United States Weather Conditions

Oregon's Eagle Creek fire along the Columbia River

Monday we reflected on the September 11, 2001 attack on the United States. It was a pivotal moment in the country’s history and Americans continue to recognize its importance in our lives on its anniversary each year.

Currently the United States is experiencing another significant chapter with wide ranging weather conditions that affect a large portion of the population. We have had two hurricanes since August 25, and Jose, a third storm following them could feasibly land in the Virginia area; there are dozens of forest fires in over ten western states; and as of Sunday night, 260 earthquakes have been registered in Idaho since September second.

The Wiederhold network extends nationwide, either as current or past clients or simply those we know as friends and colleagues. We continue to think of everyone in harm’s way and hope for the safety of them, their friends and families.

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Leadership Key: Impact Conversations

By Joy W. Goldman | Leadership Coaching

In the March, 2017 newsletter, I introduced the topic of trust and highlighted five ways leaders increase trust in their organizations. Today, I wanted to provide an overview of two very practical tools that can be used to engender trust in ALL relationships, regardless of how challenging you may find some to be:

Conversational Intelligence and Polarity Thinking

You can deepen your learning on Polarities during an upcoming Wiederhold & Associates webinar on Aug 1.

Wiederhold & Associates Webinar
August 1, 2017 - "Polarity Thinking"

Register ASAP to obtain needed pre-work for this interactive webinar

Click to pay Registration Fee

No Fee For Premium Active Network Members and current clients.

For more information contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Judith Glaser in her book, Conversational Intelligence, asserts that ALL work is conducted through conversations. Think about it! Is there anything you do that does not involve a conversation? From a pure productivity perspective, think about the time you could save if most of your conversations were impactful.

During July’s webinar, Cliff Kayser and James McKenna, two phenomenal executive coaches, illustrated in their usual humorous way, one element of effective conversations: The power of leveraging Inquiry AND Advocacy: two critical leadership competencies. The May/June 2017 issue of Harvard Business Review included an article that talked about four key attributes that distinguished high performing CEOs: the ability to be decisive was one of them. As a leader, “telling,” and “advocacy” is essential in certain circumstances.

The most powerful leaders know how to leverage advocacy AND inquiry, and they know when they’re being effective, and when they risk derailment. Signs of an overuse of advocacy may include noticing that they are doing most of the talking and others aren’t offering their opinions; leaders may notice that their audience seems less engaged. In the extreme, they may also notice that not too many people are following them!

Glaser’s levels I and II conversations consist of “telling,” or using questions that are geared toward eliciting what the leader already knows to be true. They are using inquiry but only with a goal to validate their own thinking. Glaser discusses the more powerful level III conversation that is focused on “Sharing And Discovery.” Level III conversations ask questions for which the leader doesn’t know the answer to the question.

    Sample discovery questions include:
  1. Sample discovery questions include:
  2. What matters most to you right now?
  3. To resolve this conflict successfully, what would need to occur for you?
  4. Tell me what I might not be seeing or understanding right now?
  5. If we couldn’t fail, what would we be doing right now?
  6. If we could better leverage Safety AND Risk, how might we better serve our customers/ community?

When leaders ask questions that come from a place of curiosity, we tap into our audience’s prefrontal cortex and quiet their amygdala, the primitive part of our brain, which kicks into high gear when we feel threatened. Creativity and trust come from our prefrontal cortex: through sharing and discovery conversations.

In healthcare, our habit is to look for problems. Simple problems often have a right or wrong answer. Complex problems/ situations rarely do and are better served by leveraging interdependent tensions or pairs: polarities. Come to the webinar in August to learn more about leveraging Inquiry AND Advocacy.

    In future newsletters, we’ll also explore other healthcare tensions like:
  • Mission AND Margin
  • Confidence AND Humility
  • Centralization AND Decentralization
  • Standardization AND Customization

I look forward to our next conversation!

Joy W. Goldman RN, MS, PCC, PDC
Executive Director, Leadership Coaching
Wiederhold & Associates

Connect with us on LinkedIn and join our Active Network Program.

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Target Success with Advanced Networking Strategies

Because you've been a part of the Wiederhold & Associates Network, we wanted to share some exciting news with you first.

As you know, networking/connecting is essential to your success both while in transition and gainfully employed. Networking with a purpose is a vital component of anybody's career success but is often terribly neglected. Being intentional is necessary.

Therefore, we have formalized a streamlined process to make it easier for you to expand your network through Wiederhold Intentional Networking (WIN) program. Becoming an active WIN participant will enable you to:

  • With limited effort, expand your own network with quality connections
  • Exchange key information about market and industry trends
  • Increase ability for quality transitions through network connections
  • Affect others in a positive way
Are You Ready to WIN?

The WIN strategy gathers key information from each premium active network member and targets meaningful matches within our client list. As an active member in our program, W&A will introduce you to key members of our current network, helping you gain significant connections that you would not otherwise have access to. Remember, most of our clients are Vice President through C-level executives.

Once you have made the connection, we will send you a short anonymous evaluation form. Each member's feedback will bring value to helping our clients grow their skills in effective networking/connecting as well as passing along current industry trends.

If you want to know more about expanding your network with little effort while affecting others in a positive way, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and she will let me know of your interest and follow up.

Here's to your success!

Jim

Connect with us on LinkedIn and join our Active Network Program.

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Building and Repairing your Online Reputation

The Internet has changed the game for job seekers. The paper resume has been swapped out for a LinkedIn profile. Face-to-face meetings have been replaced with Facetime. Your local word-of-mouth reputation is small potatoes next to someone with a well-developed online presence. When it comes to the Internet, you are who Google says you are.

Fact: 92 percent of recruiters “Google” potential candidates according to a social recruiting survey. LinkedIn is the clear favorite, with 94 percent of recruiters searching it to find top talent. Potential employers also look at Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and really anything that search engines render when your name is entered.

Can you take control of your online reputation?

Be Informed. Monitor your personal brand. The first step in protecting and building your online brand is by knowing what is being said or has already been said. It’s impossible to control everything that is written about you, but even though you can’t always control what is published, you can at least know and respond to it.

Monitoring your personal brand is a two-step process. First, you figure out what is being communicated around your personal brand currently. Second, create a positive plan to improve it, build upon it.

Easy ways to monitor your reputation online:

  • Google Yourself – do this at least once a month. Look for your name not only in the search results, but also the image search, news search, and video search.
  • Create Google News Alerts containing your name. You can find this screen under google alerts. Note: you will have to establish a Gmail address.

How to repair and build your online reputation:

You’ve Googled yourself and found that there is at least one article that really gets in your craw. Perhaps it’s misleading, a lie, or just not flattering, and it is published on a website you have absolutely no control over. You want to wave your magic wand and just make it disappear. What can be done?

1) Get legal involved. You may have a case if:

  • Defamation has occurred. For instance, someone has published a false statement that is damaging to the company or person.
  • Google will remove links from search results when presented with a court order, even though they’re not legally required to do so. (Internet publishers of third-party materials may not be required to remove links, unlike offline publishers.)
  • Legal action will come at a high price, on average $5,000-$10,000 per article and may not work.

2) Create and publish online through news publications and social media platforms such as LinkedIn. This is the most effective way to rid yourself of unwanted search results over time. How it works: Say you have a negative news article you want to push off the front page of the Google search results. The more content you publish with your name mentioned the more likely positive search results will be rendered when your name is searched. It should be noted that it takes time to push negative articles down the list and off the first page of results. This is due to a number of complicated algorithm factors, all dependent on Google’s rules surrounding credible content. For example, it will be much easier to bury an article posted by a local or regional paper than it would an article or video posted on CNN. Reason being is that the more credible or popular the site is, the more weight Google gives it. So your goal should be to match or overtake the negative article with your original content published on equally credible sites.

Key Take-Aways

  • Always be aware of what is being said about you online. If nothing is being said, you are uniquely positioned to create a positive online reputation by populating the Internet with content and online profiles where you are in full control of the message.
  • If you do have a negative online reputation, it’s never too late to start the repair process. Ignoring it won’t make those links disappear and the problem will still exist five years from now. Better to take the time now to start rebuilding your presence online.

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Achieve Value-based Results in Healthcare: Knowledge Management/Transfer Through Data Analytics

Physician alignment, integration and engagement in integrated delivery systems are essential elements in navigating the complexity of healthcare service delivery. Healthcare organizations need a simplified approach to realize organizational vision of comprehensive and successful alignment and integration strategies. Creating a common Vision is essential. Healthcare organizations that focus on a vision of “maximizing success in the ever-evolving healthcare industry through physician alignment and integration” will ultimately build capability to meet and exceed consumer expectations in navigating the path to value-based care.

Today’s ever-evolving healthcare industry requires a comprehensive Vision of Integration. Execution of the Vision is best achieved through a Leadership Philosophy of Performance Excellence.

The first key element in fostering a culture of performance excellence is to define the “WHAT” that constitutes excellence, frequently referred to as “the Triple Aim” of healthcare:

  • Operating/Financial Excellence (low cost, highly efficient and cost effective service delivery),
  • Service Excellence (service delivery exceeding patient and family expectations), and
  • Clinical Excellence (best clinical outcomes for every patient and patient population).

The next essential element of a performance excellence culture is to define the “HOW” organization will be led through:

  • Stakeholder Engagement
  • Knowledge Management/Knowledge Transfer
  • Process Management

Organizations will not only achieve the “triple aim”, but will enhance performance through achieving the “quadruple aim” of healthcare. In addition to achieving traditional value-based results, a culture of performance excellence will yield higher levels of provider satisfaction and engagement while redefining service delivery.

As highlighted in previous articles:

  • Value Based Care is here to stay and healthcare organizations must overcome multiple organizational gaps that may contribute to not fully realizing a vision of success in a high performing integrated delivery system. Here
  • Key Stakeholder Engagement is essential to execution of a common Vision:
    • Physician Stakeholders (as well as others) should be engaged in organizational Governance, especially among healthcare providers, is essential to success in a value based environment. Here.
    • Physician Stakeholders should also be engaged in Leadership and Management to achieve sustainable results. Here.

This article expands on development of a Philosophy of Performance Excellence to achieve a vision of success through Knowledge Management/Knowledge Transfer. Measuring, monitoring, reporting, analyzing and improving performance begins with defining key metrics to create a common understanding. Internal and external benchmark measures are available through a variety of sources to build an improved understanding of:

  • Operational/Financial Performance,
  • Service Performance, and
  • Clinical Performance.

Knowledge Management/Knowledge Transfer Through Data Analytics

The days of making claims of high-quality, service oriented and low cost care delivery are gone. Regulatory requirements and consumers of healthcare demand demonstrated proof. On October 14, 2016, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued its final rule with comment period implementing the Quality Payment Program that is part of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA). The Quality Payment Program is intended to improve Medicare by helping you focus on care quality and focusing on making patients healthier (population health management). The Quality Payment Program’s purpose is to provide new tools and resources to help organizations to provide patients with the best possible, highest-value care. The Quality Payment Program has two tracks to choose from:

  • The Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS), and
  • Advanced Alternative Payment Models (APMs).

Healthcare providers are required and must report key measures of performance in order to maintain a competitive edge and to maximize reimbursement for services rendered. Measures of performance should focus on Operations/Financial, Service and Clinical Excellence. Internal and external benchmarking of performance is imperative. The best place to start is to define your measures, based on industry standards. Engaging your Governance, Leadership and Management representatives, as well as other key stakeholders, in defining performance metrics is essential to gain a common understanding. Begin by gathering potential sources of industry standards (see table).

Knowledge Management/Knowledge Transfer Process:

The quest for appropriate data analytics to measure, monitor, report, analyze, improve and control can be challenging. Once sources of industry standards have been identified, engage stakeholders in organization-wide effort to define your measures of Operational, Service and Clinical metrics:

  • Review and select meaningful measures:
  • Verify the organizational capacity to measure, monitor and report measures:
    • Be sure all metrics of performance are measurable.
    • Operational and Financial Metrics are typically readily available, but may not be reported in an intuitive format with full-transparency across the organization and among key stakeholders.
    • Service Metrics (patient engagement) should be standardized using a formal survey tool, administered by a vendor approved for use by The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).
    • Measures of Clinical Performance may present the greatest challenge:
      • While sources of key measures are readily available, the ability to measure performance across all providers may be limited.
      • Desperate systems in multiple healthcare settings increase complexity of data collection.
      • Clinical information may be captured as free form text and may require manual/human intervention for interpretation.
      • Manual data abstraction may present a high cost alternative to automated reporting.
      • Lack of interoperability of information systems creates complexity.
      • Clinical and claims data are not typically consolidated.
      • The good news is: multiple vendors are available with advanced tools to aggregate data to support your efforts to measure, monitor, report, analyze, improve and control clinical performance.

  • If necessary, select reliable vendors to provide external support for the purposes of understanding measurable performance.
  • Create detailed analytics reports across the organization at the Enterprise, Specialty, Practice Location and Individual Provider levels,
  • Determine baseline performance at all levels,
  • Set routine reporting intervals (daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and annually), as appropriate,
  • Set levels of performance:
    • minimum level of performance,
    • expected/goal level of performance, and
    • Level of performance exceeding goal.
  • Utilize high level dashboard reporting tools for ease of review and understanding across the organization:
    • A simple “stop light analysis” provides ease of review (see below):

    Click here for Reference Sources.
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    The Concept of Networking

    The whole concept of networking is one of my favorite and most passionate subjects.

    In prior articles, we have touched on many aspects of effective networking, whether in transition or not. Building a broad and deep network is so essential to one's success that it cannot be ignored.

    What I have personally observed over a 28 year period and confirmed through colleagues is clear: We can't make it without solid key relationships. Many people will find expanding their network to be challenging, but with practice and effort, you can begin to make meaningful and fruitful connections.

    There are three key components to effective network communication.

    Connecting Point: If you're going to get somebody to take interest in your phone call, you must differentiate yourself so they choose to respond to you. The connecting point is finding something that you share in common. This can be any person, place or thing. It requires homework but it also ensures greater success as you expand your network. Whether you connect on the first attempt, leave a message, text, or send an email. The connection point is the most powerful tool in developing a memorable network relationship.
    Seeking Information: Obviously, expanding your network means making initial calls to people you've never connected with before. For those in transition, resist the temptation to focus on jobs until you have created a solid connection. Seeking information makes it easier for the other person to open the door to friendly conversation. That information could be around what this individual has done, an organization that you're exploring, or a location that you have an interest in. There are a lot of options here.
    Value Statement: It is important that you understand and can articulate your value. When this connection is concluded, that individual should know that you and your team are good at what they do. Your network will not refer you to others unless they understand what you do and are confident that you do it well.

    If you are looking for career advancement, you must become the most effective networker you can be. Include these three components when you're expanding your network and I promise you will find success.

    Here's to your success,

    Jim

    Connect with us on LinkedIn and join our Active Network Program.

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    Effective networking- THE best way to connect. Period.

    Everyone has a passion for something. When networking with others, make it a point to find the other person’s passion. Why? People like talking about what’s important to them. How do you find out what’s important to them? Ask them. Ask what they do for fun. Ask about their family. Ask what they would do if they weren’t in their current job. Ask where they volunteer. Then simply listen. Many times you will find what’s important to other people is also important to you. That’s your connection.

    When discussing yourself be sure to include information that could be potential connecting points- spouse’s name, children’s names, where you grew up, where you went to school, what you like to do, etc. Recently I was speaking with an individual about adding this type of connecting information so I mentioned my wife was from the Twin Cities area. I explained the rationale for sharing such information by stating this would be our connection if his wife happened to be from the Twin Cities. What did he say next? His wife is from the Twin Cities- that is now our connection.

    People instinctively want to connect with other people. Listen for people’s passions, make meaningful connections and you’ll network successfully./p>

    Connect with us on LinkedIn and join our Active Network Program.

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    Executives- Read this if you made $100k or more last year

    Last year your employer gave you a bunch of money- what did you do for it? If you cannot clearly answer this question, you are vulnerable. In today's competitive market it is imperative to create value for your employer. Employers have problems- executives are hired to solve these problems. You must be able to clearly demonstrate a ROI on your salary- otherwise you are simply unnecessary overhead. If you cannot measure improvement in profit, sales, quality, customer satisfaction, efficiency, or cost reduction from a year ago I guarantee your employer is wondering if they are getting commensurate value with the money they are giving you.

    How do you create value for your employer? First, make certain you completely understand your boss's goals- they are your goals. Second, make sure these goals are quantifiable. Third, achieve those goals. If you rinse and repeat this process year after year you will continue to create value for your employer. In turn your employer will keep giving you fistfuls of cash.

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    Keeping your edge- staying marketable in today’s competitive environment

    As an executive it’s easy to lose touch with staying marketable in today’s competitive environment. We all get busy doing our own jobs- it’s easy to forget about maintain and growing our network, keeping a current resume, and understanding the needs of employers. Here are a few tips on staying marketable:

    >

    • Perform in your present job. Create value for your employer. Be intentional about achieving the results that your employer desires.
    • Build and maintain a network. Ideally you want to make 5-10 phone calls per week to grow an active network.
    • Help others, including recruiters and colleagues. Helping others is a simple way to maintain your network.
    • Maintain (or better yet, have a professional do it) a current resume. Resumes change every 2-3 years. You want to stand out and appear relevant. You do not want an old resume as this makes you look out of touch.
    • Know and communicate your value proposition.
    • Know your number (X-Y’s). How have you moved the needle on service, quality, growth, market share, profitability?
    • Grow professionally. Earn a degree, certification, or extra training.

    If you need to sharpen your competitive edge, contact us at www.wiederholdassoc.com to learn more about staying marketable in today’s competitive environment.

    Connect with us on LinkedIn and join our Active Network Program.

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    Safeguarding your Business History for 2017

    One of the most important housekeeping tasks that executives have a tendency to ignore is creating a personal backup of professional achievements. By this I mean the Tier 1 and Tier 2 achievements that show how you have made the organization better.

    Many times our clients struggle to come up with hard data for their resume because they neglected their personal information file cabinet. Very often separation is sudden and there is NO chance to look at past strategic plans, or board reports for the numbers or percentages.

    Even if a report is confidential to the system you should be writing down your accomplishments somewhere to make sure you have access to your information in the future.

    Create and keep an updated list of contact information for superiors, peers and subordinates for every job in the last ten years.

    Don’t let another year go by without making sure you have access to your ever increasing list of accomplishments.

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    Happy Holidays from Wiederhold & Associates

    In lieu of mailing holiday cards, and in keeping with the spirit of giving during this time of year, Wiederhold & Associates has made a donation to a charity in honor of our clients, network members and friends for being a part of our lives this year. For 2016, we have selected the CURE Childhood Cancer charity as the recipient of our donation.

    CURE focuses entirely on children's cancer efforts and funds the work of some of the best and brightest scientists in the field of pediatric cancer, as well as address the critical and urgent needs of patients and families. If you would like to learn more about Cure Childhood Cancer, visit their site at curechildhoodcancer.org.

    We at Wiederhold & Associates hope and pray that you enjoy a happy and safe holiday season. As you enter the New Year, never forget what is most important: your faith, your family, and your friends.

    Jim Wiederhold and
    the Wiederhold and Associates Team

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    Networking During the Holiday Lull

    The time to kick your transition work into high gear is right now, while everyone is celebrating. The minute you finish reading this get out your list of healthcare executives you know.

    Why? December is the very best time to raise your visibility and re-establish connections, personal AND professional. Don’t bring an agenda, apart from extending cheer and good will. Hand write a short note in a holiday card, even if it is just to say you hope they have a prosperous new year. And don't forget to hand address the envelope too. Don’t ask about job opportunities, instead sincerely ask about them. If you only know their email address send them a personalize note that way. But send something so they know you are thinking of them.

    If you are asked about your work or your search, be ready with a short, honest and upbeat answer. Of course, follow the conversation if your colleague wants to talk about work, but don’t press it. This is networking of the joyful kind – strengthening bonds to your family, friends and community that will nourish you the rest of the year.

    I suggested this a few years ago and here is what one of my clients experienced.

    Try it and see what kind of response you get!

    Connect with us on LinkedIn and join our Active Network Program.

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    A Tribute to the American Worker

    Labor Day means more than great BBQ and spending time with friends and family. For me, it is a celebration of American leadership, strength, and ingenuity.

    In the days following World War II, when the economic strength and power of America was all that stood between the world and the return to the dark ages, Pope Pius XII said, "The American people have a great genius for splendid and unselfish actions. Into the hands of America God has placed the destinies of an afflicted mankind."

    Wiederhold & Associates joins in the national tribute to the American workers who have made contributions and achievements to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country and the world. Happy Labor Day!

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    Executive Skill: Reading the Tea Leaves

    How often in my conversation with executives do I hear the statement, "he/she is good at reading the tea leaves" or "he/she is not so good at reading the tea leaves"?

    What does it mean?

    To me, it indicates a sense of external awareness of what's being said around you. When the action and the talk don’t align – you’d better take notice. Unfortunately, a lot of executives get so caught up in their own internal world that they are unaware of what's going on around them.

    There's lots of evidence to support this lack of external awareness. In working with executives in transition, I often hear the statement “I never saw it coming.” As I review the details of their last 60 to 90 days of employment and then we review it together, the next statement I often hear is –“I should've seen it coming. Obviously, that executive didn't do a good job of "reading the tea leaves."

    Now most of us are aware of the concepts emotional intelligence and political intelligence.

    • Emotional intelligence is the capacity to be aware of, control, and express one's emotions, and to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically.
    • Political intelligence is a thorough understanding of the interpersonal and political dynamics that organizational structures create and to know how to make things happen within this context.

    We define these concepts in terms of both nouns and verbs. As you know, a verb implies action, and both forms of intelligence must have an action to be of any benefit.

    Both terms suggest a strong emphasis on the external environment as well as the internal environment. As mentioned, too many executives become overly focused on the internal environment. By practicing the art of emotional intelligence and political intelligence you will learn to pay attention to the external as well as the internal and increase your ability to read the tea leaves.

    Happy Reading,

    Jim

    Connect with us on LinkedIn and join our Active Network Program.

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    Enhanced Leadership Tools to Light the Way

    Coaching comes in many forms but the goal is to help you become the very best version of yourself as a leader, executive, and whole person.

    As you know, I have been coaching executives for years to help them become their best. Through the power of technology, my coaching capabilities have been extended into a new dimension. I am excited to present the 2016 Webinar & Telebridge Series.

    Webinars:

    Once a month, Wiederhold & Associates will be inviting renowned speakers to address leadership topics in healthcare in this interactive online series. The next scheduled webinar is in April and will be free to ALL registrants. Beginning in May, we will continue to offer these webinars free to only our Premium Active Network Group members and current clients. There will be a nominal registration fee for everyone else. There are limited spots for each session so make sure you register early and take advantage of this opportunity to learn from national experts! Email us to request topics and dates.

    Telebridge Calls:

    As a new benefit of our Premium Active Network membership in 2016, Wiederhold & Associates will implement the following program each month. I am hosting a Telebridge (conference call) meeting with any of our premium active network members who want to participate. In that meeting, I will answer questions you may have related to your career, whether you are gainfully employed, in transition, or thinking of looking for a new position. This is sure to be a time of enrichment that will aid you in developing a lifetime of success.

    Before each TeleBridge meeting, we will announce the initial topic of discussion. Once we conclude that topic, we will move on to other subjects relevant to the group. Our first meeting was an excellent discussion of interim work in the healthcare Industry from both sides of the equation. This will be the initial subject of our next TeleBridge Premium Active Network meeting. After the initial topic is addressed, any subject that the group wants to talk about is fair game.

    I will facilitate these meetings as well as disseminate a summary to the participants from these sessions. The Telebridge calls are an excellent opportunity to learn and engage with relevant healthcare subjects.

    Through these programs, you are sure to make valuable connections & gain critical industry insights throughout the year. I look forward to connecting with you.

    Here's to your success,

    Jim

    Connect with us on LinkedIn and join our Active Network Program.

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    The Power of Gratitude

    I constantly hear the statement that nothing happens between Thanksgiving and New Year's day. That idea becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy that can prevent you from moving forward in the new year.

    The time between Thanksgiving and New Year's day is what I referred to as Relationship/Gratitude month.

    It is the perfect time to build and solidify relationships by giving thanks to those that have helped you in the past year as well as those that will help you in the new year. This show of gratitude, when done without an agenda and with great sincerity, will strengthen business partnerships that can carry you into the new year and beyond.

    As you all know, the opposite of gratitude is ingratitude. When you don't express gratitude and you assume the other person understands your perspective, what you really are expressing and certainly not intending to, is ingratitude.

    Call up those people that have given you so much over the past six months to a year and just say thank you. Use the holiday season to send out cards to those you don't call. Individualize each card with a note and your own signature. Make your audience feel special. Remember, this is about quality not quantity.

    If done correctly, these efforts in December will pay rich dividends in the first quarter of 2016.

    Here's to a prosperous new year!

    Jim

    Connect with us on LinkedIn and join our Active Network Program.

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    Accelerate Success: The Power of Executive Onboarding

    The first few weeks and months of an executive’s tenure are critical. Getting it right can dramatically accelerate the transformation of a new recruit or promotion into a fully functioning business leader. But getting it wrong can be very costly.

    In fact, recent studies indicate that 30-50% of newly hired leaders fail and leave within 18 months. Failure to establish key relationships and failure to align with company culture are indicated as leading factors that derail new executives early in their leadership roles.

    Organizations that spend thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars in efforts to recruit key talent, recognize the critical importance of ensuring cultural fit as part of the hiring process. But often, the rigor, focus and attention given to the recruiting process don’t seem to carry forward to a solid commitment to assimilate and positively onboard new executives.

    Executive onboarding is far too important to leave to chance. The stakes are high for the individuals and the corporations involved. The impact on revenues, employee morale and the company’s corporate image when an executive fails in a newly-assigned role are felt by the organization long after the executive has departed.

    Onboarding, not orientation.

    Onboarding is not the same as orientation. Consider whether your organization’s internal process achieves the following:

    • Identifies executives’ strengths and developmental areas, and ensures they have the key competencies for success
    • Brings role clarity
    • Accelerates integration with organizational culture, strategy, and leadership team
    • Maps key relationships
    • Delivers critically timed feedback from key stakeholders
    • Offers counsel on goal identification
    • Provides early warning indicators and hazard avoidance

    The Solution for Success

    Our Onboarding services pick up where the executive search process ends, and help organizations integrate new executives in a more structured and effective way. Focusing on the early stages of an executive’s tenure, we reduce the time it takes for new executives to start making a meaningful impact, and maximize the leader's personal engagement with the organization and culture. We believe in customizing our program to our clients needs and work with new hires and internal promotions.

    Connect with us on LinkedIn and join our Active Network Program.

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    Prepare for Success

    Early in my 30 year career in executive recruitment and coaching, I was responsible for recruiting and training sales executives at NCH Corporation. I find my background in sales training to be extremely helpful as I work with executives in transition.

    When I was in my sales position with NCH corporation, I learned several key things:

    • We had clear plans and targets for sales and we didn’t go home until those were met. We had the tenacity to reach out and make contacts and have clear goals to achieve.
    • People buy from people they like. The primary focus is to build relationships with clients as part of the sales cycle.
    • Practice is essential and role playing is a key part of training.

    Executives in transition are shifting from leading and operating organizations to selling a commodity, themselves. A successful transition, like a successful sale takes focus, energy, a clear plan, and intentional action. You have to know your product, have a clear brand, a value statement, know your market, identify your sales targets, and be confident in representing your product.

    I find most executives have no formal background or training in sales and often feel very unprepared for the demands of a successful job transition and search. My role is to be a coach and guide, to help executives in transition find their rudder, set their course and make a successful journey.

    Executives successful in transition are the ones who use the time in transition to learn more about themselves and their goals for the future. Creating the right attitude and exuding confidence is a key to mastering your transition and achieving your goals.

    In my practice I primarily work with healthcare executives. So I know the market, the role demands, and the key tools required to be successful. I not only provide my clients the tools, I provide the coaching and support for clients to learn through their journey and find a successful path forward.

    I’m proud of the many executives I have helped through my 30 years and find the wisdom and experience to be a valued commodity for my clients.

    Here’s to your success!

    Jim

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    Executive Decision Making: What Leads to a Bad Decision?

    The Harvard Business Review published a blog last week titled, “Nine Habits That Lead to Terrible Decisions.” The authors conducted a study to determine the factors that contribute to poor decisions. After analyzing data from 50,000 leaders, they found nine factors that can contribute to a bad decision.

    Their analysis compared leaders who were “perceived to be making poor decisions” with leaders who were “perceived to be making very good decisions.” The list below is prioritized in order, starting with the most significant factor:

    1) Laziness – regardless of the “perception versus reality” factor, these leaders were perceived to be sloppy in their work and unwilling to work hard.

    2) Not anticipating unexpected events – it’s critical to develop a list of the problems that may arise from your decision.

    3) Indecisiveness – when analysis takes too long, decisions get delayed and opportunities are missed; some leaders believe that a single mistake will ruin their careers, and as a result, they avoid prudent risk-taking.

    4) Remaining locked in the past – it’s important to be innovative, and that requires looking for new approaches to solving problems.

    5) Having no strategic alignment – every key decision must be part of an overarching strategy.

    6) Over-dependence – if collaborative decision making gets bogged down, then act independently.

    7) Isolation – it’s critical to collect input from experts, which requires good networking skills.

    8) Lack of technical depth – complexity is increasing, and the best executives develop deep expertise, and they know how to find the right talent to help them.

    9) Failure to communicate – sometimes good decisions lead to bad results merely due to poor communication about the decision itself, including why the decision was made and how it benefits the organization.

    By keeping these factors in mind, you can improve your approach to executive decision making. To learn more, visit the Harvard Business Review blog at: http://blogs.hbr.org/2014/09/9-habits-that-lead-to-terrible-decisions/
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    Relationship Building in December

    Even though it's later in December it's not too late to make the right impression. December is always the month that I focus on my established, new relationships and potential relationships. Take time to thank those that have helped you and that can potentially help you. Be creative in your communications and find ways to differentiate yourself. Whatever you do, personalize it and make sure the receiver feels like this was made just for them. Get outside your comfort zone and always be sincere in what you say. Try to focus on the personal side, don't have an agenda.

    It doesn't have to be about business at this time of year.

    Please don't hesitate to share some of your creative ideas with me.

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