that is constantly directed at human resources is no longer acceptable. These are not HR’s failures. 

They represent a culture of arrogance that wishes for everything to be perfect, yet is not willing to do anything differently.

HR is ready, willing and able to step up and lead the way. And it is now time to seize control to ensure the work actually gets done.

Tough talk? Maybe. But, how many more meetings would you like to attend where HR gets criticized…again? The same goes for me...none.

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.


Wednesday, March 1, 2017

6 Strategies to Eliminate Your Healthcare Recruiting Excuses

The world of #HealthcareHR is full of excuses. Risk avoidance, nursing shortages, compliance, a perceived backseat to the other Operational departments, and the list goes on.

Despite all of this self-inflicted pressure, HR still plays a critical role and it has nothing to do with making sure the employment records are neat and tidy for the next Joint Commission survey.

Oh, and by the way, there aren't any departments in your organization that can pull it off except HR. So, if you're ready to deliver real results and cut through the excuses, focus on the following items and make a real impact.

1  Employer Brand
I have written many times about employer brand and the power it has to change the perception of organizations in the market. The simple fact is this...every organization has an employer brand, it's just that most are absolutely invisible. Make sure yours dominates your industry.

2  Leader brand
The concept of leader brand is a spin-off of personal brand. For me, leader brand is a more important label, as it speaks to who you are as a leader for your team, your organization, and your industry. Investing the time necessary to establish a meaningful one is not difficult, but if you're trying to convince top talent to join your team and they do any research on you at all, what will they find?

3  Content
There is a reason the phrase "content is king" is so important...because it's true. Yes, the content needs to be meaningful, not just plentiful. But without it, you and your company fall into the trap of repeating your press releases inside the organization and convincing yourselves that the outside world is listening. They're not. Develop your stories, and start sharing them with the world. 

4  Engagement
Using social media channels to distribute your content is not a passing fad, or something that you simply don't have time for any longer. Those tired excuses make you sound old and irrelevant. 

Put content and social media at the top of your to do list everyday. It comes first, not last. If you don't know how to use the various tools you need to reach out and learn. I'll help you, but you have to take the first step and accept that it is 2017.

5  Candidate Experience
Do you still believe it is such a privilege to work at your organization that candidates should be grateful to have the opportunity to even interview with you, let alone get hired? If so, I guarantee you have a long list of vacancies and you "can't understand why?" Focus on candidates, not yourself. No organization is that special, but in the epic struggle for healthcare talent, the candidates absolutely are.

6  Speed
This one is perhaps the hardest for #HealthcareHR leaders to grasp. Going slow, holding meetings for several weeks or months with a "multi-disciplinary team" and "fully understanding the risks involved" are all excuses for "I'm too scared to be a leader." 

Too harsh? You tell me...when was the last time a healthcare organization moved quickly to ensure they had the brand, and the talent necessary to impact the lives of their employees and patients?

How About You
Lists can sometimes feel a bit overwhelming. I can relate...they do to me as well. Here's the difference, I want to help you understand these six to to to execute and sustain. Let's be honest, if I could do these things leading a conservative hospital's HR function, you can too!

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.


Monday, February 27, 2017

Guest Post! Lessons On Kicking The Leadership Habit

I am thrilled that my friend Victorio Milian has agreed to provide a guest post today. His take on leadership is relevant, timely and insightful. Plus, he is not afraid to call out leadership when it needs to happen. 
Leadership can be a helluva drug.

I learned that lesson during my retail days. I got my first job as a stockperson at age nineteen. After a number of years I started working my way up. Sales, Supervisor, then a Department Manager. The leap from staff to management was full of challenges. One of the biggest was earning the respect of staff. I was lucky in that, because I came up through their ranks, I could empathize with the work and challenges they faced. And we often worked side-by-side to complete the work and overcome the challenges.

And there were always challenges: the pressure to make sales were ever present; providing quality customer service; maintaining shops according to company standards... On and on and on. It wasn't uncommon that there seemed to be a figurative "forest fire" of an issue that needed to be put out.

I thrived on those issues. I had a calm, solution focused demeanor which helped rally people around me to deal with whichever emergency popped up. So, staff as well as superiors would praise my efforts for saving the day. And it felt good. It gave me a way to further cement my credibility with staff, and get noticed by the higher ups.

But here's the thing: it got to the point where, if things were running smoothly, I would get flustered. I would miss the craziness of dealing with a "forest fire." It was like I was an adrenaline junkie. I began to realize that what I thought was leadership (the ability to rapidly mobilize resources to address an issue) was unhealthy. Being able to cope with emergencies was an important aspect of leadership. However, it wasn't the only one.

I had to learn new skills if I didn't want to burn myself out. For one, I had to become more strategic in my execution of company goals. It meant looking more deeply at what may have been the root causes of the issues we were dealing with, and developing a plan to address them. It meant that I had to take better care of myself, mentally and physically. Being the "hero" (working long hours, eating crap food, etc.) was taking its toll. I also had to delegate more, to allow other people the autonomy and resources to perform their functions successfully. As a result of these and other changes, I was able to have a successful and rewarding long term career in the industry.

My career in retail was a good one. It gave me my first exposure to leadership. It also taught me about what healthy leadership wasn't. If I hadn't learned how to lead responsibly, I would have hurt not only myself, but those that depended on me. I'm glad I was able to kick the toxic leadership drug, and find a healthier way to inspire and motivate people to be their best.
Victorio Milian is a Human Resources Consultant, writer, and speaker living, as he puts it, "in the best place on Earth - New York City!" Creative, hard working, and smart, his goal is to work with stakeholders to advance their goals.

I encourage you to reach out and learn more about Victorio at his website:

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No Excuses.