“Try to make someone’s day today,” Doug called after his daughter, as she kissed him goodbye before heading toward the school building. “I will!” she called back, glancing over her shoulder. As Doug drove his car away and headed to work, he reminded himself to also “make someone’s day.” For him, finding simple ways to create excitement for his team helped them become more effective in their individual roles and responsibilities. This idea of “making someone’s day,” is all about choosing the right attitude before you get out of bed each morning. Whether you’re a parent, a department manager, or both, the type of attitude you choose to portray and nurture will have a significant impact on those around you.
All corporations, for-profit or not for profit, must have a margin. The cost of healthcare has been scrutinized for many years and yet it continues to rise. Hospitals are becoming more financially challenged and leadership has to determine the strategy to sustain the financial health of their institutions. There are two opposing strategies to accomplish both improved culture and margin. Does the leadership focus on the margin so the team can pay higher wages and pay for the “nice things to do for the staff” to then improve the corporate culture? Or do they focus on the organization's culture to improve the margin?
If you are leading an organization in times of difficulty, you need an extra spark to keep your head up. The requirement for you to be the chief encourager and visionary doesn't dissolve because the economy is down. The expectation for you to show up with vision, passion, and commitment still rests upon you. In times of difficulty, there is a separation among leaders – those who just have a “title” that indicates their leadership and those who truly have the mantle of leadership. The title will give that person access, provision, and affluence. The mantle of leadership, however, may also provide sleepless nights, heartache, and discouragement – as well as joy – at various times.
As a former CEO of hospitals across the midwest for 35 years, our CEO Jonathan Goble brings a great perspective to FISH! in healthcare during this difficult time. I believe today, with the onslaught of COVID 19 ravaging our resources, our people and our attitudes, we (hospitals) are particularly at risk without a specific strategy to address the impact this pandemic has on our people and culture. As healthcare workers we are brave and will walk into the face of danger. We do it each and every day, even without COVID 19 present in our midst. We are hard workers who are willing to work extremely long hours when needed. We are called in and called off and still come back to serve our patients the next day. We have strange senses of humor because of the work that we face. It helps to be a bit irreverent when the seriousness of our work could easily drain our spirit. We are strong but the challenges of the healthcare world today threatens our infrastructure and our people. So, how could FISH! help?
We all experience stress. But sometimes, like a leaky pipe that eventually bursts from pressure, the stress turns into burnout. Regular stress and burnout exhibit many of the same symptoms, such as exhaustion, anxiety, and trouble sleeping and eating. But where stress feels temporary, burnout feels like there’s no light at the end of the tunnel. You feel empty and used up. You can’t concentrate. You get no pleasure from activities you used to enjoy. You may feel disconnected from people you love. Burnout has many causes, such as marriage problems or caring for an aging parent. Work burnout is especially common. According to Gallup, 23 percent of people say they feel burned out at work often and 63 percent feel burned out sometimes. The result is low morale, high turnover and poor performance. What can you do if you’re feeling burned out at work? Here are nine things you can do to help yourself and others find relief:
Human beings, like all animals in communities, are wired to feel what people around them are feeling. It’s an evolutionary trait: When a cave dweller anticipated a threat, the sooner other tribe members picked up on those perceptions, the safer they’d all be. It works much the same today, except the threats aren’t woolly mammoths. Our stresses come from being asked to do more with less. Information overload. Fear of mistakes. Tension with coworkers. Possible layoffs. It’s estimated up to 50 percent of employees view work as the main source of stress in their lives. That means you or the person working next to you is probably feeling overwhelmed. Inevitably one of you will start to feel it too.
Was that a stuffed fish flying through the air? Todd Wilkins couldn’t believe what he was seeing. Todd was in Children’s Memorial Hospital (now Lurie Children’s Hospital) in Chicago with his four-year-old son, Michael, who was being treated for neuroblastoma, a childhood cancer. Todd was watching Michael on the overnight shift. Usually a confident person, tonight he was feeling nervous and unprepared. As Michael slept, Todd left the room to ask the nurses a question. He turned the corner and saw a nurse toss a stuffed Pete the Perch to a coworker.
In last month’s blog, we kicked off our 20 Years of FISH! celebration with memorable quotes from people who have used the philosophy to improve their lives. This month we explore another great FISH! insight: “To change an organization, you’ve got to change yourself. As I work on myself I find I have a bigger impact on people than when I was trying to work on them.” Rob Gregory, owner, Rochester Ford Toyota It’s tempting, especially for leaders, to try to “fix” people—to “improve” them so they do more of what you like and less of what you don’t.
According to surveys of companies around the world, emotional intelligence is one of the most critical job skills of the future. Emotional intelligence, also known as EQ (for emotional quotient), is the ability to: 1) recognize your own emotions and manage them without letting them control you; and 2) understand what others are feeling and use that knowledge to work with them productively.
Some FISH! Phil-osophy thoughts from our own Phil Strand, co-author of FISH! Tales and Schools of FISH!: In the movie Raiders of the Lost Ark, Indiana Jones and his friend Sallah open a tomb containing the Ark. Peering into the darkness, Jones throws a torch into the tomb, revealing thousands of poisonous snakes. Jones and [...]