7 Steps to Take after Graduation

May 14, 2011

Congrats!!  It’s graduation time!  Are you a little nervous?  Here are seven tips to follow your dreams, find success, and make a difference.

1)  Commit to something bigger.

There is no sugar-coating it, healthcare is tough!  Odds are that within the first year, you’ll either quit or think about quitting. However, it’s hard to quit on something bigger than yourself. Have a goal. Be on a mission. Change the world. Save a life.

If you want to succeed, you must commit yourself to a bigger cause.

2) Figure out what you love.

I guarantee you will not truly succeed if you’re doing anything you don’t love.  Healthcare is just too hard  if you don’t love it.  Find your calling and chase it!

3) Start doing it. Now.

If you don’t love what you’re doing, make a change.  Don’t put it into your 5 year plan.  Start today.  Even if you have to get/keep your day job until you can do what you love full-time, get started!  Volunteer or do per diem work on the side to gain experience.

4) Meet others who love what you love.

Few people can win alone anymore.  The world is too complex and we need people to pick us up when we’re tired, broken, and failing.  It’s a war out there, and you will fail, fall, and need help.  Find others, learn from them and win.  Together you are stronger.  (If you need help finding others in your specialty, check out the free Clear Medical Network forums on Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin)

5)  Make long-term plans, not short-term ones.

If you’ve committed yourself to something special, keep your eye on it.  Make short-term adjustments, but focus on the big picture.  It’s too easy to get distracted these days, so you need to be working towards long-term goals.  Don’t waste energy on achieving short-term goals. Everything should lead toward the end goal.

6)  Don’t be selfish.

You will need to give things, thoughts, and time away before you get anything in return.  I’m not sure exactly why, other than people like nice people and are willing to help them in return.

Give, give, give.

7) Take your magic step.

If you will succeed, there will be one magic step only you will discover.  The very nature of our world is that we cannot all have the same path, the same steps towards our dreams.  You will need to take a unique step along the way, and it will be something that only you will find.

Call it magic or whatever you’d like, but you’ll need it and I can’t tell you what to look for.  We all have a step in life that we will need to take to achieve our dreams.

When you see yours.  Take it!

Let me know if we can help.

Have a great day,

Aaron@Biebert

__________________________

Aaron is a former nursing home administrator, HIM Director, and consultant.  He is also the creator of the Clear Medical Network and an 8pm Warrior.


The Myth of Teamwork?

February 28, 2011

I just read Skip Weisman’s blog about the “Myth of Teamwork” and was impressed.  Not because I think teamwork is a myth, but because it’s high time someone took a look at why teamwork isn’t successful many times.

It is because individual team members fail.

However, I think that Skip misses the fact that teamwork is more than just the actions associated with working as part of a team.  It is a culture, a mindset, a way of working and winning together, not just as individuals.

But it does start with individuals.

The Problem of Teamwork in Certain Cultures

A teamwork mindset requires confidence in others.  Continual failure by fellow team members creates  a disincentive to rely on someone else, the very foundation of teamwork.

Therefore, for it to be effective, members of the team must do their work effectively and earn the trust of their peers.  Otherwise, people resort to depending on themselves primarily (“it’s faster if I do it myself” mentality), a fatal blow not just to the concept of teamwork, but delegation and collaboration as well.

Organizations that hire great people and teach those great people to understand and trust each other, incubate more than just a teamwork culture.

They incubate success.

On the flip side, teamwork is a joke in organizations that hire sloppy people and then allow poor performance to continue, while at the same time preaching that people need to work together.  The second part of teamwork is “work”, and it needs to be done well for teamwork to succeed.  Otherwise, they’d be better off letting their few “All Stars” do the process or project themselves, rather than introducing broken cogs into the system.

I can’t count how many times leaders in organizations I’ve assisted have lost focus on cleaning up poor individual work performances, and have instead brought in consultants to help do fruitless team building exercises.

Without individual success, teamwork is indeed a waste of time.

One Idea for Team Building

We have to listen to our staff and actively seek their feedback.  If your team is dysfunctional, it’s time to ask your team why.  When dealing with team problems, I always start by interviewing everyone involved and asking what the problem is.

Nine times out of ten, they have the answer already figured out.  They almost always know if they should trust their teammates to finish their part correctly, and encouraging them to “work together” is frustrating and pointless.

For true team building, leaders must hold their individual team members to a high standard first (build trust in performance), then help them see the excellence they each bring to a project (understanding).  Only at that point will the handoffs  be smooth, the communication open, and synergies will begin to appear.

Have an excellent night,

Aaron Biebert


Don’t Use Vinegar

December 19, 2010

It sounds like a simple idea to be considerate when asking someone to go above and beyond (pick up extra shifts or take on an extra project).  However, I can’t count how many times I’ve heard or seen people in the world try to “attract bees” with vinegar instead of honey. 

Are you seeing stuff like this too?  (not just in movies)

Um, yeah, we’re going to need you to come in and work tomorrow.”

or how about what I call the “Leave 17 Voicemails” approach?

It just doesn’t work.  Kindness is key.

  • Ask, don’t tell.
  • Say please and thank you.
  • Show that you care.
  • Explain why you need it.
  • No means no.  If they say no, move on.  (They might say yes in the future if you don’t ruin the relationship)
  • Be pleasant.

Also, it’s important to surround yourself with caring, respectful people so that you can be caring, respectful back.  It makes for a nice situation.

——————————–   

About the Author:  Aaron lives in Milwaukee, WI and is the President of Clear Medical Solutions.  When he’s not leading new initiatives, he periodically takes on interim leadership or consulting projects.  He also enjoys teaching, speaking, writing, and sharing his passion for people and their healthcare. 


Warning! Are You Cutting too Deep?

December 13, 2010

With more signs of the economy improving, now might be a good time to remember the value of our highly skilled employees.  This thought came to me when I just heard about a hospital mandating overtime for their nurses when it costs them $51/hr and they have the option of agency nurses to cover at $42/hr.  That’s a double waste; both money and spirit.

Also, let’s not forget the hospital has to pay overtime to the schedulers and managers that will scramble to coordinate and deal with the aftermath.

That doesn’t make sense to me. 

For me, it’s not just about the money (even though that’s a big one these days).  It’s about patient safety.  It’s about the long term burnout that’s happening.  It’s about reputation and retention once the economy improves.

It’s about not upsetting a highly skilled workforce right before the largest shortage of nurses and doctors in a generation.

I’m concerned about the big picture. 

The healthcare industry is looking at a shortage of about 600,000 nurses and 60,000 doctors peaking in the next 4 to 7 years.  If you have to cut costs further, be careful you don’t cut too deep.  The wound might not heal in time.

——————————–   

About the Author:  Aaron lives in Milwaukee, WI and is the President of Clear Medical Solutions.  When he’s not leading new initiatives, he periodically takes on interim leadership or consulting projects.  He also enjoys teaching, speaking, writing, and sharing his passion for people and their healthcare. 


The Hierarchy of Teamwork

December 2, 2010

Over the years I’ve had the honor of helping organizations make big changes in the way they do things during challenging times.  Turnaround projects are not for everyone, but I really love the challenge and the difference it can make.  I affectionately call them my “Extreme Makeover:  Healthcare Edition” projects.

For a speech I gave at the Midwestern Practice Management Symposium this fall, I had a reason to organize my thoughts on a simple plan to develop teamwork and change not only practices, but hearts as well.  Somehow this hierarchy developed into a simple acronym:  TRUCK

Here were my thoughts…

1) Kindness – It’s the beginning of any good relationship.  In a cold world, authentic kindness stands out and opens doors.  Even in a big organization, stories are shared.  “They don’t care how much you know, unless they know how much you care.”

2) Connection – Once they “care how much you know”, you can begin using your interactions (even electronic ones) to build a relationship.  Kind, meaningful interactions are the bond that creates a connection.  This may actually mean that you try to meet every person in your organization or division.  It’s not easy (believe me), but if you want to lead, you must connect.  I think this is actually the most important and sometimes most difficult step.  It makes or breaks leaders and teams.

3) Understanding – Once you build a connection and communication channels are open,  an understanding of one’s motives and qualities grows.  This is where it gets to be a challenge for some.  The more they understand you, the more they have to find what they need in order for you to be successful.  This is why the right people need to be in the right place.  You don’t have to be perfect or act like you’re in a popularity contest, but your motives and values must be absolutely unshakeable and consistent.

4) Respect – If they understand your strengths and proper motivation, respect will develop at some level. 

5) Trust – Finally, trust comes when they respect you and believe that you’ll use your skills and abilities to support them in their work.  It is the difference between knowing someone can catch you and believing they actually will.

Once you have their trust, you can make big changes:  change hearts, change minds, change cultures.  You can move mountains. 

TRUCK may be just another silly acronym, but hopefully this concept of a hierarchy can help guide the process for building teamwork or how a Servant Leader can grow a strong organization and deliver results. 

Let me know what you think.  It’s a work in progress.

 

——————————–   

About the Author:  Aaron lives in Milwaukee, WI with his wife and two children and is the President & CEO of Clear Medical Solutions.  When he’s not leading new initiatives, he periodically takes on interim leadership or consulting projects.  He also enjoys teaching, speaking, writing, and sharing his passion for people and their healthcare. 


Thank you notes

November 25, 2010

I’ve had all day and two separate Thanksgiving meals to think about what I’m thankful for at the Clear Medical Solutions family.  I thought I would share a couple of these thoughts with you.

  • Thank you to those who have helped form our new ideas.  You are some of the best and brightest in our industry.
  • To all those who dared to try our new ideas, those who could see the vision before others could:  Thank you!  (It was visionaries like you who brought us the airplane, submarine, and spaceship)
  • I’m thankful for the lessons of life that make us better, more caring, stronger.  They’ve made us who we are, even though they hurt so much.
  • To those who choose to work with us, and allow us to pursue our dreams.  Thank you.  We will not forget your gift. 
  • To those who keep working, when the going gets tough.  Your strength inspires us.  Thank you.
  • To those who’ve said “Yes”, when it was easier to say “No”.  Thank you.  (It was your “Yes” that gives us a tomorrow and a future.)
  • Thank you to the friends who share our story with their friends and colleagues.  You are the sponsors of our tomorrow.

To our team members, friends and family:  Thank You for your support!

You mean the world to us.

——————————–   

About the Author:  Aaron lives in Milwaukee, WI with his wife and two children and is the President & CEO of Clear Medical Solutions.  When he’s not leading new initiatives, he periodically takes on interim leadership or consulting projects.  He also enjoys teaching, speaking, writing, and sharing his passion for people and their healthcare. 


The Things We Make…

November 19, 2010

…Make Us.

At least that’s what the Jeep said this summer when they unveiled their newest creation (here’s the YouTube link: http://bit.ly/b9TFd2).  It just begs the question:

What do you make?

“A business that makes nothing but money is a poor business” – Unknown

When we started our group back in 2007, we decided that we were going to “make” happiness for the people we work with, and guess what? 

It “makes” us happy.

With so many nurses, physicians, therapists, HIM’ers, and leaders suffering from fatigue, burnout, and mountains of paperwork, we figured happiness is something that would make a huge impact in our industry (and more importantly, our world).

So now every day we get together to pursue happiness for our people.  I always say that I’m the luckiest guy because I get to love my work, help people, chase goals, and make a career out of it every single day.  Yeah, it’s a battle sometimes (especially in this economy)…but it’s a battle worth fighting. 

Thanks for all the support.

If you know of any healthcare organizations that need someone, our people can be the solution.  We’ve built a nationwide medical community and we’d love to put it to good use making a difference. 

Let’s work together.

——————————–   

About the Author:  Aaron lives in Milwaukee, WI with his wife and two children and is the President & CEO of Clear Medical Solutions.  When he’s not leading new initiatives, he periodically takes on interim leadership or consulting projects.  He also enjoys teaching, speaking, writing, and sharing his passion for people and their healthcare. 


%d bloggers like this: