Each of these very different men found himself at the epicenter of world-shaking crises, and brought the nation through it to safety. Fortunately, most of us will never be tasked with dealing with that level of upheaval and uncertainty – but as leaders in our own spheres, there’s plenty to learn from their experiences. As different as they were, these four presidents shared some very important traits, qualities of character which Goodwin suggests were...
Being a leader in uneventful times takes focus and attention. Leading in times of chaos is a whole different thing. Nowadays, organizations all over the country hone their readiness for emergencies with “disaster drills” that prepare them to function in all manner of catastrophes; calamitous weather events, onsite shooter drills, and multi-casualty incidents like train wrecks or plane crashes.
But I live in Florida, home of the hurricanes, and I’m not talking about the University of Miami mascot. I’m talking about Michael, and Irma, and Andrew; storms that have brought such widespread and stunning devastation that it is difficult to describe in words.
I know that every part of the country is afflicted with some kind of natural disaster - wildfires and earthquakes out West, tornadoes on the Great Plains, and Snowmageddon-sized blizzards in the North - but for me, hurricanes mean autumn in Florida – a far cry from beautifully colored leaves gently...
Image Above: From the Kaiser Philanthropy Institute, design by Christy Whitney
Courage, passion, commitment, communication, humility – these make every list of critical leadership skills, and they’re certainly required in abundance of anyone who leads or manages in hospice. But to me, the most important gift is the ability to inspire and motivate those around you. Why? Hospice work is demanding, physically and emotionally – but patients and their families need you to bring 100% of your skills, compassion, and stamina to work every day. Keeping our people inspired to be their best, most compassionate selves requires us to model that behavior – to walk the walk – in how we deal with them.
How do you inspire? By remembering why you’re there, and sharing that why with your staff; by getting out of your office and into the field; by being a mentor more than a taskmaster, and sharing stories of staff successes.
What’s Your Story? If someone...
Image Above: NHPCO Gala 2016 Patti Moore and Don Schumacher CEO National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization
As I return home from a week in Washington DC, advocating for hospice on Capitol Hill and attending the 31st National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization’s Management and Leadership Conference, I am once again filled with hope and pride in the difference this work continues to make in the lives of millions of dying people, their families and their loved ones across the country.
While on Capitol Hill on behalf of the National Partnership for Hospice Innovation, I heard the personal stories of Congressmen and Senators who, while they represent diametrically different political points of view, shared very similar experiences of the deaths of loved ones, with and without the support of hospice.
Senator Whitehouse (D-RI) said he and his family experienced the “horrible” death of a beloved grandmother – but that thanks to hospice, his...
One of the things I love most about facilitating leadership workshops and retreats is giving people an opportunity to look at themselves with appreciative eyes. When we talk about our superpowers, we’re not talking about x-ray vision or leaping tall buildings, but the special strengths we bring to our teams; qualities of character or personality we too often shrug off.
When I think of leadership listening I think of my mom, who has been a hairdresser most of her adult life. Being a hairdresser means standing on your feet all day listening to other people’s problems and trying to make them look pretty. For the price of a shampoo and set my mom has been listening, smiling, and acknowledging people, making them look good and feel good about themselves for nearly 50 years. Some people pay a therapist and don’t get as much as she offered as their “hair-apist”.
I never thought much about the role of the hairdresser other than when you find a good one you stick with them, sometimes even longer than a marriage. It is often the hairdresser who gets the first call to be a part of the preparation for any big event in a woman’s life: proms, graduations, weddings, funerals, holidays and job interviews.
What skills does it take to be a successful hairdresser? For 45 years my mother shampooed,...