Embrace special people, do you?

Embrace special people, do you?

Over the many years, my fondest memories and experiences have been with special children, adolescents and adults. Each special in their own right albeit due to a traumatic brain injury, cerebral palsy, downs syndrome, or autism. I can feel their energy and their joy for life. Each struggles with their own identity trying to find their role in society. Often unbeknownst to them, they have an impact in more ways than one.

I’m so fortunate to be surrounded by some very special friends at work and it pains me to some extend that I will be parting ways with them soon to pursue another career opportunity. I thought about this over the past week and wanted to share a message of tolerance and acceptance to my readers. My life is fuller because I spent time with each most days albeit a couple of minutes talking about cartoons, their health or baseball.

As the word trickled out of my departure, I got a visit from my friend Lorraine. She barged right into my office looking upset, with tears in her eyes she asked me if the rumors were true. I immediately stopped what I was doing knowing that this deserved my full attention. I had dreaded this moment but knew it was coming. After trying to explain why I was leaving, Lorraine while crying just asked for a big hug. Now mind you, I’m 6’5″ and Lorraine barely reaching 5′, although ackward, we made it work and both felt comforted by our embrace. Lorraine followed by telling me some of the kindest words any one could ever hear and it felt truly sincere coming from her. I’m going to miss my friend Lorraine, she is very special and will always be a part of me.

My other two friends Colin and Will don’t know yet and I worry about their reactions especially my friend Colin. We chat every day about cartoons or his latest trip to the movie theater. Colin is truly mission driven and easily upset when his daily routine is not routine. I hope that we can find away to tell him without causing too much fuss.

I’m sharing this today because as a positude leader, I find it to be essential to be tolerant and inclusive. As leaders, we need to make time for special people and find opportunities for them to contribute as each has much to give. I could not imagine my life without them, they make my life experience fuller and along they way I hope that I have had the same effect on them.

Lorraine, Joe, Ela, Will and Colin, I love you and think the world of  you….. you make our lives more complete each day.

Get involved!



Five Positude Leadership Practices

Five Positude Leadership Practices

To make sure I’m always transparent and never want anyone to believe I created something that I was taught, today’s blog is about transferring knowledge and putting my own personal spin on it.

To be an effective positude leader, I truly belief that one must stick to the basic four principles of caring deeply for those you lead, lead through context, ensure staff safety and create wins to build confidence among your teammates.

Along with the basic four principles, we have five vital leadership practices that will heighten your ability to lead effectively and garner the result one desires. Let’s dig a little deeper into each one to bring perspective allowing you to adopt these effective strategies tomorrow.

  1. Model the way
    • Lead by example at all times, someone is always watching
    • Be the change you desire
    • Follow through on commitment
    • Communicate effectively
    • Build trust and integrity
  2. Inspire a shared vision
    • Lead with passion and lead from the front
    • Paint a picture that is realistic
    • Incorporate your team in developing the future
    • Talk about trends
  3. Challenge the process
    • Think outside the box
    • Challenge others to try new things
    • Search for new opportunities
    • Push yourself to learn new skills and gain diverse knowledge
  4. Enable your team to act
    • Failures create opportunities, encourage your teams to act
    • Treat each other with dignity and respect
    • Actively listen to diverse points of view
    • Empower your staff
  5. Encourage the heart
    • Recognize your team mates for accomplishments
    • Feed their curiosity by allowing them to take on special projects
    • Understand each teammates intrinsic drivers
    • Give your team members the support they need to be successful
    • Show confidence in their abilities

Start your Monday morning by printing these core positude leadership practices and embed them into your daily activities. Discuss them with your staff and encourage your team leaders to adopt them as well.

Only with exceptional behavioral capacity will you be able to lead change in your organization. Being a leader is not easy and rarely natural, it takes work, dedication and continuous learning to be an effective leader.

You too can do this!



Transitions should not be scary!

Transitions should not be scary!

After six wonderful years of learning and expanding my knowledge as an employee, manager, leader, coach and mentor, time has come to transition to the next level. In the very near future, I will discuss in greater detail the experiences of being recruited, interviewed and how to close the deal. Today, I will concentrate on “Transitions” from the perspective of those left behind.

I’m a fortunate man, I have been surrounded by exceptional caring people eager to learn and perform to the best of their abilities under extremely difficult circumstances especially over the past few years. As positude leaders, we should never lose sight of the fact that our team mates are the ones that drive our successes and allows us to move up the chain of command. For their efforts, nimbleness and willingness to learn, follow and lead, I’m in an awesome position to transition into an even greater challenge.

We met as a team this past Thursday, at which time I told them about my decision to pursue a great opportunity that would allow me to be intellectually challenged and continue to learn. After an initial shock and awe moment, I reminded the team that we have been working together for several years to be ready for a successful transition.

Through a facilitated conversation, we drew out the “Scary” parts of transitions such as:

  1. Anxiety of the unknown
  2. Fear of change
  3. Losing a mentor
  4. Losing the driving force behind positive change
  5. Opportunity

All these are real feelings and should not be ignored. Transitions create opportunities but also potential conflict, depression, and sadness. As a positude leader, we need to consider each individual and work with them through the transition period to re-ensure and build their confidence into believing that this is also an opportunity for each to step up, to continue on the path and even consider stepping up to fill the gap albeit as an interim.

Sadness needs to be followed by strength, as their leader, my measure of success will be assessed post transition. If the team rises to the occasion and continues on the path, following the vision and strategic map that they designed without skipping a beat, I can reflect back with a sense of pride and measured success.

Transitions like failures are actually opportunities in disguise. It’s time to search for your inner strength and bring your performance to the next level. Put into action all that you have learned over the years. It is now your turn to be a visionary, to lead, to coach, to mentor and most importantly be your confident self.

Success will be determined by the effectiveness of your communications and ability to work as a team by sticking to the principles of great management and not skip a beat.

I believe in all of you, I’m a better person today compared to six years ago as are all of you. Our greatest honor each day is our ability to change the lives of our patients. When in doubt, know each day you leave your office that you have made a difference.


A Rainy Day!….

A Rainy Day!….

It’s Columbus Day weekend, filled with joy for the family albeit apple picking, attending the Italian Fest or walking in a parade. It was an unusual warm and humid day in the Northeast, almost feels like an Indian Summer or is it?

Today, the day after, a rainy day, schools are closed, kids still sleeping, what to do with this beautiful rainy day?

It’s a perfect day, time to spend mindful time with your kids if you are fortunate enough to have the day off. If not, it’s a great time to lift someone spirits at work on a what some will consider a dreary day.

I’m off today, the house still quite but not for much longer. Kids will be running before you know it so time is short to get in some thoughts about how to spend this rainy day with those I love most.

Maybe today, is a great day to set aside those electronics and go back to basics by building a castle made out of sheets, read a book together, play a board game or put a puzzle together. It’s an awesome day to reconnect, no distractions from competitive games or family gatherings. A mindful day with loved ones albeit your child, dog or cat!

Rainy days can feel depressing if you allow yourself to pulled into that direction, resist by embracing a rainy day as an opportunity to reconnect. Do something you have never done before or not since you were little. When was the last time you took a long walk without an umbrella? Feel each rain drop hit your face and wonder where it traveled from.

Today is a rainy day, it’s your day to be the difference.


TZB…..not just a bridge!

TZB…..not just a bridge!

It all began in 1955, a bridge was build, however not just any bridge but a bridge that bridged two counties. Once and forever, Rockland and Westchester were connected. A main artery around the big city for tractor trailers on their way up North or an expanded bedroom community option for families working in NYC.

Decades of serving with great nostalgia, albeit a visual reference point for planes approaching KHPH White Plains Airport or as a beacon of pride for those who build it. On the flip side, often dreaded by its commuters each morning as they crawled across its span at barely 5 MPH.

So much more than that has happened, we should never forget the dozens of lives that were lost to suicide. Troubled fathers, mothers, sons and daughters who chose to end their lives by jumping mid-span plunging 165 feet to their deaths. As I cross this bridge each day, I often wonder how desperate one must be to stop mid span and without further thoughts end their lives. It is a memorial for those left behind.

How about those approximate 2,1 Billion cars that crossed its 16,013′ span since 1955. How this bridge improved productivity by reducing travel time, saved lives of the critically ill on their way to Westchester Medical Center or provided breath-taking views of New York City and the Lower Hudson Valley.

Our Tappan Zee Bridge is not just an outdated rusted bucket of steel, it’s a memorial and a beacon of light too many. We should take a moment to reflect as it will disappear from our horizon. Blood, sweat and tears, sadness and happiness, a full range of emotions can be attributed its majesty.

I crossed it one last time on Friday morning, leaving me with a heavy heart however grateful for those who build it and maintained it over the decades. I will miss you in a strange way. As a Dutchman, I always took pride in the fact that it was named for my ancestors.

To me, and to many others, you will forever be known as the Tappan  Zee Bridge!



Strap up your boots!

Strap up your boots!

You have had a week from hell, feel like crab, down on your luck, missed an opportunity and have difficulty seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. We can all relate to that I’m sure. Question remains, how long do you allow yourself to stay in this funk?

It’s time to strap up your boots and give yourself a swift kick in the you know what! It’s time to look for anything positive that you can  latch yourself onto. It shouldn’t be that difficult once you open your mind and allow yourself to find happiness or fulfillment once again.

Keep in mind that your “negative brain” would love nothing more than to stay there, it feels right at home with sorrow and depression. You need to fight this with all your might by forcing your brain to deny the negative and search out the positive only. Each time you slip backwards, catch yourself and resist the temptation by finding something positive no matter how insignificant.

Let’s use an example that most of us can relate to; it’s been another day of nothing but depressing news at work, more lay-offs, cut backs, restrictions, nay-sayers or a pilot project that failed to deliver. You feel let down, uninspired and actually some of your team mates notice that you are just not yourself today.

It’s time for action without delay at the earliest indicator of negative behavior.

As a positude leader, you made a promise to yourself to “Feel Inspired and Be Inspiring”. You might not feel like it today however it’s your obligation as a leader to search deep and reignite the flame by looking for that light albeit it a pinhole. It’s your time to shine a light on what the future holds, once you start looking there’s plenty to be grateful for.

Control your micro environment if you can’t control the macro environment. Inspire your staff and thereby yourself by making a difference in the lives closest to you. Do something nice for your neighbor albeit in the next cubicle, office or patient room. Buy someone lunch in your cafeteria and watch their smiles once told. These are moments that feeds your positive brain.

Strap up your boots and make it happen!


Do you know what Sepsis is?

Every six seconds some dies of Sepsis…. most often preventable through early diagnosis and treatment.

Educate yourself today on the signs & symptoms which often mimic a simple cold with suddle differences.

Check out this PSA and share with family & friends…. don’t be a victim be part of the solotion.

Stop SEPSIS now

For additional information please visit; http://www.facebook.com/RoryStauntonFoundation

Knowledge is power!

Let’s safe a life together.