Thursday, October 29, 2015

The Wonders At Your Feet

There are times when we believe we have built the perfect team. We convince ourselves that once those final few pieces fall into place all will be right in our world of work. We so desperately want things to be smooth and steady.

But that's not how work happens.

So Much To Do
For any of you that have glanced at my blog over the years you know I am a big fan of lists. When I say lists, I mean digital lists. (Post it notes and stacks of paper are so 1985.) The upside of using lists for everything in your life means you're super organized. The downside is that you can feel pretty overwhelmed at times.

Don't let the lists become your world. They are a tool...they are not the boss of you! They are a system to help you keep your priorities moving in the right direction. They are an asset, so stop thinking about them as a daily liability.

Teams Are Stronger Than You Think
When we realize some of our team members are struggling, and combine that with our never ending task list we can feel like throwing in the towel.

However, all is not lost. Nor is the road ahead as bumpy as we may think. Challenge yourself to do the following:

- identify and recognize the strong players on your team and what they've done to overcome adversity, rise up and meet challenges, and push themselves to a new level

- summarize the huge amount of work that you and your team have completed in the last six months

- push those who are lagging behind very, very hard

You Are Stronger Than You Think Too
Some days the cumulative weight of pressure at work can bring us to our knees. But today is not one of those days. 

Your focus, commitment to world-class work, and unwavering intolerance for anything less than exceptional performance  has helped you get this far, and it will power you ahead into the future.

Do not lose sight of the impact you have on the workplace, or on the lives of those around you.

How About You
Are you looking at the days ahead with a sense of loathing; or, have you decided to take a look around and appreciate the wonders that have been lurking just beneath the surface? Now is the time to keep pushing, and to keep making the difference you make every day.

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.


Monday, October 26, 2015

Future Shock

I don't consider myself much of fact...the world of work is changing so fast it's almost impossible to stay current on  a daily basis. 


One thing is very clear about the future of work. It starts with leaders...formal and informal...making a difference in their organizations.

As a long time healthcare leader I've discovered a few truths:

- healthcare is a risk aversive industry (understatement of the century right there)
- healthcare has unlimited potential to improve how it recruits talent
- most healthcare leaders are too scared to make the moves necessary to differentiate themselves from their competition

This is where you come in! You have the opportunity to leverage all of the knowledge you've accumulated over your career, and pour it into a new way to work. Starting today.

The complicated dynamics of our industry, and in particular hospitals, often force the progressive leaders among us to a life of playing it safe and doing the same old things. Today I'm calling out anyone who espouses that old school strategy!

Risk is important for a reason...because there is a big reward!

Shock Your Competition
Shifting mindsets can be powerful, long before you pull a team together to develop your digital talent acquisition strategy. (Remember, digital strategies should be your primary strategy!)

Here are three steps that will not only help you lead the way internally, but will also help you blow away the prehistoric thinkers leading your competition:

1. Go social, now. If you aren't active on social media you have not been paying attention. Open you accounts, start posting, sharing and engaging. It matters more than you think.

2. Focus on building your leader brand. If you're not actively involved in your "space" you are invisible. It doesn't matter what your resume says...the world has changed. Get active using contemporary tools and make a difference.

3. Stop being afraid. It's okay to step out and try new things. You will be the only one in your organization doing it. So what? Leaders go let's go!

How About You
It has never been easier to promote your leader brand, your organization, and the difference you can make in the world of work. Get started today! You can do it!

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.


Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Change Management...for the Love of God

I may be about to alienate my HR friends…but here goes. 

I’m tired of hearing about change management tools, approaches, messages, and models. Are employees incapable of adjusting to changes in the workplace with out an inservice, lunch-and-learn session, or a team of life counselors to help them through it all?

Oh, please.

How about this:

“You’re a grown up…things have been changing since forever…let’s all act like adults, support each other and press on."

Easy Now…People Are More Sensitive Today
Alas, before I forget that the planet has done a nosedive into the comfortable world of politically correct mediocrity, let me take a step back.

Big changes require good messaging. Let’s say your organization is faced with a layoff (twitter). Clear, concise and honest messaging goes a long way. And for the record, in Jack's message to the employees, he didn’t discuss a series of change management educational sessions (think work-speak as therapy) to help everyone get through it all.

Easy Now…You’re Not Supporting the Profession
I love human resources. I’ve spent my entire career trying to lead effectively as a human resources professional, and candidly I don’t see any other executive roles that integrate the people side of the business more than HR.

But sometimes we get caught up in our own “stuff” and we end up looking…well…silly in front of our colleagues at the table. (Yes, we’re at the table…for those of you that don’t think we are you haven’t been paying attention.)

How About You
When big issues hit your organization you better have a well thought out communication plan for the team. But please, let’s not get so caught up in our HR work that we forget that we are not the business. We support the business.

Once we have that level of awareness, we can make all the difference in the world.

I’d love to hear from you.

No Excuses.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Over and Out

"No problem, I can handle it."

"I like the chaotic pace, it keeps me motivated."

"I'm not sure what's happening, but suddenly I don't feel the way I used to."

"I've had enough...this is not worth it."

Popular Issue...For A Reason
The burden of pride that often convinces the overachievers among us that we are invincible has a significant downside. The self-talk that normally keeps us on track and fuels our ability to power through difficult moments can sometimes get us into trouble.

Yes, I'm talking about the impact of stress in our work lives. 

Why am I bringing up a tired and often written about topic? Because it's the topic that keeps on giving! Pretending to be above it all; or, to state that we don't have time for stress to affect us simply exacerbates the problem.

Stress is real...for you and me...and needs to be managed effectively particularly if we're going to live up to all of the self-hype that is going on between our ears every day.

Effects and Management
The Mayo Clinic has a quick reference web page that discusses the fundamental impact of stress on well as some action we can take to counteract it.

Whether it is your body, mood or behavior stress can creep in and change us. I personally find that somewhat disconcerting! But recognition of the impact, as well as some quick fixes such as various forms of exercise, mediation or if problems persist a consultation with a health professional, can provide some relief and get us back on track.

How About You
Are you invincible like me? (insert epic eye roll here) Guess what, neither one of us are immune to the effect of too many issues hitting us all at once. Take a few minutes to learn about the signs of stress and stay one step ahead.

I'd love to hear from you

No Excuses.


Monday, October 12, 2015

The Bias Battle

"It's not at all hard to listen to understand a person; it's only hard to listen without bias."
Criss Jami

How do you listen?

What do you hear?

Have you convinced yourself that your view is the only view? Maybe if you push hard enough everyone will understand, right?

The answers...for me...are not simple. I know the politically correct things to say, but no one really believes politically correct speech anymore, do they?  It's often perceived as public relations spin to make sure no one is "offended." 

Words matter a lot, but actions scream so loudly there can be no doubt.

How About You
What actions will you take today so the people around will know you can really listen?

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.


Monday, October 5, 2015

Soft Skills Are the New Black

I’ve had some unique opportunities in my career to work with incredibly bright people. They had decades of experience, knew the industry inside and out, and could piece together all of the complex parts of a health system to move things forward.

They were really something…except for one minor little detail.

Being Human
One of the great downfalls of executive leadership (ahem, read here — excuse) is the focus on results exclusively. Yes, results are very important. Without them organizations would cease to exist. However, when results are the only thing considered something equally as important is lost.

The hard skills that are often associated with talented leaders fail to provide most of the leadership necessary in today’s world of work. At the executive level competency is a requirement, just as the specialized management path those leaders have been on is important before they move into a generalized management role. Otherwise the opportunity to move into the executive ranks would never have materialized in the first place.

But the obsession with results comes at a high cost.

Leading Human
One of my new mantras is the following...

Relationships first…results second.” 

Without those other skills…soft skills…leaders quickly earn a reputation as a hard-ass-know-it-all. 

Other leaders scramble to manage the messages these people send…or pull them aside for special ‘coaching’ sessions to try and avoid plummeting morale, or outright migrations of talented people who don’t want to work with such hard-nosed and arrogant leaders.

Laughing off soft skills as unimportant is like walking down the hallways of your organization and insulting your employees to their face. 

Employees want to work in a good place. Relationships make organizations good. Arrogance destroys them.

How About You
Have you brushed up on your soft skills lately; or, are you too busy promulgating your vision for how to save the organization? Maybe you need to slow down the next time you pass a mirror and take a good long look. If you have problems in every area of the organization, well, maybe the problem is you.

I’d love to hear from you.

No Excuses.