Archive for November, 2008

After the Crisis

November 25, 2008 1 comment

This past Sunday afternoon, I was faced with a crisis. My father, 52, suffered a heart attack, and luckily we got him to the ER just in the nick of time. My siblings and I were at my parents house when he started feeling ill, and when he said he wanted to go to the hospital, I knew something was really wrong. My father is/WAS a heavy smoker, so it wasn’t uncommon for him to complain about chest pain, shortness of breath, and congestion in his lungs. But this time was different.

I’m the oldest & middle child (that’s a story for another time), so leadership tends to default to me. My mother is extremely emotional, my younger sister is 8-months pregnant and emotional, and my younger brother is a typical 17-year-old. Until now, my family hadn’t really experienced a time when one of us needed to quickly step forward and take action. On Sunday, that someone was me.

Thanks to the Leadership Challenge book, my brain kicked into gear with the “Aviate, Navigate, Communicate” when faced with a crisis. There wasn’t time to sit back and ask questions — we had to get my dad help, fast. I started figuring out what we needed to do, got cars moved out of the driveway, tried to convince my dad he needed an ambulance (he refused), and communicated the intensity of the situation to my family (who were still trying to determine if this was one of his typical bouts of pain). My dad arrived in the ER with only minutes to spare. His heart stopped as they were hooking him up to monitors, and he had to be shocked back to rhythm with the paddles.

My family, especially my mom, did amazingly well in the face of crisis because we were communicating and listening to each other. But sometimes the hardest part of a crisis is dealing with the emotions that were on hold while you got through it. Now the tears are falling, the “I should have…” is being dwelled upon, and we worry about if we’ll be able to get him to the ER in time the next time something happens.

From my own experience, I’d say the hardest part of dealing with a crisis is handling the thoughts and emotions that come afterwards. It’s vital to acknowledge that emotions are not bad, but don’t dwell on the “should’a, would’a, could’a.” Make use of the family, friends and coworkers that are there to lend you support, and remember that you’re not always going to have 100% of the information you need to make a decision — sometimes you have to go with your gut and act quickly. Accept that mistakes might be made and there’s only so much you can do to prepare for the “what if’s.” Trust your gut; practice clear, open communication; and hopefully, there won’t be a “next time.”

Happy Thanksgiving! There’s much to be thankful for!!



November 19, 2008 Leave a comment

Here are some upcoming management and leadership development opportunities.

Thursday, 11/20 @ 12:00 (noon) EST
Taking the Fear Out of Feedback — Thought Leadership, The Ken Blanchard Companies
As we enter Performance Appraisal time, now is a prime opportunity to provide solid feedback to your employees.

Tuesday, 12/2 @ 2:00 pm EST
How Effective Leaders Coach with Compassion (vs. Coach for Compliance) — Richard Boyatzis / Human Capital Institute / MHS

Tuesday, 12/2 @ 11:00 am EST
BOOM! Play to Your Genius / Get it Done — Dr. Kevin Freiberg and Dr. Jackie Freiberg / Better Management

Play to Your Genius – Your work is your signature—make it a masterpiece. To know that your work counts is to know that you count. If you engage in work that makes you come alive, the world will beat a path to your door. Defy mediocrity and make yourself indispensable by playing to your genius and engaging in work that matters.

Get It Done – No one is paying you today for what you did yesterday. When you stop bringing something of value to the game, the game is over! Become a junction box for knowledge, find a way to get smarter, better, faster. Speak up, tell it like it is, think for yourself. People who get it done and make a difference, choose results over rhetoric and red tape.

Wednesday, 12/10 @ 11:00 am EST
Authentic Leadership — Gail Ostrishko / Better Management
This seminar will help you to listen, encourage, advocate and demonstrate shared values in order to cultivate a sense of ownership and accountability in yourself and others.

Delivering Feedback

November 6, 2008 Leave a comment

It’s that time of year again — time for performance appraisals!! I’m sure all of you are PUMPED about providing your employees with good feedback, so here’s some help for getting the most out of the performance management process.

The November 2008 issue of Ignite! Newsletter from The Ken Blanchard Companies focuses on how leaders can deliver targeted, well-crafted feedback to grow employees and keep performance from declining.

The lesson for all you managers out there — or anyone trying to help develop another person’s skills — is to appreciate the importance of effective feedback; understand your personal motives, agenda, and responsibility for giving feedback; and know when and how to give the various types of feedback.

Providing good feedback does not occur naturally or by default. To provide effective feedback, leaders must learn, develop, and cultivate very specific conversational skills. Read the article to learn how.

Thanks goes out to Becky Hammons for bringing this article to you!

Leadership Notes from Bill Corley

November 4, 2008 Leave a comment

The fear of failure comes out in many subtle ways. I often wonder: how many ventures never get off the ground because of this fear? How many classes are not taken? How often do we avoid introducing ourselves to a potential friend, reaching out to someone, trying something new, asking for help, thinking outside the box, or going beyond our comfort level? Being frightened of failure can be the difference between getting started and not, the difference between winning and losing. But failure is a fiction. What occurred over the past is over with, and the only way you can be a failure is if you think you are.

–Bill Corley, President
Community Health Network
Categories: failure, leadership