Leading with Your WHY
As leaders we are called upon to build a level of energy and passion that others are not willing to or able to create in themselves. A transformational leader is one who can go into a group or organization and change the energy level – yes, I said energy and I know that sounds fluffy but it’s true. Our job as transformational leaders is to awaken the passion of the organization to achieve vision and goals that are too lofty for an individual to achieve on their own. The larger the organization – the harder it is to move that energy from you throughout the organization.
I have the luxury of working every day with incredible leaders and I have observed their actions and how they handle things. In the next few blogs I will share some key learnings from working with great leaders in hospitals and other organizations.
Great Leaders know the Why and it Drives them relentlessly.
One of the greatest pieces of life advice I ever received was from our Cardiologist – he told us Know your Why – why are we doing all this work to get healthy, why is it worth it, why do I want to be here? Know your why and revisit it because it will not always be easy and when things are hard you need to be encouraged.
I reflected on that over the past few months as change seems to be brewing all around us. Defining the Why allows you to answer every other question. Let me repeat that because it’s important: “Why” allows you to answer every other question…it allows you to have passion for things and projects that are not fun or are hard.
Great Leaders recognize that every project and every task is not glamorous…Caregiver, you all know what I am talking about…..but sometimes the most unglamorous tasks are the most influential in delivering exceptional care. Day in and Day out these tasks become draining and if you don’t know your why then it’s hard to stay focused on doing each task with excellence.
Things to ask yourself:
- Do you know the organizations why? Can you describe it easily with an example of a story about a patient?
- Have you ever written it down?
Great Leaders – know the WHY and communicate it constantly and consistently. They weave it into all aspects of communication with their staff and with their patients.
We have the most noble of jobs, to work with people who are experiencing great pain and joy sometimes simultaneously in the walls of our hospitals. We support them thru welcoming new life and hold their hand as they usher life to an end. We serve the least of our brothers and sisters in their moments of greatest vulnerability and weakness.
At nearly every meeting I went to with a BioMed Director he would say “It’s about the kids” every vendor and staff member in that room understood it. Every project, engagement, and interaction with this hospital – there could be no gap in understanding that what we are doing matters. He held us all accountable for our work not being a simple technology deployment – our work was about helping to heal children and support their families.
Things to ask yourself – to grade yourself on as a leader:
- Can my staff clearly communicate the vision and mission of the organization?
- Do I give them tools to constantly enable them?
- Do I remind them often of why we do what we do?
Great Leaders Connect to and thru people.
Communication is one way we pour into the cup of into others. As leaders our job is to pour into those around us, and you can pour good or you can pour bad. You can pour gratitude, energy, and peace or you can pour resentment and frustration.
One of the challenges I have had as we grow is I don’t get to touch everyone who uses Aperum®. That is where a great team becomes essential. I am reminded each day that what they pour into others is a reflection of what I pour into them (or what their manager pours into them…intention flows down stream). That should be a gut check for some of you reading this – it was for me. You can connect with every patient thru the people you pour into – what you demonstrate in your communications about who we are and why we do what we do flows down to the client or patient.
Scripture tells me that My Cup can overflow….my cup can only overflow if I am willing to stop and let it be filled. People can easily tell if you are genuine and sincere or faking it. It can’t just be lip service; it has to be life service. As a leader you need to identify where and how your cup gets filled then make sure you DAILY fill it up. For me, it’s an hour each morning spent reading, praying, and connecting with the Creator. For you it may be a walk in the woods, or moment at a coffee shop.
Things to ask yourself:
- How do you renew and what is the source of your renewal?
- Are you taking time each day to refill your cup?
- Is what you are saying Lip Service or Life Service?
I appreciate all of the great leaders who pour into me on a regular basis. Sometimes when I am consulting with a CNO I feel guilty – I am learning so much from them.