Thursday, September 29, 2016

#HealthcareHR is Alive and Well

I’m fresh off a hectic couple of weeks that included two fantastic #HealthcareHR conferences. You read that right…TWO events focused on human resources professionals in healthcare.

That’s what I’m talking about!

The first event focused on the long term care human resources pros. I was honored to deliver both a keynote address on transforming the talent acquisition function into a high-powered contemporary machine, as well as a session on leveraging social media tools to build both personal and employer brands.

The events were absolutely fantastic, it was well organized, and the attendees were so engaged I had to be kicked out of a room after one of my sessions because they were so many people asking questions!

The second event was the 52nd annual ASHHRA conference that brings together HR professionals from all healthcare disciplines for jam packed three days of learning, networking and fun.

I was so impressed not only with the high tech theme and quality of sessions; but the push to take ASHHRA forward as a leading edge part of the HR space had me fired up!

How About You
For those HealthcareHR leaders out there who haven’t taken advantage of these terrific events in the past, please consider them as “must attend” events in 2017. 

You won’t be disappointed, and you will appreciate the experience, the friends old and new, and the energy you will feel to return to your organization and take yourself and your team to a whole new level!

I’d love to hear from you.

No Excuses. 


Tuesday, September 27, 2016


I love this word. I love what it represents. It should be synonymous with "effective leadership" in today's world.

Heck, I even love the way it sounds.

V e l o c i t y.

Go Fast or Die
I'm a speed guy. I love fast sports (hockey and racing), working out hard, and moving fast at Kinetix. So many leaders all around us live a double-life that attempt to balance speed and results. They use the jargon about what their organizations "should" do... 


When it's crunch time, they fall prey to the same old paralyzing fears that have kept them stuck in their current roles for years.

Most leaders simply cannot move fast enough to do their jobs effectively. Moving fast means taking risks. Moving fast means making decisions. Moving fast means being alone.

Guess what? You're getting paid to get the work done. Stop with the excuses, and start leading.

It's Not That Easy
I know that it is not easy to take action. I know that is scary to take risks. I know it can be unsettling to make decisions alone. I've been there too.


It is what is necessary to be the leader you were meant to be.

Start today.
Become the leader you wanted to be when you started.
Take the risk.
It is worth it.

How About You
Today is your day. It's the day velocity becomes one of your favorite words too. It represents everything you were expecting.

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.


Thursday, September 22, 2016

Share Your Hacks!

We all have little tips and tricks that improve our productivity (or at least we think they do!) I'd love to learn some of your great ideas so I can get the most out of my day.

Here are a few of my simple hacks...please share yours!

New Contact
- immediately grab their photo from their Linkedin profile and add it to their contact information on your phone

To Do Items
- keep Wunderlist open at all times and add a new item in real time (no post-it notes, it's 2016!)

Status of Work
- add very brief notes to your task list app, dated each time, to keep track of how things are coming along

Meetings / Projects
- keep Evernote open at all times, and as issues/tasks come up, drop those items into the corresponding folder so you have your meeting notes ready to go and don't have to try and remember all of the issues at the last minute

- take a screen shot of your boarding pass when you check in on your phone (in case you can't pull up your phone signal at the airport)
- always take a pic of where you parked at the airport (next to the sign that shows your level and location)

How About You
What do you do to make your work life easier? Do you still use the same approach that worked during Ronald Reagan's first term; or, have you come up with a fantastic new approach?

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.


Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Find the Good

Life is hard. Work is hard. Competing is hard. Winning is really hard.

So why in the world do we spend so much time focusing on the negatives when being successful requires so much energy?

You're Surrounded
One of the wonderful things about how we choose to see the world is that we don't have to be stuck in a cesspool of defeat and fatalism if we don't want to. We have a choice. We can make the conscious decision to view the world with unlimited possibilities.

Just think about your team for a moment. Does your mind quickly go to which one is "struggling" or having a "hard time?" Why do we do that? 

Consider instead all of the incredible strengths your team members have that you might be overlooking. Instead of "building a case" against them, perhaps we should build a plan that aligns their strengths with our business needs? Maybe, just maybe, if we allow them to do what they do best...and focus that effort on what needs to be done...we might achieve our goals.

We are literally surrounded with people who are good at some things, but not all things. Yet, we still try to have everyone fit into a specific job description that has an unspoken expectation that each person will be interchangeable with the next.

Does this really make sense in 2016?

What happens when we try to force the square peg into the round hole?
- lost time
- lost productivity
- massive amounts of frustration for everyone on the team, including you

You Too
This philosophy also applies to you and me. We shouldn't try to be everything in every situation...why? 

- we can't know everything
- we need to play to our strengths too
- and we shouldn't be afraid to bring people onto our teams who are stronger in areas we are not

Our job is to get results...not to embarrass ourselves trying to be Superwoman or Superman.

How About You
When you hit a roadblock in a project, or as part of the execution of your corporate strategy don't throw your hands up in frustration. Look for the strengths on your team to work through, around, or over your problem. If you find the good in your team and in yourself you will be amazed at the results.

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.


Thursday, September 15, 2016

Be Positive Everyday? What?, I mean people... are negative, and cynical, and snarky...and apparently that seems to be an appropriate excuse for behavior that never seems to change.

Our leadership colleagues lament the never ending struggle to build the right corporate culture that has high levels of engagement, strong retention, and breakthrough performance from the team.

...and they will continue to lament...because that's what most ineffective leaders do.

Your Team Is Not the Problem
It's fascinating to watch and listen as leaders spend massive amounts of time and energy trying to "figure out" their employees. 

Their excuses reign supreme:
- millennials
- old-timers
- ungrateful staff
- too new
- don't understand how things are done here
- not a good fit for "our culture"

As the leadership mob-mentality picks up steam, I typically either have to excuse myself to laugh in the hallway, or my eyes roll so far into the back of my head I black out for a moment.

The issues facing organizations today have little to do with figuring out employees. They have everything to do with leadership changing. Quick show of hands, how many leaders like changing their style to help their organizations compete and win?

None is the answer. Absolutely none.

Excuses for Everyone
The tricky part here is that many leaders talk about change, bang their fist on the table to show how committed they are (in the conference room, not in front of the staff), and generally make sure they have the current lingo down so they can appear as if they are in full control of what needs to be accomplished.

Well, I have to tell you...I don't believe a word of it.

When leaders bring a consistently positive approach to their work, employees notice.
When leaders bring a nonstop flow of energy to their work, employees notice.
When leaders power through difficulty and include the team, employees notice.
When leaders acknowledge that they are the root of the problem, employees notice.

How About You
What do your employees notice about you? Do they feel like some sort of science experiment that you are trying to figure out? Or, are you the rare blast of positive energy that they are longing to follow?

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.


Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Serpents On Parade (3 Steps to Regaining Your Credibility)

At this point in my career I find them laughable. You can see them coming a mile away. They strut around the organization with such, I mean, confidence...that most employees don't take them seriously anymore.

The sad part is they have no idea they have become a caricature of their former self. They are a running joke, not a leader to be taken seriously.

Stop It...Please
Most leaders landed in their jobs the old fashioned way. They studied hard, worked even harder, and earned their opportunity. Some may have been promoted too soon, and others a bit too late. Regardless of the timing, they have a tremendous responsibility ahead of them.

Yet...somehow their sense of self over powers that early hunger that forged their career path. They act as if the employees should be so excited and grateful just to see them! 

Are you kidding me? Sure, some executives cling to their humble roots and create environments where all employees recognize they are just people. But, alas, so many others lose their way and believe they are the reason for the company's success.

Epic. Public. Fail.

Give Me Three Steps
I firmly believe there are three steps that can help executives move from zero to hero, but they require discipline. Massive amounts of discipline.

Step 1
Admit you don't know NEARLY as much as you think you do. Guess who does? Your team on the front line. Close your mouth and start listening to them. Your sheltered executive world is not in synch with reality.

Step 2
Recognize the responsibility you have to lead through turbulent times. Every organization experiences the ups and downs of the business world. When times are stressful, full of change, and rife with anxiety, it is your job to be calm, and honest and direct. Do not hide behind a spreadsheet in a fancy conference room. Communicate far more than you think is necessary. 

Step 3
Get the hell out of your office and visit with the team. Do not bring a slide deck, do not spread a message, and please do not attempt to spin every little phrase into an over scrubbed empty promise.

Just be with them.

Your credibility will increase far faster than the next big memo you're so excited about sending to everyone.

How About You
The next time you feel a little (or a lot!) full of yourself, cancel your next meeting, and go spend time listening to the team. 

It might turn out that you learn something and actually make a real difference for the people who are relying on you to lead the way.

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses. 

Thursday, September 8, 2016

The Most Important Thing

There are probably a long list of items that you and I could argue about that are very important Things like...

- a good education
- a strong career
- a stellar reputation
- a great family
- a big paycheck
- a fancy title
- a handsome face
- a great sense of humor
- a strong skill set
- a lot of connections, or followers, or friends
- a lot of attention everywhere we go
- a sense of peace

But as leaders, there is really one thing that is most important. Leaders talk about this topic all the time, but sadly so few back it up with behavior that matches their words.

I wonder if you've ever your number one priority in your job...on the most important thing? It comes in all shapes, sizes, colors, and backgrounds. It is as varied as one can possibly imagine, yet it is absolutely essential in every facet of our work.

The answer, obviously, is people.

The people on your team matter the most. Your direct reports matter the most. Your new hires matter the most. Your most tenured employees matter the most.

Our egos do not all.

How About You
As you review your task list today, does it show "people" anywhere? Or, have they all been taken for granted so you can focus on the real work?

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Selves We Cannot Forgive

I don't know about you, but I put a lot of pressure on myself. I'm not sharing that as some sort of martyr-type-play. I'm just stating a fact. Maybe you feel a similar level of pressure?

Do you like your work to be 'just right?' I do. I like the thinking, planning and execution to be on point. As in, perfectly on point. The world is so quick to judge even the most minor error that, for me, striving to make everything perfect has become the norm.

It's a good strategy actually, except for one minor point.

Perfection is impossible.

The challenge of striving for something (perfection) and never achieving it (reality) sounds bizarre. 

Yet why do so many of us espouse this approach as reasonable? I've seen the nonstop barrage of blogs and articles that proclaim how wonderful failing is for us. 

Well, let me telly something, I hate failing. I don't care if I've made an inconsequential typo in a meaningless tweet.

I hate failing.

However, I have also forced myself to learn to do something new. It took a long time to balance this new skill without lowering my expectations of perfection. It's called forgiveness.

"I am unwilling to strive for anything less than perfection; but I am also now forgiving myself if I know I've done my absolute best and fell short."

How About You
Does the pressure of being the perfect spouse, or student, or leader become too much sometimes? Are you in the 'Perfection Club' with me where the rules dictate that we must torture ourselves with every little failure? Perhaps it's time to try developing a new skill that allows you to aim high and forgive yourself at the same time?

It made a big difference for me.

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.


Friday, September 2, 2016

Body Count

The talk about corporate culture is at an all time high. Just about every CEO their people are their most important asset.

Really? I'm calling B.S. on that...and these questions explain why.

The Questions
- How many "good" people have left your organization?

- How many times do you need to hear complaints about misbehaving leaders before you are going to take action?

- How many departures will it take before the egos and 'survive-at-all-costs leadership styles' are cast aside to make a real difference in your culture?

- If you're not going to take action...what exactly is your job?

The Only Answer
If you have a list of answers to the questions above and did not take have failed. You'll have to get in line behind me though, because I was there too!

Not anymore.

Do what's right. Today.

How About You
Are you tired of looking at yourself in the mirror at the end of a long and complicated day knowing you should have taken action but didn't? How many bodies need to pile up before you do something?

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.