Over the past week, I asked many of my co-workers this question; “Why does a soldier make his bed first thing in the morning?”. Many gave me a blank stare, some attempted to come up with a creative answer but none got it right. I too, learned about this myself recently and once told it made perfect sense.
Do you know the answer?
OK, let’s reveal the answer; “A soldier makes his bed each morning to perfection to set his day up for success”. That makes perfect sense doesn’t it. Now, do you make your bed each morning?
Military leaders believe that by making your bed with crisp corners and holding oneself to strict standard work will lead to better work the remainder of the day. A soldier is less likely to cut corners on projects that need to be executed due to the fact that his behavioral capacity is on high alert for perfection.
You can adopt this philosophy with your children or even at work minus the inspection of the bedroom at your staff members homes of course. However, bringing this example back to your leadership huddle and challenge them to take a different approach to their morning routine could lead to improved performance.
Especially in Healthcare, we live and work in a dynamic ever-changing environment whereby we need to remain nimble and often have to be very creative in our approaches to satisfy our patients and deliver excellence in care.
If your mindset is on crisp corners and following standard work, you are more likely to deliver a patient to his/her final destination when asked for directions rather than merely pointing them into the right direction. Same goes for sterilizing/sanitizing skin for an IV insertion or cleaning a bed after discharging a patient.
Start your morning off right by doing the right things right!
Are you prepared to tell your story? You never know when that moment arrives, often with little notice if any at all. Right now, right here is your opportunity to address an individual or a room full of people. Are you ready to be Pithy?
When that moment arrives, you want to be ready. Ready to tell your story, define that problem or present that elusive solution.
Let’s see if you are ready for that moment. Go to the nearest mirror and tell yourself in 30-seconds or less what someone should know about you. Sell yourself with passion and precision.
How did you fare? Likely not as well as you had hoped for. Don’t panic, most are in the same boat. Its not a failure but an opportunity to work a bit harder on developing your message.
Like all great messages, it should have a start, middle and a strong finish. More importantly it should be delivered with confidence, passion and the right amount of Pithy!
Crisp , to the point, memorable, impact-full, consequential and precise are attributes of an awesome 30-second elevator speech. Practice makes perfect.
Being told that you were Pithy during a presentation is actually a compliment….who knew!
Sitting in anticipation is like sitting on needles… you can’t sit still, you are nervous and full of anxiety. Strangely enough, it is the same feeling for both an anticipated positive or negative experience. It plays with the fringes of your nerve endings that either end up with a dopamine rush (happy receptor sites in the brain) or shear disappointment and sadness.
Since my cup is always half full, let’s explore the positives of anticipation!
If you know there’s a reward at the end of the rainbow which you hold dear to your heart, one will work twice as hard to get that win. Willing to go the extra mile and leave no stone upturned to get to that finish line.
A reward can only be valued by the receiver to have its fullest effect. Therefor, it is of utmost important in your work group to identify individual intrinsic drivers to select the right reward or winning feeling for each individual. Failure to select what they find most valuable is a failure in leadership on your part. This is not the time to assume if you desire the full benefit.
Once you have selected the right reward and define a crystal clear expectation using your SMART goals, now it’s time to sit back to watch the magic of anticipation. Your staffers will work with nervous anticipation with a belly full of fire knowing that at the end the process there will be something of value albeit additional responsibility, a promotion, a monetary bonus or time with a loved one.
If you play this right, you can take full advantage of the adrenaline surge that comes along with anticipation.
Aimlessly working without purpose just to make ends meat is not the preferred way of life. Sadly it is for many in our society. Life is too short to live or work without purpose.
Question remains, how can you find purpose in your daily activities without knowing and understanding oneself first?
Your kids, spouse, family or even friends can give you great purpose and satisfaction in life however most of your time will be spent at work. Working without passion or understanding of purpose could severely limit your happiness and quality of life.
Its time to complete a self-inventory and do some deep soul-searching to get to know oneself first. What makes you tick, what gives you energy, what gives me pleasure and happiness in life. Leave no stone upturned, go beyond what you have already experienced and you are likely to uncover things you didn’t know about yourself.
To get you started with sorting out your sense of purpose and how it could apply to your life, let me share a few of mine;
- Being an example to my children Abigail, Kimberlie, Erik, Maia and Max
- Working in a mission driven environment
- The privilege of coaching and mentoring
- Having a sense that I make a difference in someone’s life each day
These are just four examples that will get me up each day with a sense of purpose. It gives me focus, energy and passion which are essential elements of happiness.
Therefor no matter the circumstance, if you really understand your sense of purpose, you can link it to daily activities in your workplace. If you can’t, its time to start your search for purpose.
I’m sitting in small gym in Congers NY, watching 4th & 5th graders attempting to play basketball. Their passion and exuberance is obvious however their skills don’t quite match up with their own expectations.
Can you relate to this at work? Think of your young talent or recent graduates.
Fresh out of college with a fancy diploma, validating they learned a lot in theory however
still short on practical skill.
The solution for each scenario is lots of practice without cutting corners, learning the hard way through sweat equity.
As a positude leader, it is your role to recognize the need for consistent, meaningful positive feedback as your young stars in the making find their way around.
Failing to be proactive could potentially hamper your young talent from reaching their potential. Set them up for success not mediocracy, start each day off the right way by setting clear expectation and coaching for success.
It’s quite ok for them to struggle through an assignment since struggling can build strength and stamina. Appreciate the difference between struggling and faltering. As a positude leader, you never allow someone to falter as that is a sign of your own failure to lead and inspire.
Practice makes Perfect, hard work and perserverance will provide a return on investment both for your young talent as well as yourself!
How many of you play darts in the dark or play baseball without bases or soccer without goals? Likely not too many of you do. Then why is it, when managers are asked if their roles & responsibilities are clearly defined, they often state that they have a sense of direction but not exactly sure what success in their respective area looks like. It’s like running a marathon but not sure where the finish line is!
Clarity of purpose, defining the objectives, setting SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely) goals are foundational in setting up a 20/20 Vision.
As a positude leaders, you have made a promise to “Lead through Context, not Control”, this is your defining moment. Developing a 20/20 vision is not done in isolation but rather through conversation, discussion and even trial & error. One needs to find the right approach which can be different from manager to manager however the foundational guiding principles of clarity in purpose, developing measurable objectives and setting timely deliverance are the corner stones of success.
As a leader, don’t be hesitant to seek out your boss for clarity of purpose or assistance in defining goals based on your company’s mission, vision and strategic plan. You can’t interpret or promote a clear vision if it’s cloudy to say the least. Often not enough time is spend on this subject therefor tend to rely on our instincts as well as assumptions which can lead to failure.
Be careful and mindful before proceeding, success and performance can only be achieved if one knows and understand how to score goals.
Having 20/20 vision is an absolute must to becoming a high reliabiity/high peformance organization!
I earned it, I worked hard, out performed others and never said no to any opportunity that presented itself. Finally the opportunity to move up, I get to manage people not just processes. I think I’m ready, I knew what to say in my interview but now what? I’m just a bit scared and not so confident that I can manage and lead instead of doing it just myself!
These are very typical feelings although rarely expressed by these alpha driven personalities whom are promoted from doers to managers or leaders. However, it is a real feeling and a true concern. A stress that should be eliminated by acknowledging this phenomenon and supporting transitioning staff into their new roles.
As a positude leader, now is your time to rise to the occasion and be the consummate supporter especially through the first six months. Establish a broad, strong and durable foundation from which managerial and leadership skills can be build. Encourage your staff to participate in leadership development courses and find a mentor that can provide guidance and insight different from that of a boss.
Their success is going to be your success, make time for them, guide them, shape them, nurture them, empower them and allow them to explore in a safe environment. Often, you will need to hold them back from running too fast or doing things themselves. As high performers in their previous roles, they will likely want the same in their new role but might not have the skill set to perform. This ultimately can lead to failure and is the definition of the “Peter Principle”.
Be aware and mindful of the “Peter Principle”, it is your responsibility as a positude leader to be preventative and proactive in support of your recently promoted staff.