All in Leadership

6 Tips to Get Yourself Out of a Challenging Meeting

I’m sure you can picture it clearly. You’ve about made it through your meeting agenda, you have offered for anyone present to have a last minute word or thought, and someone tosses a seemingly pre-planned wrench onto the table.  This person proudly speaks up, “I have one last thing...” or “Just a quick question...” and “Sorry to spring this on you at the end of the meeting but...” What do you do when you are ambushed and things begin to go south? 

Don’t get frustrated and head down the rabbit hole like a bad imitation of Alice in Wonderland.  Instead, try this:

The importance of accountability within your healthcare organization

"Ninety-nine percent of all failures come from people who have a habit of making excuses."

-- George Washington Carver

Don’t you hate excuses?  Do you hate it when someone spends 10 minutes telling you why they can’t do something versus trying to figure out how to get the job done? 


I believe accountability is one of the most important principles in a well-functioning health care organization.  It is one of the most basic building blocks that provide the groundwork for building a great team.  Every individual in the organization needs to feel like it is their personal responsibility to make sure patients get excellent care. 

How leaders can better support middle management

Middle managers are often the unsung heroes within every organization. With a well-oiled machine, each piece plays a vital role and the same can be said for an organization. Each person has their part to play. What makes middle managers unique is their ability to communicate with both upper management and their staff. Middle managers are the bridge between the two groups. That’s one reason why executive management would be wise to help middle managers grow, learn and become confident as leaders.

Thinking about a management move?

Middle managers serve a vital role within any organization. You are the bridge between top administration and the support services staff. The responsibility of implementing strategic plans falls on your shoulders -- right down to the smallest of details. You enjoy the challenges of working to keep your employees and customers happy and satisfied.  You may love your job, happy to carry out these directives, seeing the results firsthand, never desiring to cross that bridge and move into upper management. But some may want more.

Combining clinical know-how and management skills to improve healthcare

I have been a nurse for over 30 years.  I started my career knowing nursing was the only job for me.  I loved being at the bedside working with patients and families.  Helping others was my passion.  My career turned from direct patient care 20 years ago when I became a Chief Nurse and then, again, 13 years ago when I became a hospital CEO. I am often asked how and why I made the change from nursing to hospital leadership.  I always start by saying the same thing, “I rely more on my nursing background when managing my hospital than my MBA.” 

Healthcare leaders have a responsibility to find and mentor the healthcare leaders of the future

As leaders in the industry, it is our responsibility to get people interested in pursuing a career in healthcare.  Mentorship is one way to encourage our youth towards a health career and can be used to encourage adults looking for a change in careers.  You can be a mentor through formal programs, or more informally through casual interactions. Our work influences the lives of people we come in contact with every day.  Use this same influence to encourage new talent to pursue a health career.

Getting your boss on board with ‘the best idea ever’

We’ve all been there. That moment when you present your boss with the best idea ever and their response is not what you imagined. You can see your amazing idea crashing and burning right before your eyes, stamped out before it even got off the ground. At this juncture you must make an important decision. To let “no” mean “no” or to retreat and re-evaluate your next move.

How to avoid social media whiplash -- and keep your job

Use of social media is a part of our everyday lives and is a widely accepted form of communication for the average American. With familiarity and frequency of use brings more opportunities for misuse. According to a study done by On Device Research, a market analyst firm, 1 in 10 young job seekers have lost a job opportunity because of their social media profiles. The greatest faux pas or errors will happen when people grow too comfortable and/or confident in the social media environment. I’m seeing this happen more and more on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. We are letting our guards down and have a false sense of security when posting. Much of the time our posts are harmless, but occasionally something major can go awry if and when the one-off post is seen by the wrong person. Particularly if that post is not inline with your employer or prospective employer’s social media rules and guidelines.  

The interview: Why it’s about more than just a good resume.

I interview people all the time. It comes with the job. Over the years I’ve learned to look at more than just credentials and what’s on a CV. Other qualities make a person a good candidate. What makes one person a perfect fit for a job with Xyz Company, may not work for our organization. This is true for any organization. I look at total fit. Where the person has been. Where they want to go. It wouldn’t do either of us any favors if I hired based solely on what a person’s resume said. In a year’s time the hire would be looking for another job and I’d be likewise looking for their replacement.  You can’t determine whether someone will compliment the team from a CV.   A new employee needs to have goals, values and ideals that will match those of the organization. 

Are you ‘phubbing’ your patients?

Smartphone etiquette in the hospital setting.

We use our phone for everything-literally everything. We have our life story on our phones.  We store our contacts, emails, texts, music, and pictures on our phones. There are recent studies that reveal the average person looks at their phone up to 150 times each day.  Assuming the average person sleeps 8 hours/day that would mean we look at our phone a little more than 9 times an hour during the remaining 16 hours.  Every 6 minutes, you are looking at your phone. 

5 ways to take your career to the next level in 2018

The end of the year brings with it a sense of closure ...and hope. Hope for a new year filled with opportunities that will make life a little better and more meaningful than the previous year. If one of your goals is to take your career to the next level, then it’s time to create your career action plan for 2018. Change and career movement/progress will not happen on its own. 

Is your organization culturally competent?

Cultural competence in healthcare is defined as the ability of providers and organizations to effectively deliver health care services that meet the social, cultural and linguistics needs of patients.

In healthcare it is our job to take care of all patients regardless of our own beliefs. No one is immune to needing care and it is our duty to make every effort to help meet the unique needs of each patient. Employing cultural competence throughout an organization not only shows respect for minority groups -- their culture, beliefs and values, but also fosters trust which enables us to perform our job more effectively.

Five ways to create and keep a top-notch leadership team

“The whole is better than the sum of its parts.” Aristotle said this an eon ago and it still holds true today. This is particularly important when putting together a high functioning leadership team. There is no such thing as the perfect team and some of the best teams are not made up of “superstars.” The true power of a high performing team lies in how well each member clicks together. A team is better as the whole, not any one individual.

Retaining new physicians ... the first five years

It takes a lot of time to recruit the right physician.   When you finally find a physician that is a great for your community, you want to be sure you do everything you can to make this a successful partnership.   You need to help him/her and their family assimilate into the community and make them feel like a welcome addition to the team. If a physician is moving from out of state, it can take 6 months or a year for them to get moved and get their practice started.  You need to do everything you can to help them move to the community, get settled and then get to work.

Everyone in healthcare is a leader

Everyone involved in providing healthcare to a patient is a leader, regardless of their position or job title.  The people that we care for often don’t understand what’s going on with them or why we are doing what we are doing.  They may not be familiar with the medical jargon used to describe a health condition or medical process that will be taking place to treat their condition.  It’s up to us, everyday leaders, to help them navigate the healthcare system.

Attention Ladies: 3 Ways to Get a Seat at the Executive Table

Healthcare is an industry that prides itself on being inclusive of all races and sexes -- an equal opportunity employer. And while this is true, there are still a surprisingly small number of women in the c-suite. According to The Advisory Board Company, women make up 80% of healthcare workers, but only 40 % of positions at the executive level. It should be noted that many of those executive positions are in the human resources or nursing areas.

How do you address a challenging employee?

“There are three sides to every story: your side, my side, and the truth.” -- Robert Evans, American film producer.

As a leader, those are the three things to keep in mind as you enter a situation where you are meditating or addressing difficult issues with an employee or employees. In the heat of the moment, everyone remembers the situation differently, from his or her perspective.  These remembrances can be very different when recalled later.