Volunteerism at Work! Do you?

Volunteerism at Work! Do you?

Over the past year, I have written several times on the topic “Paying it Forward”. As a positude leader, I try to incorporate this into my daily life and I strongly encourage you to do the same.

However, volunteerism at work is an whole-another level of not only giving back but also building something together. Its about camaraderie, friendships, team building and promoting your companies brand by showing support to a great cause.

A positude leader will create a WIN/WIN scenario by allowing groups of managers to hold bake sales, paint night or allow time to collect donations from fellow employees. Although it is time away from their core mission, it is time promoting your brand and building a cohesive team.

As a leader or even better as an institution, you can set a lavish goal and support your staff in their attempts to out raise another department or sister facility. Just look at the smiles on the faces of our Ambulatory Leaders at NYC Health + Hospital/Jacobi while they enthusiastically sold home made bake goods raising another 1K for “Making Strides against Breast Cancer” last week.

As their leader, it gave me a great sense of pride to see them work as a team for a great cause. Their time spent as a team will not only enhance our hospital brand, it will have a lasting effect on how they work together across departmental lines for days, weeks and even months to come.

As a positude leader, work with your team to find several great causes throughout the year to support albeit through fundraising or volunteering time at a local soup kitchen. It is rewarding and it will leave you with a euphoric feeling of making a difference!

Volunteerism at Work is a must!



Retirement; time to celebrate or grief?

Retirement; time to celebrate or grief?

Retirement a sudden loss not unlike a death in the family. We are supposed to celebrate however it feels more like grieving. Conscious and subconscious, as leaders, we are always planning for succession however when the day comes we often wish we had a few more weeks. This is especially true when a pillar of excellence finally hangs up his/her hat for the last time and says their good-by’s at the end of the day.

The curtain has dropped, mic went silent and dressing room is now empty, ready for the next actor to step on the stage and fill some big shoes. It sounds so simple however it rarely is.

We can replace our retiree with a task master to ensure “things” get done each day however preserving the embedded culture that was championed by your retiree is much harder to replace and the importance should not be under estimated.

It’s no different from when the matriarch of the family dies, the dynamics in the family changes and sudden actions by subordinates to fill the gap will take place often causing a ruckus leaving others with hurt feelings. Be mindful of external influences and jockeying for position as well.

As a positude leader, it is your responsibility to stay two steps ahead by developing a sense of camaraderie and shared responsibility through the transition phase. It is time for your communication skills to be utilized and spend additional time with staff both ensuring that the daily task are performed but more importantly guide your staff through the grieving process of a sudden loss of their leader.

Don’t rush to replace with another body. Take Jim Collins words to heart, only hire the right person for the job or else go without until you find the right person.

Plan ahead, anticipate the next move and spend time developing those next in line. This will give a sense of security for all involved including the departing leader (that could be you) to ensure that systems will continue on a rock solid foundation of high performance and team work.


P.S. Dear Sally….. you are a ROCK STAR and will be missed. You have done everything right and we will together continue to build on the foundation you build. Love, W

Speak Up! Do you?

Speak Up! Do you?

I recently  sat  in a meeting listening to a few managers discussing some issues in their respective departments. At first, I sat back and just listened and thought back to my earlier days as a Safety Officer. It brought back great memories of representing patients and staff alike to ensure a safe environment for all.

My interest spiked, causing me to nearly slip out of my chair, did I just hear this or just misunderstood the jest of the conversation. Were they actually discussing ways to circumvent safety procedures to safe money and time!

I had a decision to make, sit there and do nothing or speak up and impose in an area outside of my own direct responsibilities. What would you have done?

Most would have said nothing and played ignorant. Really, its no different from not washing your hands after toiletting or observing non-compliance to infection prevention standards often due to low behavioral capacity or fear of confrontation including giving- or receiving critical feedback.

Doing nothing should never be the option. As a positude leader, it is your responsibility to “Speak Up” and protect the innocent albeit from germs, fraud or asbestos.

Your behavioral capacity and confidence in doing the right thing will carry you through this difficult moment of professionally confronting the offenders by questioning their allowance of bad behavior.

There’s no need to be belligerent or unprofessional, merely make the other person aware that their actions do not meet standards of care. Most often, they will correct their immediate behavior. If not, don’t confront, instead report to the next level of management to stop the inaction.

I did “Speak Up” and provided coaching/mentoring to both managers on ways they could address this issue without causing a stir. As positude leaders, we need to create a safe environment where staff feel comfortable to provide critical feedback without repercussion.

Model the behavior you seek, encourage active feedback and discourage “Yes” behavior.


Do you spend enough QUALITY time with the family?

Do you spend enough QUALITY time with the family?

So many distractions and competing interest albeit work, kids, friends or even electronic devices. All competing for your precious time, time you could or even should be spending with your families. Time you will never get back once it is gone.

Some will tell you that they are home every day however when speaking to their spouses or children, they will note that they’re home physically but not in the present or mindful.

I have been accused of this too many times myself. I work too many hours and have a brain that rarely stops. I try to strike a balance with mixed results. I can do better as most of us can. It can only get better if one recognizes the deficiency before it is too late.

There are two common reasons for failed relationships that should not be ignored;

  1. Unmet expectations
  2. External distractions albeit is work, electronics or another person

I have written about “unmet expectations” in a previous blog and will only discuss the later in this blog however both are intertwined and equally important.

I like to challenge you as well as myself to define “Quality Family Time” together with your significant other and implement a plan that meets both your needs. Being in the present and mindful of your own behaviors while being with your family is paramount.

A self assessment is a great place to start. Where is your brain when you are home? What are your external distractions? Where do you want to be when you’re home? How much time do you spend on your computer, phone or watching TV? Be honest and make appropriate adjustments that breaks you free and allows you to be present in the moment.

Being “Mindful of your Mindfulness” is an whole-another exercise that will take time to develop however it all starts by being aware and open-minded to changing ones own behaviors.

None of this is easy and will take perseverance both on your part and that of the family however being present, mindful while enjoying quality time with your family will allow you to be a better positude leader at work!


Why you want to be a Mentor!

Why you want to be a Mentor!

First and foremost, each of us needs to acknowledge that we all are or have been a mentee even if it was not an official mentor/mentee relationship. Someone along the way has provided you with support, counseled you or even provided you a job opportunity that led to greener pastures.

Just a few days ago, I literally ran into David Freed former CEO at Nyack Hospital who provided me with much-needed direction and stimulation to seek opportunities beyond my comfort zone. For this, I will be forever grateful. It also allowed me to share my book “Positude Leadership 4 Strategies, 5 Skills and 100 Experiences” which was partly based on his teaching and mentorship. It was a feel good moment!

If that’s not convincing enough to be a “Mentor”, try adopting the philosophy of “Paying it Forward”. I adopted this strategy soon after Oprah Winfrey challenged all of us more than a decade ago. As a positude leader, this will be one of your cornerstone trades by quietly paying it forward albeit a cup of coffee for a stranger or dedicating a few hours per week to mentoring an aspiring young healthcare worker.

Months ago, I was contacted via LinkedIn by a complete stranger who was interested in learning the pathway to becoming an Operating Room Nurse in New York. After some awkward question about my height, we developed a strong bond and communicated via messenger on numerous occasions covering many topics.  It ultimately led to Justin flying from Dallas to NYC for a job opportunity. I primed the pump by contacting the hiring manager which was followed by a stellar interview and a job offer of his dreams.

As a mentor, this is one of those moments I will cherish forever. When we finally met in person, it felt like we had known each other for years.

My message of the day is for you to seek mentorship and/or be a mentor. It’s not only the right thing to do, it’s an opportunity for you to continue to learn, share and carry forward with a great sense of pride.

What are you waiting for…..get busy and reach out to someone today!


Emergency Preparedness… are you ready?

Emergency Preparedness… are you ready?

An ounce of prevention is worth its weight in gold!

Too many of us too often either take action too late or depend on others to survive a sudden disastrous event such as a natural disaster (Irma, Harvey), terrorist attack or a mass casualty event large or small. Actually any event that stretches the limits of your local emergency personnel beyond the point they can provide reliable and immediate aid is considered a disaster.

Today, I want to reiterate the importance for each of to be ready for the most likely scenarios which can vary on where you live of course. For some of us, it will be wind or water, while others should be most concerned about fire and power outages or a combination of all the above.

There are four natural steps of preparedness that one should take into consideration;

  1. Mitigation………….preventing negative impacts due to a disaster
  2. Preparedness…….a plan to for the family with pre staged supplies
  3. Response……………your actual plan put into action, depend on self
  4. Recovery……………contacts and resources to overcome the emergency

First step to take is to review your local emergency response plan for your city or county. They likely can be found online and will provide you step-by-step direction on preparing for the unknown.

The greatest failure is to do nothing or make it the priority of tomorrow because tomorrow in the world of preparedness rarely comes. When an emergency occurs, people get energized and start the process of preparedness but all too often due to our very short-term memory, we rarely follow through to the extend necessary to self sustain for at least 96 hours or a have a predetermined meeting spot or worst case scenario know how to assume a defensive posture in a sudden attack such as an active shooter scenario (run, hide, fight).

Today’s blog is meant to spike your interest and instigate action on your part. Simply google emergency preparedness and get started.

Today not Tomorrow.




Failure creates Opportunity!

Failure creates Opportunity!

Is your cup half full or half empty? Which ever it is will determine your outlook on life and how you view a failure in process, people or leadership.

A positude leaders mindset is balanced with a glass half full however this doesn’t happen by chance but rather through hard work.

Over the last month alone, I can think of failures in each of the categories of process, people and leadership. None of these failures threatened any loss of life or had major revenue implication however each could have had a negative impact on my psychological behavior.

Instead, I took each as a learning opportunity and completed a postmortem assessment identifying potential root causes which will reduce the chances of repeating them again.

Looking at failures as opportunities, a positude leader will enhance not only their personal learning but also their ability to drive improvements by address the root cause.

A word of caution, it is human behavior to look for the easy way out and to either assume or select the first critical failure step as the root cause. This could potentially lead you on a path of false pretense and a band-aid solution.

Make a promise to yourself, be diligent, dig deep using the 5 WHY’s  strategy to identifying the root cause before taking any action. It is paramount that you can be self-reflective and critical of the choices you have made that led to a failure albeit it in developing a process, managing people or leading a team.

Be reminded of the cornerstone principles of leading with positude;

  1. Develop mutual respect
  2. Develop a common understanding
  3. Develop a common bond
  4. Be teachable at all times

It is #4 that will allow you to be open-minded, critical of oneself or be critiqued by your peers. Life is a journey of learning through experiencing. Go along for the ride with positude.