The days are getting longer and warmer; kids are getting out of school, and the season of family reunions, picnics and long days at the beach are upon us. Relaxed, convivial afternoons will stretch into evenings as families and friends sit together, sharing meals, stories and laughter. The food will be great, because everyone’s brought their special dish to the party – the salads and casseroles and baked goods that we all look forward to sharing because they’re made with care and seasoned with love. Put together on the table, they make a meal greater than the sum of its wonderful parts – a meal that just couldn’t have happened if one person had been in charge.
Working together is a lot like that, isn’t it? Although we may be in the same organization, moving in the same direction, we’re still individuals, and each of us brings our particular, unique addition to...
This month is a very special one for me; I am celebrating my 19th year in business as The Watershed Group, a big anniversary for my “baby” and a good moment to reflect on the adventures I’ve had so far as a startup founder and proprietor.
I was Executive Director of Hospice of North Central Florida when I realized that it was time for me to make a change. I was frankly terrified to leave a job I loved - but I knew I was not meant to stay there until retirement. I didn’t want to leave hospice work and I didn’t want to move from my hometown, so I thought I would try my hand at consulting. I knew it would be a big leap - I had heard that most consulting businesses fail within the first 18 months – so I kept my nursing license active just in case this gig didn’t work out (I still do!).
"Does Your Hospice Need Hospice Care?"
Where do you turn for help when your hospice’s health is in question?
Once it begins, the problems can seem to cascade one on top of another. The organization is leaking money, and your market share is atrophying. Your staff is unhappy; anonymous letters of complaint are sent in to your Board of Directors, and your leadership team is splintered and fractionalized, with fingers of blame pointed everywhere but at themselves. A federal audit looms. Patients are being discharged for living too long, while others can’t be admitted because they MIGHT live too long.
Yes, you’re still delivering care, but the burdens on your frontline staff feel onerous, and you’re increasingly seeing the warning signs of burnout. Your staff is saddled with a “new and improved” Electronic Medical Records system that takes five times longer than the old system, with nurses tasked with transcribing unending lists of patients’...
What is the number 1 thing in the world everyone wants? Can you answer that? What does everyone want so desperately? I believe that the answer, quite simply, is: MORE.
Everyone wants more of the good things that life has to offer, right? Well, to get more, we need to activate our full potential. We need to hit a higher gear and become high performers at whatever we do. We have to become more focused, productive, influential, and successful.
And it’s not always easy. Many people are struggling more than they have to in these areas.
Even though we all have big goals and dreams, many people today are stressed,
overwhelmed, and uncertain about what the future holds.
So, think about YOUR life. Do you feel you’re being as productive, influential, and successful as you...
When you’re a High Performer, productivity is not just about ticking things off your “To Do” lists; it’s about focusing on your higher purpose and whether or not you are living your mission – and encouraging, inspiring, and leading those around you to be a part of its accomplishment.
Is your workday all about getting stuff done? Getting stuff done is good, and necessary. But we must never lose sight of the importance of asking ourselves if each action we take is serving our greater purpose and if it is the best thing for those we care about as well as ourselves, both at home and at work. Is your day spent moving yourself forward on what really matters?
Our teachers in hospice, those people whose lives are measured in months not years, understand what productivity looks like for them: deepening relationships with loved ones, asking for and granting forgiveness, creating memories that will last longer than they will.
Real productivity requires taking a...
Image Above: My Brother Michael Moore, 1950-1995
“A hero is no braver than an ordinary man, but he is brave five minutes longer.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
Courage isn’t just something we muster up when we’re called on to slay dragons or play the hero. Our courage is tasked every day, and how we answer its call (or don’t) is a powerful reflection of our character.
How much courage does it take to step outside your comfort zone and change the way you think about something? How much courage is required to tell your boss or a co-worker that you disagree with the way they handled a situation? When was the last time you had a courageous conversation with someone? When was the last time you had the courage to stop playing small and step into your full, brilliant self? These are the real dragons; self-doubt, habit, and fear of the unknown.
The challenges we face come calling without much notice, and the choices we’re asked to make on the fly and in the moment...
High performance; everyone talks about it, but what does it really look like in practice? Here is my story of Habit #5, Influence:
No man or woman is an island, though we might occasionally wish we were! When the action or inactions of those around us frustrate us, we’re tempted to imagine that life would be easier if we were in total control - but that’s a fallacy. We need one another to accomplish our dreams – and how we influence others and are ourselves influenced is what makes our dreams reality.
Most of us have been lucky enough to cross paths with at least one great influencer in our lives – a person whose example helped us to become better than we were before we met them. Sometimes it’s a parent or a teacher, or a great boss or a mentor who goes out of his or her way to listen and advise. But often the most powerful influencers in our lives are those who lead by example;...
High performance; everyone talks about it, but what does it really look like in practice?
To me, high performance can’t just be an on again/off again thing where I hit that mark, then settle back down to where I was. I need to sustain that high-functioning vibrancy over time. It doesn’t come naturally – at least, not to most people, myself included – but it can be learned, in the same way Olympic athletes build high performance habits that sustain them through grueling competition. How do High Performers train to bring their best all day, every day, to whatever they’re doing? In other words, how do they stay in the zone?
My training with my coach Brendon Burchard taught me there are five keys to creating and maintaining high performance. In this piece, I’ll dig into the first two: Clarity and Energy.
Image above: Brian Blase, Special Assistant to the President on Healthcare Policy
I was in Washington D.C. recently for the winter meeting of members of the National Partnership for Hospice Innovation group. A vibrant lineup of speakers was there to share their insights on the current state of healthcare and hospice.
One surprise speaker was Brian Blase, Special Assistant to the President on Healthcare Policy. I admit it – I was initially skeptical of this young person who I assumed could not possibly have any meaningful insights about our work of caring for the frail and dying citizens. That’s what happens sometimes when we are “experts” in our field; too often, we’re not open to new ideas or others’ points of view, because, after all, we’re the ones with the years of experience and/or education and...
Image above: Mary J. Labyak at the NHPCO Gala 2009
"I think hospice is the greatest single honor that has ever occurred in my life. To have the opportunity to be a part of building something that makes such a difference to society. And I think what is really important is that hospice is a dream that’s come true, and a dream that’s grown beyond all of our expectations.
In terms of values, it’s a dream that didn’t come out of academia, it didn’t come out of research, it didn’t come out of organized medicine. It was the dream of people themselves that had lost a loved one and simply wanted to reach out and see if they could make that path different for others. And it was above all about human dignity, no matter how long life was.
And I think it has grown so much not because we were smart in building it, but because we had the capacity to listen to what our patients and communities needed and to...