Future Leaders in Peak Performance: A new hybrid of competency, authenticity, and inclusiveness

 Physician Executives Forum Newsletter

January 24, 2014

Professional Pointers:

Future Leaders in Peak Performance: A new hybrid of competency, authenticity and inclusiveness

Author:
Joe Siegler, MD
President and Founder
Full Life
Spheres Executive and Physician Performance Coaching
Chicago

Healthcare has grown increasingly competitive, and the companies that will flourish in this fast-moving, ever-evolving marketplace will have to promote a new form of leadership that addresses emerging priorities. A review of current business trends in healthcare reveals that the traditional task-driven, hierarchical-based models of operating systems do not account for sufficient speed, innovation and flexibility required to face fierce competition. John Kotter’s writings on the need for an additional nontraditional operating system have invited organizations to add a ”second operating system” to address these new nontraditional functions. Leaders of the future will need to successfully oversee or participate in both operating systems. The second operating system components must be seen as vital as the traditional.

It is clear that there is an opportunity for a new leader, one who has the skillsets, values and personality to adequately inspire their organization into a greatness that produces high-performing individuals, teams, senior leaders and even the staff-as-a-whole. This new prototype of a leader understands that success of the organization will depend on applying multiple innovations to the patient experience as well as to staff engagement in ways that are earthshattering and not simply talk. Inclusiveness and diversity will surely play a big role in the success of boards, clinical and administrative team productivity, and culturally sensitive patient care potentiating clinical outcomes. In order to produce this degree of effective innovation, each leader must bring diverse team members together to work toward common goals. The end game will be to inspire teams of clinicians, executives, senior leaders and staff to create new inventive programs that optimize patient experience—the ultimate metric outcome of the future.

Therefore, new leaders will promote achievement of clinical indicators for ACO relationships, traditional key performance indicators (i.e., productivity) and also introduce the vital emphasis of broad positive experience of both knowledge workers (highly trained physicians, executives and medical personnel) and customers (patients)—beyond anything we have seen up to this point in the evolution of healthcare systems. Medical care is steadily shifting away from a hospital/specialty and doctor-focused enterprise, and is moving towards a patient-oriented focus. Therefore, in the emerging paradigm, customer care is paramount to all else. This has been a long time coming, and is probably happening now because of the emphasis on metric clinical results and new cultural standards of covering most Americans with insurance. Shortages of primary care physicians also necessitate multi-disciplinary team approaches for handling potentially huge numbers of newly enrolled patients. Therefore, multi-facility and multi-disciplinary approaches will become the norm for each individual patient. For example, using a single specialist will no longer be sufficient as healthcare will increasingly utilize a multi-modal approach provided by high-performing leaders, teams and the entire staff.

The striking need for enhanced metric outcomes in disease management of individual patients also predicts a renaissance of behavioral health services (mental health and addictions) because of the valuable potential impact they can have on optimizing clinical results as well as the organizational bottom line. These rematerializing services provided on-site or locally, will also morph into exciting forms of new approaches and services such as:

  • online or video services
  • new ideas to manage mental health, addiction and recovery success
  • new tools to foster compliance and wellness of patients
  • peak performance coaching of physicians, executives, senior leaders and teams

 

The smartest system leaders will design and implement second parallel operating systems—those that are flexible, innovative and inclusive. For example:

  • The leaders of the future will need to create an inclusive culture by valuing people for their authentic selves, appreciating knowledge workers (doctors, nurses, technicians, etc.) and demonstrating respect of staff in multiple ways.
  • Team productivity is extremely important in achieving clinical and organizational key performance indicator metrics, more so than the performance of any single individual. Fostering a healthy, respectful work environment will be vital as team productivity becomes the vehicle of success. Research is revealing a fascinating finding that intra-team socialization predicts a higher performing team. Pentland reports that the success of teams is related to spontaneous socializing between team members1. Therefore, socializing teams will perform at higher levels, and as healthcare boards and teams become increasingly diverse, it will become imperative for skilled leaders to creatively breakdown the sense of ”difference” between team members and encourage intra-board and team socialization to foster peak output of each team. If a workplace culture is competent, inclusive and empathetic, then the staff will be more comfortable being themselves with their peers, which would result in greater intra-team socialization leading to higher performance. Services developed in this fashion will be more culturally sensitive and will serve the people from the community better with greater empathy and identification of unique needs. It is vital that all leaders examine their organization and consider the possibility that their strongly held personal beliefs and practices may actually work against the inroads into inclusion and possibly be experienced by patients and staff as imposed beliefs and practices—clearly the very opposite of effective business practices and trends.

 

Many leaders already claim significant advances in staff engagement and patient satisfaction (much more focal a metric than broader patient experience). That may be the case, but there clearly is a lot further we can go for each health system is a work in progress. For example, some physician and executive leaders who are fairly green are often selected for their ability to manage projects forward. They may be responsible for negotiating with staff and delivering on clinical metrics. Such a leader can make gains in project advancement, but some may have trouble with second operating system goals of innovation, emotional intelligence, transparency and inclusion. Objective ”left brain” skillsets of such leaders are needed by most organizations, but so are warm interpersonal skills of openness, inclusion and respect. According to business trends, in the future, through careful selection and training of leaders, transparency and interpersonal respect have to dominate as cross-system practices. This doesn’t mean that leadership has to agree with everyone. It means discussion has to be on the table and fair. These new peak performance practices have the potential to create a new and positive leadership style that I call humility of position.

It is clear that inclusion and interpersonal respect both need to be a core practice for true organizational success—for culturally sensitive approaches to staff and patients must rule. This clearly pertains to differences of many groups of staff and patients, which cannot all be listed here, such as income, gender, race, orientation, religion, disability, community, citizenship, age, etc.

As healthcare companies shift away from hospital and practitioner-based service and move to a patient-centered approach, there will be a greater need for organizational cultures that simultaneously improve the environment for knowledge workers and all staff, as they continue to revolutionize the patient experience more and more over time. Porter and Lee call this the value agenda: achieving the best outcomes at the lowest cost—that everything is ultimately about the patient2. Maintaining high-performing teams of all types requires the guidance of competent, respectful and humble leadership. Without innovative second operating systems, traditional operating systems alone will not work in future healthcare systems that are measured by the resulting metrics of patient experience, staff engagement, and key performance indicators.

Some of the most interesting ideas in business leadership are coming out of a few highly successful companies like Netflix. We cannot be sure which of these new second operating system approaches will also work in healthcare, but it is vital for leaders to be aware of innovations in other industries that are catalyzing company growth through greater staff and customer engagement.

These are exciting times. We must find, hire and groom the leaders of the future. They will be diverse, kind, smart, innovative, inclusive, fast, humble and able to build the second operating system to achieve key organizational and clinical results. These are lofty goals, but the reward will be exponentially worthwhile. This new paradigm will be appreciated by many and make it cool to be both competent and decent.

I welcome your thoughts and comments at info@flcoaching.com or 773.529.1200.

1 Pentland, A. April 2012. “The New Science of Building Great Teams.” Harvard Business Review.
2 Porter, M., and T. Lee. Oct. 2013. “The Strategy That Will Fix Health Care.” Harvard Business Review.

Accomplish Your Executive Goals By NOT Trusting Yourself

As January draws to a close, many people realize their New Year’s resolutions are falling by the wayside. Why is this such a common experience?

David DeSteno is the author of the forthcoming book The Truth About Trust.  In a recent column, he points out that you cannot really “trust” yourself to implement your goals.  He outlines his research demonstrating that goals we set for the future are often linked to emotions present when we set new objectives.  He adds that as these emotions fade, so does our drive to accomplish the original goal.

For example, at New Years you might feel overweight and want to be thinner so you resolve to have a salad at future dinners. Then, as time passes, your enthusiasm for salad fades. Even if you are successfully eating salads during the first week of January, at the start of week 2, potential distractions may arise. As you get closer to that fast food restaurant on your drive home from work, your desire for that cheeseburger grows. This distraction threatens to circumvent your ultimate goal of weight loss.

Most alarmingly, DeSteno asserts that, not only will we break these promises we make to ourselves, but we will then create a story that justifies our actions and, subsequently, forget about our failure. Why? Because we don’t want to believe that we are untrustworthy.

As an Executive Coach I am interested in the results of DeSteno’s research because so much of what I do involves setting goals with clients to achieve metric outcomes. DeSteno’s findings underscore how important it is to add interim steps to ensure that those goals are realized. One effective tool is to remind a client, or for a client to self-manage and remind him or herself, of the emotional enthusiasm they felt when they initially set their goal. Emotions fade as time passes, so the ability to reignite their present day apathy into their former passion, increases the chances of successful goal completion.

Here are a few other coaching tips to optimize successful goal completion:

  • Visualize the future and why your goal will help you in the long run.
  • Make it fun! If you are going to the gym, bring music you like.
  • Utilize task management systems and apps so they help you stay connected to your goals.
  • Set smaller, manageable goals every day that serve as stepping stones to your ultimate or what I call “BIG” goals. Breaking up a big project into smaller pieces makes it less intimidating and allows you to retain your initial optimism.
  • Enlist a friend or family member to hold you accountable.

Let me know if you have other ideas for achieving goals that have worked for you!

Warm regards,

Joe Siegler

Dr.Siegler's BioDr. Siegler's Book

Effective Leaders Utilize Coaching Approaches

Coaching approaches may help leaders achieve organizational goals and increase team performance.

Leaders can utilize coaching through:

  • Focusing on each employee’s individual strengths and weaknesses
  • Recognizing the benefits of long-term learning with honest feedback.

It is often at an organization’s advantage to bring in an outside coach to work with key clients and teams.

Coaching is beneficial for companies and leaders, as it positively impacts:

  1. Individual and team productivity
  2. Leadership effectiveness
  3. Promotion of adaptive organizational values
  4. Fortification of work/life balance and contentment

 

Linking coaching with organizational goals can accelerate the achievement of metric outcomes.

Reference: http://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20130821093435-117825785-don-t-write-off-the-coaching-leadership-style?trk=cha-feed-art-title


JS

Dr. Siegler's Book
Dr.Siegler's Bio

How Stay-at-Home Moms can Successfully Return to Work

Lately, the press has been full of stories regarding the experiences of women who didn’t “lean in.” These women (regarded as the “opt-out” generation) choose to leave their high-ranking jobs in order to be stay-at-home moms. Now, ten years later, their choices have led to unexpected outcomes.

One woman stated that the tension regarding her dependence on her husband has been one of the main factors in their divorce. Other women from the opt-out generation have re-entered the workplace years later to disappointingly lower salaries and less prestigious careers. A recent study reports that 89% of women who opted out later wanted to return to work. However, only 73% of these women were able to find jobs and a mere 40% found full time jobs.1

Women who consider opting-out after childbirth must understand the changing landscape they will experience when they re-enter workforce. Upon choosing to opt-out they will most likely not be able to achieve the same prestige and salary as before. If being a stay-at-home mom is a dream of yours, you can take steps to implement a strategy that will work for you.  Many stay-at-home moms find a large amount of fulfillment in their role. The following coaching tips can assist in your transitional success:

  1. Have frequent and open discussions with your partner regarding your choice. Each party’s level of comfort should be made clear and taken into account. Families can establish a household business plan that emphasizes mutual respect.
  2. Consider careers that are easy to re-enter, such as teaching, nursing, or running a home business.
  3. Optimize your stay-at-home time by regularly volunteering or working part time. These activities will contribute to your ongoing growth, development, and your formation as a well-rounded person.
  4. Network through political, religious, alumni, or special interest groups.  These connections will prove helpful if and when you re-enter the workplace.

 

Organizations should take into account these women’s struggles regarding their decision, and assist in their transition back into the workplace.

 

1 Reference Article: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/11/magazine/the-opt-out-generation-wants-back-in.html                      Opt-Out Article: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/11/magazine/the-opt-out-revolution.html


JS

Dr. Siegler's Book
Dr.Siegler's Bio

Managing with Honest Feedback to Achieve Team Performance

You may be surprised to learn that one leadership tactic that is necessary for success is the ability to deliver blunt and honest feedback. Blunt feedback can enable employees to truly grow, as it often remains on their mind for years following.

Paul English of Kayak details that when he gives performance reviews, he writes down five words, some which are positive and two or three which are very negative. With this method, he has received emails 10 years later depicting the employee’s gratitude. These emails have reinforced English’s idea that “the best way you can help someone is to be on their side and to be honest with them.”1

English additionally emphasizes the importance of small meetings. Ten people in the room is seven too many – as groups of people are often quicker to criticize. Two or three people, English believes, will nurture an idea or innovation, and give it a chance to see life.

1Source -  http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/26/business/paul-english-of-kayak-on-nurturing-new-ideas.html

JS

 


Dr. Siegler's Book

Dr.Siegler's Bio

The Pitfalls of Starting Your Own Business

In the recent New York Times article “Maybe It’s Time for Plan C,” lawyers, stock-brokers and IT professionals lose or quit their high-profile jobs and pursue their passions to become entrepreneurs. But they soon find that the “dream job” of owning a business includes a lot of pitfalls.

Owning your own business, according to the article, involves long hours and the added stress of being the driving force behind nearly every aspect of your self-fashioned career. According to the article, the majority of new business fail due to a lack of preparation and experience. While many of the subjects enjoy their new lines of work, the article asks readers to think long and hard before they try being their own bosses.

Starting your own business talks up a tremendous amount of time and effort. If you’re considering self-employment, here are some important executive coaching tips according to what I see as effective:

  • Identify your reasons for starting a business. There are major risks with going into business. Questioning your motives is an important executive coaching tool to help focus on what you really want. What’s important? Family? Job security? Personal freedom? How would starting your own business help you get what you really want out of life?
  • Keep your new business in balance with the rest of your life. Being your own boss may make you feel fulfilled in one area, but it can also throw off aspects in your family, spirituality and community spheres. A sudden change in your career means you’ll have devote time and effort to balancing out the rest of your life.
  • Determine your strengths and weaknesses. If businesses fail due to a lack of preparation, a good coaching technique is to list your best and worst traits and skills.
  • Talk to an entrepreneurial coach. The right executive coach can help you if you want to start your own business. They can help in a variety of areas such as how you’ll prepare and implement your ideas and plan for future growth.

Starting a business is a huge risk. As you think about what sort of business you’d launch, consider your motivations, and make sure you’re using all the resources at your disposal when you take the entrepreneurial plunge.

Have you considered self-employment? What is your experience?

JS

 


Dr. Siegler's Book

Dr.Siegler's Bio

How to Beat Net Fatigue

Twitter, Facebook and the new Google+ help us plan our social lives and can bolster our careers. But being a social-media butterfly can be a job in of itself. “Digitally Fatigued,” an article in The New York Times, profiles several avid “net-workers” on how they improve their lives through social networking without burning out on posts and Tweets.

Using Full Life Coaching concepts, online social networks can touch on work, family, friends and community spheres. But for all of their useful aspects, if we come to overrely on online networking, we risk being behind our computers and missing out on actual life. Those interviewed in the article encountered this dilemma, but through creative thinking, they retained the advantages of social networking.

When it comes to fighting tech fatigue, there are some executive coaching techniques more powerful than just trimming your friend lists:

  • Keep a schedule and utilize applications to manage your productivity and avoid burnout. Overload happens when social networking becomes a habit instead of a tool. Business writer Josh Kaufman set a schedule of 30 minutes a day to catch up on his posts. He uses applications like Freedom, which temporarily blocks his Internet access when he needed to work without distraction.
  • Ask yourself if joining a new network will be worth the investment. Social networks appear and vanish with increasing frequency. Google+ appears powerful and enticing, but it’s too soon to know for sure. Jessica Lawrence asked herself what she could get out of Google+ that she couldn’t from Twitter. Cutting down on network clutter can prevent you from spreading yourself too thin.
  • Use applications that allow you to post on different networks simultaneously. Daily social networking can become a grind for those who make it part of their jobs. Applications like Ping.fm automatically syndicate posts to multiple networks. Buffer and SocialOomph work according to an automatic schedule from a bank of posts made in advance.

As our lives are becoming more integrated with social media, the importance of balancing our online and off-line time becomes more apparent. But with the right mindset in place, you can maintain an online presence without sacrificing time from your life.

 


Dr. Siegler's Book

Dr.Siegler's Bio

Seeing Eye To Eye

On July 25, an editorial in The New York Times lambasted the Republican Party for walking out on President Obama’s meeting concerning the nation’s financial future. Politics aside, the piece pointed out something interesting: a lack of compromise. According to the article, the walkout stemmed from an unwillingness by both parties to reach an consensus.

On August 2, a bill to raise the nation’s debt ceiling was finally signed into a law. CNN spoke with Fareed Zakaria of Time Magazine on about how the lack of compromise from Tea Party hardliners nearly held the country hostage.

Compromise is a fact of life. As children, we were taught to share. We cannot always have our way, but we can reach an agreement by which we and another party can both be relatively satisfied. Many of us learned compromise by simply sharing our toys and reaping the rewards of community. The same lessons apply when we broker business deals or negotiate decisions with friends and loved ones.

We all have to protect our own interests, and sometimes it’s difficult to find the middle ground. Here are some executive coaching tips for learning how to compromise effectively.

  • Know what the other party wants. Likewise, decide what exactly you want out of an agreement. By knowing exactly what all parties want out of a deal, it will make negotiation smoother.
  • Know when to make concessions. Along with knowing what you want, know what you can let go. It can help if you’re willing to give the other party something they want for something you want.
  • Refrain from a stubborn “my way or the highway” attitude. Listen to others who weigh in on the matter. Ignoring or cutting them off is a sign of disrespect and can put everyone on the defensive.
  • Conversely, don’t tolerate disrespectful behavior from others. Let them know that, if they’re not willing to at least listen to you, you’re not willing to talk.
  • Focus on the situation and resist the urge to judge the people involved. Nothing breaks down communication as badly as throwing around accusations that someone else is being “difficult” or “stubborn” if things aren’t going your way.

If employed from a position of strength and awareness, compromise will prove a much more powerful tool than stubbornness.

JS

 


Dr. Siegler's Book

Dr.Siegler's Bio

How to Beat Burnout

No matter what field you are in or whether your business has managed to stay prosperous despite the economic recession, your team members may experience fatigue and burnout. If your business has fallen on tough times and has faced downsizing, burnout will most likely surface in some form.

The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) studied how fatigue currently plagues the American workforce: the prevalence of fatigue in the US is as high as 37.9%, with 65.7% of these fatigued workers reporting their productivity was severely hindered. This loss of productivity and weak performance is said to cost employers $136.4 billion annually. As the economic climate remains on edge, organizational leaders must do something to curb fatigue or risk dealing with its much more severe and costly counterpart, burnout.

Organizations must make preventing burnout and fatigue a priority. While fatigue may surface as exhaustion or a “funk” caused by stress, burnout is a syndrome with more troubling symptoms. These include:

  • Insomnia
  • Loss of interest in work and hobbies
  • Absenteeism and low performance
  • Low or levels of confidence, energy and concentration
  • Feelings of hopelessness

Fatigue left unchecked can kindle into burnout – it must be caught and corrected as early as possible. If you see symptoms of burnout in yourself or your coworkers, be sure to consider the following in order to address the situation:

  • Offer encouragement and ask how you can be of assistance.
  • Identify and empathize with their distress. Do not pass judgment.
  • Mention existing employee assistance programs and other referral options, such as executive coaching.

Learning to prevent burnout in your team or organization is paramount to your continued success. If you notice potential problems in your team members, don’t be afraid to suggest the following steps to avoid burnout or fatigue.

  • Identify and eliminate sources of significant stress.
  • Pay special attention to your physical well being.
  • Be vigilant of all your various responsibilities in life, not just work-related duties.
  • Recall what makes you passionate about your work and why it matters.

Executive coaching can help you assess your priorities and keep burnout at bay. To learn more, get in touch today.

JS
 


Dr. Siegler's Book

Dr.Siegler's Bio

How To Innovate Like Google

Google made waves recently by introducing a new proprietary social media platform, aptly named Google+. It may have the look and feel of Facebook as of right now, but this wasn’t the focus of Forbes Blogger Quentin Hardy when he sat down to write about Google’s latest ideas. Instead, he decided to take a closer look at their office environment and how systemized innovation has allowed Google to become one of the most successful companies in the world.

As their executive chairman Eric Schmidt explains, Google has created an environment where all employees are asking why things are “the way they are, and wondering if they can be done in a different way.” And innovation wasn’t just a priority of the decision makers or their team members, either – it was everyone’s priority.

No matter what Google is doing, it is clear that they are doing something right and their “70/20/10 system” deserves some attention. While this mechanism cannot account for each and every one of Google successes, there are ideas about peak performance hidden within this construct, as well as Schmidt’s discussion of how Google does business, and some takeaway executive coaching lessons:

  • They have effectively balanced knowing what to expect from their employees and knowing when to challenge them. Walking this line is one of their keys to success.
  • Innovation needs to be a concern of each and every employee, not just decision-makers. You must lead by example.
  • There needs to be room for learning, experimentation and implementation. Commend and celebrate innovative ideas. Remember: not all ideas will be home-runs but this probing thought process should be encouraged nonetheless.
  • Embrace change. Do not cling to the old way of thinking. Do not fear a new process.
  • Change gears when working to complete a task. You should switch your focus every few hours to avoid weariness and lost productivity.
  • Encourage tinkering. Ideas should be evaluated and feedback should be given quickly and clearly.
  • Balance the energy of your workplace with a diverse group of employees. Find a happy medium when building your team. A youthful group can mean palpable energy, excitement and self-motivation while an older group can mean wisdom and experience.

What do you think?

JS

 


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Dr.Siegler's Bio

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