Precision Leader Development

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“What Questions Are You Hearing?” A Helpful Exercise for Leaders

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A flashback is a past incident recurring vividly in the mind. When one has been around a long time, there are more situations that bring back past situations and/or experiences. Almost 20 years ago, I put together over 100 questions I had received from people and published them. The book is titled 101 Answers to Questions Leaders Ask. The goal was to be helpful to those in leadership by providing suggested ways to respond to…
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Helping New Leaders Build Experience and Thrive

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The past three years have brought significant changes to organizations in both leadership and the workforce. First, there is the natural retirement of many leaders in the Baby Boomer range. But also, there have been some who chose to retire earlier than planned due to the pandemic or because of their own illness, family needs, exhaustion, or other factors. All these departures mean many positions in leadership are filled with people with less experience than is…
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Ten Guiding Principles for New Leaders

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In 1996, I left the role of senior vice president of Holy Cross Hospital in Chicago, IL, for the role of administrator/president of Baptist Hospital, Inc., in Pensacola, FL. At that time, Mark Clement, the president of Holy Cross Hospital, gave me a gift. It was a letter with suggestions to help me get off to a good start at Baptist. I have regifted this to many people who were taking a new job. While…
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Great Leaders Know That Less Is Often More

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“Less is more” is a common term; however, it is very uncommonly practiced. It seems there is a natural tendency to feel that the more actions taken, the better the results. Then there is the difficult decision of how much “less” is too much “less.” Like many things, at times, the statement can be taken too literally. Great leaders know how to find that balance. They also know how to prioritize which actions will have…
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“What Worries You Most?” A Question Every Leader Needs to Ask

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What people want and need from us can be different from what we think. We can make assumptions, but until we ask, we can’t truly know. Recent research from the University of Colorado School of Medicine shows that while healthcare professionals might think they know a patient’s biggest worry, very often they don’t. I read about this in the book Wonder Drug: 7 Scientifically Proven Ways That Serving Others Is the Best Medicine for Yourself,…
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Give People Time to Enjoy the Win

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As leaders, we know that praise, compliments, and “thank-yous” are important for many reasons. They fill people’s emotional bank accounts. They improve engagement and morale. Also, they build confidence and momentum so the employee will keep the good work coming. What gets recognized gets repeated. But sometimes, if we’re not careful, we can suck the life out of the compliment by rushing through those good feelings and focusing on the next task too quickly. Here’s…
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Leaders Need Appreciation, Empathy, and Forgiveness (A Boss’s Day Message)

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We hear a lot about the need to show appreciation and empathy to employees. But with National Boss’s Day coming up on October 16, here is my message: Leaders need appreciation and empathy also. Even some forgiveness helps at times. (We focused on forgiveness as a cultural value last week. It’s important to remember that leaders need forgiveness too!) There was a time when I thought being a manager would be easy. When teaching, I…
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Is Forgiveness Part of Your Culture?

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“We all make mistakes” is a phrase we all have likely heard. It is often used to reduce someone’s guilt over making a mistake and/or the fear of the consequences of that mistake. Because it is human to make mistakes, forgiveness is crucial inside organizations. We know that some mistakes are much more serious than others. I recently heard a presentation from an engineer who worked in nuclear energy. The talk was on Human Factor…
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“I Don’t Know” and “I Missed On That”: Two Phrases That Will Change Your Life

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I am fortunate to hear from a variety of people each week sharing questions as well as their thoughts on different topics. Having my own companies, I am in the field each week experiencing the same situations they do. I received a call from a CEO of a company. He said he reached out to me because he felt I would have an answer to the situation he was in. After he explained, I said,…
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Reducing Fear and Anxiety

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I recently did a podcast with Mindy G. Spigel, RN, MSN, CPXP. She has a new book. It’s called There’s a Snake on My Head! Strategies for Alleviating Fear and Anxiety in Healthcare for Patients, Families AND Healthcare Teams. In the podcast, she talks about research she did on reducing fear and anxiety. When people were asked how they want to be treated when they’re scared or anxious, their answers boiled down to this: “Keep me informed,…
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