Wednesday, May 24, 2017

It’s Not About the Right Now

It is that time of year, when college graduates say goodbye to campus life and hello to the workplace. These young employees have a lot to offer - passion, enthusiasm and an in-depth knowledge of how to operate in a world always connected through the click of a mouse or touch of a finger. 

I am lucky to have several outstanding young folks on my team and they impress me daily. I do think, however, there is a bit of wisdom that those of us who have been out in the workforce for several years—or twenty—can impart to our younger colleagues. And so, I want to take the opportunity in the next few posts to offer some tips for those just starting out in their careers.

I have been fortunate enough to have a nephew with whom I am close. He is a few years out of college and since graduation, he has looked to me for advice and help navigating the workforce. Something I see with him as well as my younger team members is how difficult it is to handle the lack of instant gratification. I do believe in leaders providing feedback in real time but I see this not being sufficient for many millennials. It is the promotion they desire and typically within a very short time frame. 

I think this may be because my nephew and his friends have grown up in a world where many of their needs or desires can be met instantaneously with the click of an app or download. As a result, it can be hard for them to be patient or to take the long view. They often think something is wrong with their performance if they do not immediately receive a promotion or salary increase with each accomplishment.

I often explain to him when he comes to me frustrated with work, that the feedback and the recognition for a job well done will come. It might not come in the moment but if you stay true to showing great work ethic, it will come at one point or another.

It really is simple, the key to success is hard work and showing initiative. You don’t always need to be the smartest person in the room (many times, I certainly am not), but if you show up early, stay late, focus on what needs to get done and determine how you can contribute, you will succeed. Over time, your employer will notice your consistency and your effort. In fact, I am confident that come review time, you will see receive that reward and recognition for all your hard work.

At the end of the day, it is about the work you are doing and the career you are building. It’s a marathon and you are only in the first mile or two. Don’t get distracted by what you need now but rather stay focused on the journey ahead.

Podcast 003: Doug Brown - Mentorship & Leadership

Doug Brown is the former President of Enterprise Fleets and Executive Vice President of Enterprise Rent-a-Car. Since his retirement, Doug has dedicated himself to helping cultivate new businesses to make communities thrive, and donates 100% of his consulting income to charities. In 2006, he launched Habitat for Neighborhood Business, a non-profit designed to bring local small business owners back to economically distressed inner-city neighborhoods. He is also involved in the Young Presidents Organization, a global platform for chief executives to engage, learn, and grow. In his long and illustrious career, he has mentored many successful people and amassed a wealth of knowledge on mentorship, leadership, and driving results.

Tune in to this episode to hear him share some of his philosophy on leadership, inspiring others, and engaging people in a thoughtful and meaningful way.


Key Takeaways: [:26] John introduces his guest for this episode — Doug Brown. [3:04] How can mentors engage young professionals to develop their own style of leadership? How can you engage leaders to be the most effective leader and mentor they could be? [4:52] Enterprise is often used as the example on how to develop people internally and move them up through the ranks. What is Doug’s philosophy surrounding that, and what impact has this method had on the organization? [7:55] What is the difference between leading by philosophy and leading by policy? [9:44] Comparing his days at Enterprise, and his new successes, what are some of Doug’s personal philosophies and what has he been able to do? He shares some of his experiences on what works, and what doesn’t work, when it comes to leadership. [12:17] Key advice from Doug — never trade what you want most for what you want now. [14:25] How did Doug start out in Enterprise? What brought him to where he is today? [18:08] What is Doug most proud of in his Enterprise journey? [19:56] What are some pearls of wisdom that Doug has for us, both leaders and employees, to be the best that we can be? [22:31] Doug leaves us with his #1 health tip — manage your stress!

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

CON Update

As you know from my recent blog posts this spring, Jupiter Medical Center spent significant energy to keep Florida legislators from repealing the Certificate of Need program. Certificate of Need is a regulatory process that requires certain health care providers to obtain state approval before offering new or expanded services here in Florida.

In my opinion, repealing CON was not good news for the consumer because it had the potential to not only increase cost, but could also lead to a decrease in the accessibility and quality of health care in our state. Thankfully, the Florida Legislature failed to pass a bill that would have eliminated CON. This means Jupiter Medical Center will continue to do what we do every day - offer the highest quality and most accessible care at an affordable price.

We were proud to work with others across the region to ensure that the bill did not come up for a vote in the Senate. But this work would not have been possible without the support we received from thousands of our fellow Floridians who sent messages, called their legislators and shared our efforts via social media. I am grateful and I thank them for their support. In addition, I am extremely thankful for the legislators who in return, took the time to listen and recognize the significance of the issue. Without them, we would not have had the success we did.

At the end of the day, the reality is that CON is smart and appropriate regulation that works and we are glad that it remains. Eliminating CON would end up benefitting the entrepreneurs that want to focus only on profitable services, instead of balancing these with vital services the community needs. When it comes to the people in our community, we cannot let profit be the sole driver of their health care.

However, we believe that the debate over CON is not over and will most likely get taken back up when the state legislature convenes in the fall. We will continue to do all we can do to make sure that CON remains in place and that all Floridians have access to the best and most affordable care. Stay tuned for updates here in the next few months on this vitally important topic and as always, thanks for reading.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Empowering Others

As you may know from reading my most recent posts, I have continued to think about ways in which we can learn from the incident that took place last month on United Airlines Flight #3411. 

One question that has stayed with me the last couple of weeks is why at no time during the turmoil did a team member—from the gate agent to the pilot—step in to deescalate the situation and find a solution. The only answer I can come up with is that United employees have not been empowered to feel like they can take control and make on-the-spot decisions when needed.

Empowering team members is critical to the success of any business. Empowered team members are mission-driven, loyal, creative problem solvers who care as much about the growth and health of the company as you do.   As Bill Gates once said, “As we look into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others.” Here are five ways in which you can empower your team and drive the success of your organization:

1. Vision First
The key to empowering team members is to make sure they know what they are working for and towards. Make sure you communicate the vision for the organization —its goals and aspirations—and how they are critical to its success once or twice a year. This will not only get team members pumped to do the work, but it will also empower them to help drive the organization forward.

2. Show them Who You Are
While it is critical to articulate the vision of the organization, it is equally important for team members to understand who you are – good and bad. No one wants to be on a team with a leader with whom they do not feel a camaraderie or sense of devotion. To that end, be transparent and lead by example. This requires you as the leader to really open up and show some vulnerability. Host regular meetings with your team to share your thoughts (and glean theirs as well) and help them understand what you are working towards. Open communication is one of the most important things you can do as a leader. At the end of the day, your team should never have to guess where you stand.

3. Recognize efforts and reward successes
Empowering team members means making them feel confident enough to take the initiative and make decisions. There is no better way to breed this confidence than by recognizing and rewarding team members who step up. It lets them know that their contributions, ideas and opinions are not only appreciated, but invaluable to the success of the organization. It also encourages them to continue to do what they are doing and inspires others on the team to do the same. This lets employees know their thoughts and opinions are valued and appreciated, making them more likely to speak up.

4. Present New Challenges and Opportunities
Team members need to continue to feel challenged and inspired so they can continue to develop and lead. Be on the lookout for growth opportunities, coach them on tactics to overcome obstacles and seek their help when challenges arise.

5. Get Out of the Way
To truly empower a team, leaders need to get out of the way and be willing to trust their team to do their work. Most team members feel more comfortable stepping up when they don’t feel like they are being monitored every second. They will then feel emboldened to make decisions and take control of what needs to be done. As their manager, don’t hover. Instead, you should express to them that you feel confident in their ability to do the job as they possess the tools for success. Then assure them that you are available for help and support and encourage them to take the lead.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Leading to Stay

I recently came across this quote by business magnate and Virgin Group founder, Richard Branson: “Train people well enough so they can leave, treat people well enough so they don’t want to.” 

As I read it, I had what some would call an “aha” moment.  Branson perfectly captures what I strive to do with my team every day. I want to inspire my team to give their very best, to develop and grow as professionals and to enjoy walking into work. 

I have an amazing team. They could have their choice of employment but thankfully they are here with me. To do right by them and the organization, I strive to lead through inspiration and empowerment. I work with my cohorts to help them harness their strengths and understand the value they bring to the organization. We set goals. We provide the resources they need to succeed. We contribute to increasing their capacity and skill sets. We reward accomplishments and we work to tweak things that are not working. We communicate honestly and openly and I believe, see each other as a collective unit all working toward the same cause. My hope is that at the end of the day they feel a collective ownership in what we do, partnering in a long and lasting contribution to Jupiter Health.

I have found that there are two types of team members. There are those who are motivated by a pay check and are simply financially driven. There are also those who, while working for a paycheck, are motivated by the pride they take in their work and their desire to do well for themselves and the organization. As a leader, you are successful if you can inspire some of those aforementioned people to become more of the latter while continuing to develop and encourage those who are already there to work harder and give more.

But inspiring your team is not just about making them feel good and keeping the work place harmonious. There are other, significant benefits to leading through inspiration:

  • Inspired employees are more productive. In fact, a recent study from Bain reports that inspired employees are twice as productive as simply satisfied employees. 
  • Inspired employees are loyal and less likely to leave. A low turnover rate is good for the bottom line.
  • Inspired employees are more creative and innovative, helping to find solutions and generate new ideas to drive the company forward.

Finally, it is not enough to simply inspire people. It also how you show your gratitude. Nothing deflates an inspired team member quicker than feeling like their hard work has gone unnoticed.

In addition to financial compensation, there are two key things you can do to recognize and reward your team. One, offer them the opportunity to expand their capacity by giving them the time and the resources needed to enroll in additional training or classes. Sure, they could take those newly acquired skills somewhere else, but they are more likely to put them to good use right where they are. Second, acknowledge a job well done. Small but meaningful gestures are critical to continuing to inspire and bolster your team members. A group email praising hard work, a shout out at a staff meeting or a phone call at the end of the day to say, “thank you” can have a tremendous impact.

I realize inspiring others is not easy and it takes time to develop a style that authentically works for you. But if you wake up each day and focus on how to truly inspire those with whom you work, you will come to find an organization of people who share your vision and your passion.